Lewes 'rabbit hutch development' comes under fire

A PLAN to increase the number of flats built on a new housing estate will create a 'rabbit hutch development' according to a Lewes protest group.

Developer Blue Sonic has put forward a planning application to change the details of a previously agreed development on land to south and west of the Nurseries development in Malling Street.

Last year the company was given permission for 28 homes but it now wants to increase that number 41.

The planning application states the increase will be achieved by reducing the size of the homes.

The plan has been criticised by the Lewes Coalition, an alliance of protest groups and residents' associations which are campaigning against what they see as inappropriate development in the town.

Pru Rowntree, a spokeswoman for the Lewes Coalition, said: 'It's a shocking announcement.

'The number of residential units will be increased from 28 to 41 in the same space and achieved by "reduction in unit size".

'Lewes will be lumbered with yet more rabbit hutch development rather than the proportionate social housing it so desperately needs.'

Another Lewes protest group, Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID), also criticised the application.

Rita Ellis, chairwoman of RAID, said: 'Our original objections still stand – the flood risk has not been fully addressed, and the change of use from industrial to residential and increased traffic feeding onto already congested junctions.

'This site requires much more sensitivity to its status as part of the remaining flood plain.'

The latest application also seeks to change the use of 2,480 sqm business unit on the site from B1 business use, which could include offices, to B8, storage and distribution use.

The application is currently being considered by Lewes District Council.


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