Plan to build 450 homes across Lewes District revealed

Newhaven from above
Newhaven from above

Around 450 houses could be built on land across Lewes District in a partnership between Lewes District Council and a consortium.

Southern Housing Group, Conran and Partners Architects and Karis Developments which make up the consortium, are the preferred bidders to build on the 49 sites across Seaford, Newhaven, Peacehaven and Lewes.

A total of 40 per cent of the homes will be affordable housing.

Managing director of Karis Developments Josh Arghiros said: “We are very excited about implementing a bespoke masterplan for the district that meets all the challenges with what we believe is a unique solution.”

Conran and Partners, based in Brighton and London, are working on Saltdean Lido. The firm was founded by the designer Sir Terence Conran.

Conran and Partners director Paul Zara, who is from Lewes, said Newhaven had a lot of potential, with its seaside location, river, the South Downs and proximity to Brighton.

Mr Zara said: “I have always thought Newhaven could be as nice as Dieppe.

“I think they need some good architecture there and more people living there so people spend money in the shops.”

Mr Zara added the company was going to create buildings that were well designed, well made and that would stand the test of time.

Planning applications could begin by the end of this year and there will also be public consultation. Building on some of the schemes could start within two years.

A total of 200 affordable homes and 200 private homes are earmarked for Newhaven.

Karis Developments was chosen to work with the district council on the housing developments in towns and villages in the district.

A district council spokesperson said: “The property portfolio includes sites in Seaford, Peacehaven and Newhaven, as well as in Lewes town and more rural locations.

“By sensitively building in sustainable rural locations, the project will ensure affordable housing is built in the countryside where there is strong demand.

“There will also be some employment floor space included on some of the sites as part of a mixed-use development.

“This will help deliver an income stream that can be invested back into local communities, as well as providing flexible work space for small businesses.”

Lewes District Council said it could not reveal the precise locations of the sites where housing would be built at this stage due to legal and contractual matters which needed to be concluded. But it said it would announce the sites as soon as possible. The project is broken up into a number of phases that will offer open-market housing, affordable housing as part of the council housing stock and smaller sites to be sold. Karis is the council’s preferred bidder for the scheme. The district council said it had carried out a formal procurement process to select a development partner.