Revised homes plan at site of former Seaford school

Controversial: Newlands School in Seaford closed in July 2014
Controversial: Newlands School in Seaford closed in July 2014

Lewes District Council has called a special meeting of its Planning Applications Committee to consider the revised planning application (LW/16/0800/OUT) for residential development at the former Newlands School site in Seaford.

The meeting will be on Wednesday, September 6, at the Sutton Hall, Downs Leisure Centre, Seaford, starting at 6pm.

The revised planning application is for outline consent for the construction of 183 new dwellings including 40 per cent affordable housing along with the provision of sports facilities and play areas.

The original proposal submitted in September last year for 238 dwellings was amended in December following formal objections from Sport England to the loss of public sports facilities and from the district council’s Design and Conservation Officer over the impact of the housing proposals on the setting of Sutton Place, the Grade II Listed building adjoining the site.

The concerns with the original application also included the loss of open space on the site and the unacceptable site coverage (density) of development across the entirety of the site which was considered to compromise the character and appearance of this suburban part of Seaford and the loss of views from the A259 of the Newlands School building.

The concerns raised by the Design and Conservation Officer were also a consideration in requesting the amended proposal.

The revised plans for a reduced number of dwellings submitted in March this year provide for a formal sports pitch, together with changing rooms and parking, to replace the proposed dwellings in the western section of the site in response to those objections.

Seaford Town Council’s Planning and Highways Committee considered the revised application at a public meeting on April 6. It resolved to object to the proposals on the grounds that the number of dwellings was still too high taking into account potential traffic problems and the need to protect the amenities of existing residents adjoining the site. Also, the provision of new sports facilities to replace those lost to the town still fell short of what was required, the committee said.

Lewes District Council’s detailed report on the application is recommending that outline consent be granted subject to a set of detailed conditions and the completion of an agreement between the applicants and the district and county councils.