At last a plan for the Canon O’Donnell Centre

I am very pleased to read that someone has at last come forward with a proposal to adapt the redundant and dilapidated Canon O’Donnell Centre internally for housing units.

It is not before time, but probably needed the process of elimination of redevelopment and demolition to take place before reaching this stage, lengthy as it has been.

I wish the new scheme every success.

It is certainly needed, as the building is little more than an eyesore. I suspect, however, that the financial aspects will be the make or break considerations.

This will not be easy, as although the site purchase value may have dropped considerably due to its unproductive planning history, the refurbishment and renewal costs of the building will not be cheap, but must be kept low enough to attract purchasers, as the site does not provide any parking potential.

It is unfortunate that the building is not listed, even as an example of the Arts & Crafts period of architecture, which reduces the chances of grant aid for historic buildings.

Nevertheless, its prominent situation in the Lewes Conservation Area should help.

If we do see the refurbishment of this ill-fated building it will be a more than happy outcome.

Michael Parfect

Lewes