Greens ‘out of touch’ over Lewes Magistrates’ Court site

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So Lewes Green Party is disappointed by the South Downs National Park’s decision to permit the redevelopment of the magistrates’ court in Lewes.

Susan Murray (letters, December 26) cites the lack of car parking for this town centre site – adjacent to a large public car park and a stone’s throw from the train and the bus stations.

I thought Greens favoured ‘car free’ development wherever it’s practical. I certainly do. Where could it be more appropriate?

At the same meeting, the National Park granted permission for a three screen cinema in Lewes. Hooray! So say the several hundred people who wrote in support of this application after reading the Town Council’s ludicrous objection to the application.

The Planning Committee chaired by Susan Murray objected because “Claims and assumptions that the patrons of a 300-seat capacity cinema/restaurant/community space would be attracted to travel without cars were considered to be extremely naïve”, though it is right by the station in the centre of town.

Also, “it was difficult to accept there was adequate demand for the services to be provided, as it was perceived to offer nothing that was not already offered close-by”. So would that be the town council’s “close-by” part-time venture at All Saints showing long since released films on out of date equipment?

While the National Park have shown themselves to be sensitive to the rebalancing of the town centre with all its impending changes, Susan Murray just seems to be out of touch.

John Stockdale Lewes