Magistrate’s Court design plan should be called in

Having regard to the intractable situation regarding the proposed total redevelopment of the former Magistrates Courts building in Lewes, in the form of new design proposals of an unsatisfactory nature, I feel that the best course of action would be to ask the South Downs Planning Authority to refer the current planning application to the Secretary of State for its determination under his call-in powers, via a Public Inquiry.

I consider this to be justifiable, from the viewpoint of this very important site in the Lewes Conservation Area, the building’s undoubted contribution to the Conservation Area, its former use as Magistrates Courts, the lack of Local Plan provision for the proposed mix of uses, the architectural issues involved, and the strength of public feeling aroused by the redevelopment proposals to date. I hope to raise this issue and my recommendation to the public meeting of Save Lewes Architecture at the White Hart Hotel in Lewes on Thursday 8th May for due referral to the meeting of the South Downs National Park Planning Authority, and onward to the Secretary of State.

Michael Parfect