Speak up - it’s not too late to be heard

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The Lewes edition of June 6 gives nearly two pages to stylised computer-generated views of the planned development proposed for the Magistrates Court site. What the article fails to highlight is the way the proposals now encroach on the car parking area available in the current Magistrates Court car park, while making no provision at all for the car movements that would be generated should this proposal go ahead.

I am also astonished at the amount of pavement that seems to have been found at the front of the site, while not apparently reducing the road width. Computer generated images are certainly very handy tools!

Quora keep trying to make it sound as if the acceptance of their proposal is a foregone conclusion. It isn’t. Yet.

While I accept that in principle SDNP have accepted the idea of a hotel with mixed use, it is not the only use of that site that would be acceptable.

These comments are from the SDNP minutes of the December 2013 meeting considering the previous application:

Point 234 – The proposed uses were acceptable in principle, if the design and layout of the proposal for a new build conserved and enhanced the area

SDNP state that demolition is acceptable in principle, but will not be allowed unless and until a design of better quality than what is currently occupying the site is presented. There was no objection in principle to the demolition of the existing building as long as an acceptable new build proposal was in place.

I don’t think this proposal is better, even with the amendments, as the quality of the build – prefabricated elements for example – in no way matches up to the solid current occupant.

The key elements and causes for concern, for example those of it requiring destruction of a high quality and reasonably appropriate building, the issues of the confusion regarding an identified need for 59 rooms in Lewes (who has really identified this need?), lack of parking, inadequate demolition plan, etc remain. The changes to the former basic ‘cuboid with tiles’ design now make for a marginally more interesting building but still not acceptable.

SDNP also state: Local opinion should be considered and taken into account and new builds should take into account the vernacular of Lewes Town.

In which case please can local opinion continue to be expressed. Although the specified date for comments has passed it is still possible to add comments even now. http://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=N3CHAITU02B00

The public meeting held in May saw a number of relevant and creative re-use proposals made. Surely re-use must be preferable to demolition. Support needs to be given to those who have viable suggestions, such as the Phoenix Theatre group.

Quora needs to be given a run for their money. They don’t actually own the site. Yet. It is not all signed and sealed. Yet. They must be stopped. Sussex folks won’t be druv!

Eleanor Austin

Lewes