Proposed development of 300 homes in Newick: controversial plan to help ease housing crisis clashes with fears of ‘urban sprawl’
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Brookworth Homes and Parker Dann Chartered Town Planning Consultants recently announced the proposal for homes at Goldbridge Farm in Goldbridge Road to meet the rising demand for homes in the Lewes District.
Residents have expressed concerns about increased traffic, noise and light pollution, possible flooding, the destruction of fields and ancient woodlands, traffic congestion and a strain on water, gas and electricity.
Newick resident Sarnia Armitage said: “Newick currently has fewer than 3,000 residents and a development of this size would ruin it as a village and create an urban sprawl. An additional 300 houses could possibly increase the population by approximately 1,200 (allowing for four per household on average) and 600 plus cars.”
Other residents worry the expansion could go ahead without appropriate infrastructure.
Sarnia said Parker Dann arranged a consultation meeting in December, which was attended by 270 Newick residents. She said attendees were ‘wholeheartedly’ against the development with only a few supporting it.
Mark Best, director of Parker Dann, confirmed the planning application has not been submitted to Lewes District Council yet.
He defended the proposal, saying it would ‘go a small way to addressing the housing crisis plaguing Lewes District’.
He said: “Our experience of the public consultation was very good. There were certainly residents opposed to the scheme, as is their right, but also a significant number of residents in favour of it. Indeed, a number Newick residents explained the problems their children were having getting on the property ladder despite having good jobs and large deposits. The proposed scheme seeks to tackle this intergenerational unfairness.
“Overall, while I understand there are legitimate concerns regarding the development, it is always disappointing to see opposition to new homes from those who already own comfortable homes of their own, which is often to the detriment of their children and grandchildren.”
Mark added that 40 per cent of the homes would be affordable with ‘a significant amount of new public open space included’.
A statement on Brookworth Homes’ website said the development would benefit Newick. It said: “New local residents will mean new customers for local shops, pubs, restaurants. It will mean additional support for local events, clubs and societies.”
It said there would be 16 hectares of new publicly accessible open space with play areas, footpaths, woodlands and nature conservation areas.
They added: “The development will make a Community Infrastructure Levy Contribution in the region of £3,000,000 of which 25 per cent will go to the Parish Council. This can be used to upgrade community facilities, schools, health facilities and more.”
Councillor Brian Hodge, vice-chair, Newick Parish Council said: “Newick Parish Council cannot comment in detail on speculative developments which have not been submitted for planning permission consultation.”
He said: “Separately, the Parish Council held an open morning on January 6 informing residents on how to participate in Lewes District Council’s Local Plan Consultation. Many of the 350 residents attending expressed their deep concerns about the village expanding. Newick Parish Council encourages all residents of the district to go to Lewes District Council’s website and make their views known. The draft Local Plan does not identify a developable or deliverable site for 300 new houses at Goldbridge Farm.”