BREAKING NEWS: New Homes project set to be terminated

Artist's impression of Buckle Car Park site SUS-151029-121519001
Artist's impression of Buckle Car Park site SUS-151029-121519001

Lewes District Council’s New Homes project is on the verge of being terminated, it has emerged today (Monday, February 8).

A report released this afternoon reveals the council’s plans to dismiss the controversial proposal, which would have seen hundreds of homes built on sites across the district.

The decision comes after thorough and essential investigations on the sites at the end of last year discovered a number of the plots - including the two ‘key’ sites, the Buckle Car Park and Normansel Park Avenue - were not suitable for the type of development planned due to legal restrictions.

While it would be possible to try and have these restrictions lifted, it would be a costly, lengthy and potentially unsuccessful process.

Following this, Lewes District Council served notice on Southern Housing Group Limited and Karis Developments Limited on December 22, 2015.

The final decision on whether to terminate the project will be made at a Cabinet meeting on February 17.

In the report, which is included in the meeting’s agenda, it states its purpose is “to update Cabinet as to the contractual position relating to the New Homes Project with Karis Developments Limited and Southern Housing Group Limited and to determine whether, on the basis of the non-satisfaction of the title and ground conditions on key sites, the Conditional Sale Agreement and the Profit Share and Project Management Agreement should now be terminated.”

The officer’s recommendation is to terminate the project, while Southern Housing Group Limited “is in agreement with the council’s view on the current position, and understands and accepts that the work undertaken by it to date was at its own risk. It believes that the best course now is to terminate the current contractual arrangement.”

Karis Developments Limited has proposed that the parties should vary the Agreements so that the parties continue without the sale and development of the two key sites and instead pursue the sale, with planning permission, of the smaller sites. This is a significant change, and will not allow the Council to receive the level of capital it expected to invest in Council homes.

The council has so far spent more than half a million pounds on the New Homes project.

More information and reaction to follow.

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