Demolition plan for former care home in Lewes

Fairholm, Lewes
Fairholm, Lewes

Plans to demolish a former care home in the Lewes Conservation Area and replace it with housing will be considered by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Sussex Housing and Care wants to build five three-bedroom homes and one four-bedroom on the site of Fairholme, in Southover High Street.

The imposing property was built in 1919 as a private dwelling, and converted to 14 flats for elderly people in the late 1960s.

The original villa stood in the grounds of the former St John the Baptist School. The building was the subject of a number of additions in the late 20th century.

It was acquired by Sussex Housing and Care, a registered charity, in 2008. Subsequently Fairholme was judged not to meet required standards in terms of kitchens, bathrooms and noise levels.

There was also an asbestos problem. Major repairs were required.

So the charity has taken the decision to sell the site with the benefit of planning permision in place for a redevelopment.

It is the only option that would not result in a significant financial loss and would generate funds which can be used to deliver better quality housing elsewhere.

Until earlier this year, 13 of the flats had been let to elderly people and one flat had been used as staff accommodation.

All Fairholme’s residents have been moved to alternative accommodation and the property is now vacant.

Fairholme is neither listed nor has been registered as a building of townscape merit.

The proposed replacement building would be of a size, scale and footprint similar to the present property and has been designed to sit within the envelope of Fairholme.

The replacement is laid out in a similar way to the existing building and mimics the relationship of adjoining properties on this side of Southover High Street.

The development is conceived as a run of five terraced houses reflecting the numerous runs of terraced housing orientated in this way within the area.

To the east end a sixth larger house is orientated to Southover High Street. Proposed building materials and detailing would replicate those found within the area.

The scheme also involves the provision of associated car and secure cycle parking, and alterations to the existing access.

Elsewhere in planning, Lewes District Council has received an application to insert 18 side windows and three rear dormer windows at the Downland Game Farm, Beechwood Lane, Cooksbridge.