Fresh bid to complete housing development in heart of Lewes

Lewes Library
Lewes Library

Plans for a housing development in the heart of Lewes have re-surfaced.

An application has been submitted to Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority for a redevelopment of the ‘Lewes House Site’, off Friars Walk.

Applicant Ash Mill Lewes Ltd proposes to build 25 residential units with associated open space, car parking, access and landscaping.

The 0.51-hectare site comprises the former gardens and land associated with Lewes House and School Hill House, land between Walwers Lane and Church Twitten and land to the rear of Lewes Library between Church Twitten and Broomans Lane.

The proposed development application is made following the grant of planning permission, listed building consent and conservation area consent in April 2008 for 59 homes on the wider Lewes House Site.

This permission has been part implemented with the construction to the south-west of the site of 24 affordable residential units by Southern Housing Group.

Land on the eastern part of the site has permission for a further 35 residential units but remains unimplemented.

A formal pre-application response was issued by Lewes District Council in February which noted, among other things, that “although the original scheme was contentious locally it was negotiated at length prior to approval in 2008”.

Part of the reason the remainder of the 2008 planning permission has not been implemented is that there is no longer a market appetite for this scale of flatted developments in Lewes – the majority of the 35 residential units approved in the 2008 scheme were for flats.

The revised scheme now proposes the majority of residential accommodation as houses. As a result the overall number of residential units proposed is reduced from 35 to 25, with the proposed mix of the development split to provide 16 houses and nine flats.

The scale, overall design and massing of the residential scheme remains very similar to the approved 2008 application.