Fire station move to speed the North Street Quarter in Lewes?

An aerial visualisation of how the North Street Quarter development would look
An aerial visualisation of how the North Street Quarter development would look

Significant progress on unlocking the North Street Quarter (NSQ) development in Lewes is due to be made next week.

The existing Lewes Community Fire Station needs to be moved from the NSQ site in North Street.

Lewes District Council’s cabinet meets on Monday to discuss a new home for it – and an Ambulance Community Response Post – at Springman House, also in North Street but outside the area of the permitted NSQ scheme.

Members are being asked to approve the progress of the design and develoment of the new fire station to enable delivery of the NSQ regeneration scheme.

Springman House, now vacant, was most recently used as NHS administration offices. The cabinet is being urged “to take all and any steps necessary to facilitate implementation of such development”, and to make an allocation of £3.5m for the delivery of the project within the 2017/18 capital programme.

The North Street Quarter is a £180m mixed use brownfield site that will deliver the following regeneration benefits to the area:

- 416 new homes, of which 40 per cent will be affordable

- 140,000 sq ft of new commercial space, including subsidised creative workspace

- 475 full time jobs

- 100 full time construction jobs

- a new modern health centre serving in excess of 26,000 patients

- strategically important flood defences, completing the defence of Lewes

- a new riverside promenade, new footbridge, extensive new cycle paths and footpaths, and

- a public square hosting contemporary eateries and riverside dining.

The NSQ site includes the existing Lewes Community Fire Station in North Street. This site is in ;phase two of the NSQ development scheme and occupies land that is intended for markey housing for families.

Failure to relocate the fire station would impact on the return from the NSQ development and therefore the viability of the proposed scheme.

In line with the council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan, there has been a long-standing proposal to relocate the existing fire station. The site it currently occupies is in an area at risk from flooding.

An initial site appraisal looked at a number of possible relocation sites and identified that Springman House was the best option operationally for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Sussex Police occupies the adjacent building.