Lewes tip facing an uncertain future

Lewes Household Waste and Recycling Centre SUS-150618-090314001
Lewes Household Waste and Recycling Centre SUS-150618-090314001

The household waste and recycling centre in Lewes is facing an uncertain future after being included in the list of 30 sites earmarked for housing.

The list, released by Lewes District Council last month, named a number of sites within the district as part of a plan to build 415 new homes.

Ham Lane was given as a proposed site but it has since come to light the specific area in question is the Lewes tip.

Lewes District and East Sussex County Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe said: “Looking at the sites which are being proposed within Lewes Town, I was surprised to see the Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Ham Lane is one of the proposals.

“I do not think the County Council, which runs the site, has been consulted on the possible loss of this facility, and I am not sure how the cost of moving the site to another location would be accounted for in any development plans.

“A further site in the Ham Lane area appears to be far too narrow for much of its length to be a housing site. “

A spokesperson for the county council said: “East Sussex County Council has not yet been formally consulted on the detail and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

Sarah Neels, a member on the Tenants of Lewes District Committee, said: “I heard on the grapevine that the Ham Lane site was in fact the tip, so I’ve done a bit of research and had it confirmed, 100 per cent from the council.

“The site is right next to the sewage treatment plant, so if they’re planning to get rid of the tip and build housing, I’m not sure anyone would want to live there with the smell. I’m not even sure if the land is safe or if it’s contaminated.

“We’ve been kept very much in the dark with these sites - it took years for them to be revealed and now they are known, it only states the road name and not the specific site. A lot of people don’t know the Ham Lane site is the tip, like they don’t know Christie Road is the St Mary’s Social Centre.”

A spokesperson for Lewes District Council said: “Lewes District Council can confirm that the site described as “Ham Lane” does include the household waste and recycling site.

“We are at the beginning of a full programme of consultation. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and ideas with residents and will publish on our website details of all consultation events, the first of which is taking place this evening in Peacehaven.

“Please email newhomes@lewes.gov.uk with any questions you may have. You can also visit our website www.lewes.gov.uk.”

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has also urged residents to have their say on the consultation. She said: “While we all recognise the need for new homes, it is important local people get to have their say to ensure development is in appropriate locations and is delivered in conjunction with existing residents.

“I would therefore encourage people to take part in the consultation to make sure their voice is heard. I will be happy to make representations to the council on behalf of residents who contact me on this issue.”

To view the list, visit www.lewes.gov.uk/newhomes.

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