More time for public to comment on North Street scheme in Lewes

Phoenix Industrial Estate, Lewes.
Phoenix Industrial Estate, Lewes.

Residents are being given more time to make their views known on controversial plans for the Phoenix Industrial Estate in Lewes.

The South Downs National Park planning authority has extended the deadline for people to comment on the planning application, submitted by Santon North Street and Lewes District Council until April 30.

County and district councillor for Lewes, Ruth O’Keeffe is also calling for a public exhibition to be held so people can view the maps and plans more clearly.

A spokesperson for the South Downs National Park Authority said: “The proposed development would be the largest in Lewes since the South Malling residential area was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and in the South Downs since it became a National Park.

“In recognition of the volume of material and to allow the public more time to review the application the formal consultation period has been extended until 30TH APRIL 2015.”

The site has a rich industrial heritage dating particularly from the 18th and 19th centuries, when an iron and steel foundry, a tannery and a paper mill were on the site.

Today the site contains light industrial and creative industries, as well as a public car park and a fire station.

The SDNPA said the proposal was large and extremely complex, given the nature of the site, riverside location and proximity to the town centre.

Cllr O’Keeffe said: “The larger maps and plans associated with the Santon application are very difficult to understand if not clearly displayed, and are so large that in the spaces available at the moment at Lewes Library, Southover House and the Town Hall fully unfurling them to see them properly is a challenge.

“I feel that a public exhibition should be put together as soon as possible to enable people to have the chance to really appreciate the information on these maps and plans and therefore be able to make informed comments on the application.

“I will be trying to see how this can be arranged as soon as possible.

“This is an incredibly important application for Lewes as a town and taking part in pubic consultation should not be made difficult for people in any way. “

You can read and comment on the application documents and plans on the South Downs National Park’s website by entering the planning reference number in full: SDNP/15/01146/FUL.

Hard copies of the planning application documents can also be viewed during the consultation period at: Lewes Town Hall, High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2Q5; Lewes Library, Styles Field, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2LZ (due to limited space at the Library only key reports will be available for inspection); Lewes District Council Offices, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1AB and South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9DH. To find out more visit http://southdowns.gov.uk/planning/planning-applications/north-street-quarter-lewes/