Planners approve block of 33 Newhaven apartments

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Proposals to build an apartment complex in Newhaven have been approved by Lewes planners.

On Wednesday (February 14), Lewes District Council’s planning committee granted outline permission to build up to 33 flats in Railway Road — a site which has been allocated for development within the Newhaven Neighbourhood Plan.

While approved, committee members raised concerns around some elements of the proposals, which are set to be addressed at a later stage of the planning process.

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A similar view was expressed by ward councillor James MacCleary (Lib Dem), who said: “I think this is actually a very good application and has lots of things to commend it. There are some really positive elements in there, not least the green space… the play area, the off-street parking and the commitment to look at some of the challenges that this site presents.

“However, I would highlight a few bits and pieces… raised with me by residents who are obviously becoming increasingly anxious about Eastside and its overdevelopment or perceived overdevelopment at the moment.”

These concerns, Cllr MacCleary said, included the impact of the development on the local highway network, the level of greening and the final design of the scheme.

In light of these concerns, the committee added a condition, requiring a further traffic assessment to be provided by the developer as part of the next stage of the planning process.

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As an outline scheme, the applicant, Sussex Aggregates Ltd, had only sought in-principle permission to redevelop the site, with all matters apart from access to be determined through a later application.

While only an indicative design, the application sets out how the site could accommodate 33 two-bedroom flats, distributed across three four-storey blocks. The indicative designs show how these could be made up of 15 properties suitable for three people and 18 suitable for four people.

Council planning officers say 14 of the properties would be classed as affordable homes.

The indicative designs also show communal landscaping (including a children’s play area), balconies for each of the flats and 32 car parking spaces, as well as 36 cycle parking spaces.

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The application has generated a small number of local objections, raising concerns about the impact of the development on traffic and other local infrastructure. However, the scheme has also seen some local support and is not being opposed by Newhaven Town Council.

For further information on the proposals see application reference LW/23/0757 on the Lewes District Council website.