Decision due on development of former Newhaven charity site

Proposals to demolish the former Searchlight Workshops in Newhaven and build housing in its place are set to go before Lewes planners. 

Friday, 4th June 2021, 2:18 pm

On Wednesday (June 9), Lewes District Council’s planning committee is set to consider an application to build nine new houses in Claremont Road, in place of buildings formerly occupied by the charity Searchlight Workshops. 

While previously used for residential and respite care, the buildings became largely disused following the charity’s merger with Fitzroy House in 2012. Part of the former charity site has already been developed for housing.

In a report to be considered by the committee, a council planning officer said: “It is considered that the proposed development represents an efficient and sustainable use of a previously developed site.

“The overriding character of the surrounding area would not be compromised and environmental and residential amenities would be preserved.

“The site can be accessed safely and an appropriate amount of off-street car parking would be provided in order to ensure there is not unacceptable parking pressure on the surrounding highway network.”

Initially developers had been seeking permission to build ten houses on the site, but this was revised down to nine after submission. Developers are now seeking permission for six semi-detached and three detached dwellings on the site. 

The proposals would also see an existing memorial garden replaced with a new one on the adjoining Fitzroy House site.

Proposed site layout

While recommended for approval by planning officers, the scheme has seen some significant objections from local residents. 

A large number of objections revolve around highways and parking pressure, although many residents have also raised concerns around the proposed design and size of the buildings as well. 

Fears have also been raised around the potential for flooding as well as overlooking and overshadowing of neighbouring properties. 

For further information on the proposals see application reference LW/20/0888 on the Lewes District Council website.