Decision due on major development at former Seaford school site

Plans to build new homes on the site of a former school in Seaford are set to be decided next week.

Bellway Homes was granted outline planning permission in September 2017 for a total of 183 homes, including 40 per cent affordable housing, conversion of the main former Newlands School building to flats, public open spaces, a play area and sports pitch.

Development at former Newlands School, Seaford SUS-191022-114622001

Development at former Newlands School, Seaford SUS-191022-114622001

However detailed plans for the site caused controversy when they were first submitted earlier this year as the developer had slashed the number of affordable homes due to be provided.

After meetings between Bellway and both the district and town councils revisions to the plans were made.

These are due to be discussed by Lewes District Council’s planning committee next Wednesday (October 30) starting at 5pm in Sutton Hall at the Downs Leisure Centre.

Two reserved matters applications will be debated for the former school site.

Development at former Newlands School site in Seaford SUS-191022-114612001

Development at former Newlands School site in Seaford SUS-191022-114612001

The first is for the demolition of the existing school buildings and two replacement buildings to provide 21 flats as well as public open space and landscaping.

The second sets out the layout, scale, appearance and landscaping of a residential development of 162 homes.

When the plans were first submitted Bellway was offering only eight per cent affordable housing, a total of 14 units, claiming high infrastructure costs, abnormal site conditions and the cost of converting the retained school building.

After the revisions this offer has been upped to 25 per cent, or 46 affordable homes.

Former Newlands school site, Seaford SUS-170831-084929008

Former Newlands school site, Seaford SUS-170831-084929008

This will comprise a 50/50 split of affordable rented and shared ownership (intermediate) homes.

The main changes including a new public park with children’s play space, a financial contribution towards three or four football pitches off-site and the demolition of the former school buildings.

An officers’ report said: “Overall, the development of the site for 183 new dwellings on this site is acceptable in principle and the applications under consideration broadly comply with the outline planning permission.

“The increased offer of 25 per cent affordable housing, equating to 46 units is welcomed. The loss of an on-site playing field equivalent to that approved under the outline planning permission and the lack of a suitable alternative is a concern. However, there are two options available to mitigate this loss.”