Housing plans for former Newhaven council offices

The council wants to demolish the offices and build new homes (photo from Google Maps Street View)
The council wants to demolish the offices and build new homes (photo from Google Maps Street View)

Proposals to build affordable housing on the site of a vacant office building in Newhaven are set to be discussed next week.

On Wednesday (April 3), Lewes District Council’s planning committeee is to consider proposals to demolish a vacant two-storey office building in Fort Road, Newhaven and build affordable housing in its place.

The application, which has been put forward by the council itself, says the housing would be in a single building containing six two-bedroom flats and seven one-bedroom flats.

In a report recommending the application be approved, a planning officer said: “The development will provide much needed affordable housing provision, close to the town centre and all its facilities and transport benefits.

“The mix of units will meet an identified housing need in a modern sustainable building of similar height and bulk to the existing building, without detriment to amenities of neighbouring occupiers or the wider area in general.

“The loss of the office use would not prejudice the viability of the nearby town centre.”

In their report, planning officers say the proposed building would be three-storeys tall, but no taller than the highest point of the existing office  building.

Previously an office for council staff, the building has been vacant since 2015 when the council moved into shared facilities in Saxon House.

Planning officers say the building has deteriorated and requires significant investment to create a modern and desirable commercial building. As a result the decision was taken to develop a scheme to provide affordable housing.

The report adds that no objections have been raised by neighbours, with the council receiving only a single neutral comment during consultation.

However concerns were raised by Newhaven Town Council, which said the mass of the proposed design would be ‘unneighbourly’.

The town council also said it would be an inappropriate site for temporary housing as it ’causes social issues for local neighbours in close proximity’.

For further details see application reference LW/19/0012 on the Lewes District Council website.