New homes in Newick given thumbs up

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Proposals to build two new houses in place of a bungalow in Newick have been given the go ahead by Lewes planners. 

On Wednesday (August 28), Lewes District Council’s planning committee  unanimously approved an application to demolish a bungalow in Western Road and build a pair of two-storey homes in its place.

Before making its decision, the committee heard from several public speakers including both the applicant and neighbours who supported of the scheme. 

They included immediate neighbour Trevor Gorard, who said: “[The building] is a low-lying bungalow hidden by its perimeter fence in a poor state of repair.

“As we understand, the proposal is for two semi-detached, two-storey, three-bedroom houses. Their design continues the visual narrative of the cottages of the village green and [others].

“Such a structure, we feel, will fit harmoniously between the existing buildings, unifying those constructed in different centuries and adding a sense of community, completely in character with older properties in the village.”

Mr Gorard said he also hoped the proposed changes to a driveway his home shares with the bungalow would act to prevent people from using it to turn their cars, which he said was unsafe.

He also read out a letter on behalf of another neighbour – Tony Cox – who also supported the scheme.

While supported by its immediate neighbours, some concerns had been raised by another nearby resident and by Newick Parish Council, with both considering the proposal to be overdevelopment. 

According to planning officers, the parish council also objected on the grounds the scheme would go against a planning policy in the Newick Neighbourhood Plan, which looks to prevent building in the back gardens of existing homes .

However, officers said the scheme was not affected by this as it was a complete redevelopment of the site, rather than an additional development on garden land.

The scheme received strong support from the committee, although members sought more details on the accessibility of the buildings and the sustainability of their design.

Cllr Steve Saunders (Ind, Newhaven North), who put forward a proposal to approve the scheme, said: “I quite liked this when I saw it  [at] callover last week.

“I was enthused by the way the developer has looked to continue the street scene and was also pleased to see things like rainwater harvesting and the use of renewable materials around the property.

“I was interested to see the Newick council’s objections, which included the back garden development. Of course this isn’t  [back garden development]. This clearly isn’t.

“I am minded to approve. I will wait to see what everybody else says, but at the moment I am happy with what I have seen.”

Support was also given by councillor Laurence O’Connor (Lab, East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs), who said: “I would like to really thank Mr Gorard and Mr Cox for taking the time to put across their points so articulately. I think that added a great deal of value.

“It is refreshing to hear support from neighbours in this sort of development and it is also very interesting to see this style of property – matching or replicating or adding to the entrance into Newick.”

Following a short discussion, the application was approved subject to further conditions, including bicycle parking and energy efficiency measures.