Review into sale of St Anne’s School site in Lewes

Site of former St Anne's School, Lewes.
Site of former St Anne's School, Lewes.

The process East Sussex County Council followed in choosing Subud as the preferred bidder for the former St Anne’s School site in Lewes is to be reviewed by an independent panel.

A row over the sale to the spiritual group broke out after a group of residents called for transparency about how the site went to the lowest bidder.

A council spokesperson said: “The decision to dispose of the former St Anne’s School site for community use was made in the best interests of the community and we are confident that this is the right decision for Lewes.

“Following a carefully-monitored bidding and assessment process, the decision was made to sell the site to the bidder with the best plan for a facility open to all members of the community.

“We have been as open and transparent as possible throughout the decision making process and will continue to be so.

“As part of this, and to give people further confidence in the outcome, the process we have followed will be reviewed by an independent panel. The details of this review will be publicised soon.”

Lewes county cllr Rosalyn St Pierre and Norman Baker MP have since called for a public review into the sale process, saying despite a public meeting residents do not feel they have had their questions answered.

“Many residents have asked that the sale of St Anne’s came under review when questions started to be asked about the lack of consistent information being provided to potential bidders and the lack of answers provided by the council,” said cllr St Pierre.

“This is a site where we should seeking best value and addressing the community needs that people want but doing so in a way that is not transparent and causes confusion is not the way to proceed.”

Norman said: “I want my constituents to receive the answers they are seeking from East Sussex County Council in the interests of transparency and as of yet that this has not happened. I hope this public review of the process will enable people to have these questions answered.”