‘Strong objection’ to homes plan at former Lewes auction rooms site

A computer-generated image of the planned development
A computer-generated image of the planned development

Members of Lewes Town Council’s Planning Committee have lodged a strong objection to housing plans at the former auction rooms site in Garden Street, Lewes, a conservation area.

They said they shared the concerns expressed by several local residents and the Friends of Lewes regarding the scale and dimension of the proposed buildings.

Members were also worried about the practicable usability of areas such as the planned garages and many other design features.

This was seen by the committee as potentially a case of “style over function”.

There is also believed to be a storm drain in the area and there was no obvious plan to address this, members agreed.

The committee said the planning application ignores Lewes’s aspirations for more affordable housing and misses several opportunities for improved sustainability features.

Permission is being sought to redevelop the allocated housing land site with 10 residential units comprising two two-bedroom split level apartments, four three-bedroom houses and four four-bedroom houses.

The application has been ‘called in’ to be determined by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The authority said: “The application site is within a conservation area and in a prominent location close to public highways, the railway and near to the commercial town centre area of Lewes.

“It is considered that due to these factors the proposed development would have potential to have a significant impact on the cultural heritage of Lewes, the character of the area and thereby the landscape of the South Downs National Park.”