I viewed the Lewes Phoenix Rising exhibition on Friday 30 October with interest.
The posters said that it would show the people of Lewes “how we would do it” that is the redevelopment of the North Street area, where their primary objective is to save the Phoenix Works sheds.
As an early supporter of LPR, I was very disappointed in what I saw.
There was no clear master-plan, meaning that we could not see which were walking routes, vehicular routes or gardens and green space. So it wasn’t possible to understand what the development would be like to walk through or live in.
Their proposed riverside walk remains unclear and runs underneath a building which is much more suited in scale to the Thames path in Wapping.
In order to retain the sheds, a low density land use, the rest of their proposals have to be very much more dense than Santon’s proposals. LPR propose residential buildings, mostly flats, along the riverside as far as Willeys Bridge. This is unacceptable in urban design terms as it will block views into and across the site to the Downs. And I am not clear that the people of Lewes have understood the visual impact of this when walking along the river. I saw no drawings to show us.
I was told LPR can’t afford to prepare a clear and detailed master-plan which will be required for any outline planning application. I am not clear that Lewes should put its faith in a development proposal that is so under-considered and presented. Beautiful illustrations of proposed buildings, which make the site look oddly like Venice, are no substitute for effective proposals clearly presented.