LETTER: Realistic and perceptive

Of all the letters you published on Friday, November 20, I have to say that the one which hit the nail on the head, and carried the most weight for me, was the letter from Rita Ellis, on the redevelopment proposals for the North Street / Phoenix Quarter in Lewes.

Her letter was both realistic and perceptive as to the likely outcome of these proposals when they are considered by the South Downs Planning Committee on December 10 at County Hall, Lewes.

My thinking on the matter very much accords with hers, in as much as the proposals by Santon are the result of thoroughgoing professional design based on local research and extensive public consultation.

I think that the South Downs Authority will find very little reason to refuse the well presented and comprehensive planning application by Santon when it comes before them, and are most likely to approve it, albeit with copious conditions to be met.

On the other hand, I feel that the Lewes Rising counter-proposals, assuming they are considered by the Planning Committee, will not be persuasive enough to cause an outright refusal of the Santon proposals, especially as they were prepared in conjunction with District Council. At most, the Lewes Rising proposals will be noted as commentary on the Santon application, whilst not being in the form of a planning application itself, but having some bearing upon the developers’ proposals to the extent of modifying them.

Other commentary currently expressed in your Letters pages, such as warnings of site flooding or incipient vandalism of a historic building, the Phoenix Ironworks, are likely to be assessed by the Planning Committee in a factual way rather than taken as “show stoppers” is my guess.

I would however say that, on the evidence of the presumption shown by that Committee toward eventual approval of the North Street proposals as regards public parking supply in the context of the Magistrates Court redevelopment application, there already exists a favourable regard for the Santon proposals, which will tilt the balance even more toward their approval in December.

Michael Parfect