Lewes Magistrates’ Court site decision flouts aims of National Park

In case they get forgotten, the aims of the National Park are “to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area” and “to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the area’s special qualities by the public”.

Lewes, encased by the park, has recently suffered a decision that calls into question the interpretation of these aims – the approval of a planning application to demolish a substantial and well-known public building, the courthouse in Friars Walk, without a proper appraisal of its merits, to make way for a commercial hotel. The members of the Park Authority, although unencumbered by democratic accountability, still have a duty to fulfil the aims of the park.

If these can be construed as having to destroy in order to promote then this decision is a travesty of the park’s purpose.

Viscountess Bury