Town let down by decision on Lewes Magistrates’ Court site

Lewes Green Party is deeply disappointed that the South Downs National Park has chosen to support a developer’s vision for Lewes rather than one led by the local community. We do hope that this is not a taste of things to come.

The town really went the extra mile to ensure that it was included in the National Park, fondly imagining that this might give it extra protection and, indeed, extra funding to protect and preserve its cultural heritage. The magistrates’ court may not exactly qualify as cultural heritage, but it seems certain that the huge number of lorry journeys through our High Street to take away the rubble from its demolition will have a huge impact on the fabric of the town, the lives of ordinary residents and the experience of tourists visiting our town.

As for the bizarre notion that the yet-to-be agreed developer’s scheme for North Street some hundreds of yards away can provide the parking necessary for a Premier Inn, well this is just fantasy. Some people may drop passengers and luggage and then get lost in the one way system, thus adding to traffic problems in the town, but others will attempt to use the adjacent car park, causing problems for businesses and residents, but much trade for the parking wardens.

This is indeed a very sad decision for Lewes and leads us to suppose that a South Downs planning committee, largely made up of people with very little knowledge or experience of Lewes, is not really fit for purpose. Oh and the Friends of Lewes and the Conservation Area Advisory Group have also let Lewes down by supporting these proposals.

Cllr Susan Murray

Lewes Green Party