Will Lewes’ North Street plans ever materialise?

Mmm, looks nice. Certainly much less depressing than the grotty, decaying mess full of artsy-fartsy squatters that’s there at the moment.

How soon can they start building? So much better for all concerned to have new housing built on an existing brownfield site in the middle of town rather than, say, on an unspoilt greenfield site on the outskirts of Ringmer next door to me. Admit it, Lewes is a thriving metrollopiss compared to its surrounding villages, facilities and amenities coming out of its ears – whereas Ringmer’s overstretched infrastructure struggles to cope even at present.

Yet you tell us that anyone can apply for planning permission but only the owners of the site can actually build on it? So lots of flakey pie-in-the-sky projects keep materialising out of the haze (such as the old Magistrates’ Court, Canon O’Donnell and North Street) from people with no financial backing and no realistic chance of ever bringing their pipe-dreams to fruition, thus condemning us to years more of looking at such unnecessary eyesores? Yet another case of the tail wagging the dog – ah, well. This is Lewes after all – “That’s Chinatown, Jack.”

Clive Hobden