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South Downs National Park Authority gives green light to Lewes Phoenix proposals

South Downs National Park Authority gives green light to Lewes Phoenix proposals

February 15, 2024

Plans for a new community of 685 homes and cultural, business and flexible workspace in Lewes have been approved, subject to planning conditions.

The National Park’s Planning Committee met today (15 Feb) at County Hall, Lewes, and voted to give the go-ahead to the plans, subject to a series of conditions. These include the resolution of highway concerns, raised by National Highways and East Sussex County Council, as well as a Section 106 legal agreement that requires 30 per cent affordable housing, including for local people.

The plans, submitted by Human Nature (Lewes) Ltd, are for the redevelopment of the North Street Industrial Estate and Springman House, in North Street, Lewes.

The proposals are phased, including planning permission to demolish existing buildings, construct flood defences, and highways improvements, all which will help the town, as well as serve the development.

Further phases include buildings of up to six storeys comprising 656 dwellings, as well as up to 3,279m2 business, employment and flexible workspace.

The plans propose new parking provisions focusing on a mobility hub off The Causeway, highway improvements, including a realignment of North Street and Phoenix Place, a recycling and re-use centre, and construction of a new footbridge over the River Ouse and a riverside pedestrian walkway.

A decision on the plans was deferred last October due to issues around design, air quality and flood risk, which have all now been addressed. Some highway issues are still to be fully resolved, including trip rates, transport modelling for Lewes and the A27, and traffic mitigation measures.

If those highway matters are satisfactorily addressed within six months, full planning permission can be granted by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Tim Slaney, Chief Executive (Interim) of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “This a hugely important and strategic site in Lewes, that is crying out for redevelopment and bringing a new vitality to the area.  We’re pleased to have reached a positive outcome on this groundbreaking and complex planning application, working with the owners of the site and many partners. It brings so many benefits to the wider town, as well as redevelops the site.

“The plans will breathe new life into a town centre brownfield site and bring a number of benefits, including a significant number of affordable homes, sustainability measures, employment and much-needed flood defences, serving the wider town as well as the development itself.

“A number of important highway issues are still to be resolved and we’re hopeful they can be successfully addressed over the next few months.”