A joint application to regenerate the largest brownfield site in the South Downs National Park in the historic county town of Lewes was approved by the South Downs National Park Authority Planning Committee today at a meeting held at County Hall, Lewes.
The 15-acre regeneration called North Street Quarter is a partnership between Lewes District Council and development partner Santon North Street, bringing together their land assets in a joint planning application for a rundown area, the Phoenix Industrial Estate, near the town centre.
Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said, “This is great news for Lewes and will allow us to deliver a huge number of community benefits to the town, including homes, flood defences, jobs and great new public spaces. We hope that we can now work with all of those who care about this site to build a truly exceptional development for the people and businesses of Lewes.”
The scheme will deliver 416 new homes, 40 per cent of them affordable, which is a first for the area; 140,000 sq ft of workspace accommodating 475 registered full-time jobs; new riverside walkways, including a foot and cycle bridge across the river, as well as a health centre to serve 26,000 patients. It also includes a large undercroft pay on exit carpark, to support the wider town centre and tourism in the town.
Bim Sandhu, CEO of The Santon Group said, “We are delighted to have achieved planning permission on this important brownfield site. Following the culmination of over three years of extensive consultation with local people and statutory bodies we were able to produce a planning application which perfectly matches agreed local planning policy which requires development to be sustainable to its location yet delivering much needed housing and optimising employment opportunities.”
The scheme uses the latest eco design and technology, with homes built to Lifetime Homes standards and a low carbon community heating system using river water as well as clever sustainable urban drainages systems, with water swales running throughout the site, working with nature allowing ecology to thrive alongside dense housing and human community life.
New workspace in the pedestrian streets and public square will provide around 65,000 sq ft of flexible units, including office space and a range of small creative workshop spaces, half of which will be offered at subsidised rents for creative start up businesses.
Work to relocate some of the existing businesses will now progress until completion ready for those local employers to move into the new premises.
Cllr Andy Smith continued, “We now have the opportunity to create a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood which will reconnect this run down area to the heart of Lewes, providing the sustainable homes and jobs we need as well as supporting the town centre and attracting more visitors to enjoy it.”