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Caffyns surprise development

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On 15 Nov 2013 at 9:00pm Suzanne Rose wrote:
I've never posted before, but I want to spread the word about a surprise new development in town. Not another I hear you cry.
Lewes has its fair share of potential developments and whilst I appreciate the need for investment and housing, I object to being bullied by businesses too arrogant to even consult on their plans with local residents.
Tiny Thomas Street is in danger of becoming the access road to Caffyns surprise new development and since they haven't seen fit to consult on their plans with local residents until the planning application process is well underway, I want everyone to get the chance to have their say before 28th Nov.
When Caffyns boarded up the end of our road in Feb with no notice, having left anonymous fliers on our vehicles and demanding they be removed within 24hrs, we had no idea what they may have planned for the old Culverwells site including the Grade 2 listed building. We didn't even know who had bought the site until the Land Rovers started appearing and it became more like Dagenham than Lewes at the end of our road.
9mths have passed with no word from Caffyns until now.
On Wednesday 13th Nov we discovered that they have already submitted a planning application for a new development which will see Thomas Street become the new access road to 9 residential flats, plus 4 new build apartments (none of which will be affordable housing) and 2 commercial units, plus a courtyard parking area for residents of the development and businesses.
There has been no consultation with local residents and despite the time for commenting on their proposal being extended - this originally expired conveniently on 13th Nov - the same evening they called a meeting to reveal their plans, we only have until 28th Nov to make ourselves heard. There will be no public consultation on their plans as Caffyns has said this would be too costly. Clearly Caffyns puts profits before people.
Please share, comment, take a look at their plans and help us make them take notice of local people in Lewes.
Full details of their application can be found www.southdowns.gov.uk
SDNP/13/04847/FUL and SDNP/13/04848/LIS

Check it out here »
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On 15 Nov 2013 at 9:20pm Thursday's Child wrote:
LDC are renowned for trying to push through contentious planning during school holidays, Christmas or bonfire (typical times when most of the town are otherwise engaged).
This application fits the sneaky criteria as it was put forward for the 3 week consultation on 29/10/13. How very LDC.
ESCC Highways are just as bad as they are the ones to comment on access and road issues (and they NEVER find any fault). What a bunch of Highland ****ers!
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On 15 Nov 2013 at 9:55pm Planning Person wrote:
Planning applications are not normally open to public consultation, neighbours and interested parties are notified and given the opportunity to comment. Those comments are then discussed by the planning department, and either acted upon or not, dependant on each case. Why in Lewes does every Tom Dick & Harry think they have a voice in every single planning application ? Maybe that's why nothing ever progresses, and we are left with vast empty, abandoned properties. The Bus Depot, Cannon O'Connel, Wenban Smith, Phoenix, North Street area, Magistrates. Court, to name but six ! ! Let the planners do their job.
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On 15 Nov 2013 at 10:06pm Plumber wrote:
At least Caffyns is successful local business that employs Lewes people and (Hopefully, though I don't know) pays UK Taxes.
Oh, and they sell UK manufactured "cars" to really wealthy people.
So, perhaps they are one of the few companies that DO help redistribute wealth.
I haven't done any research but I wouldn't slag a company off just because they wanted to avoid public consultation. "Kittens are cute" might seem obvious, but fill a room full of people, and you will get an argument.
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On 15 Nov 2013 at 11:33pm Free Loader wrote:
The problem is I live nearby and have been happily parking on private land, bought my house really cheaply because it was near old and derelict buildings and now my freeloading days are over! The other problem is, I think everything is mine, I have a divine right to be consulted on things that are nothing to do with me and planning laws don't apply to things I don't like. Won't somebody think of the children!
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 6:16am One of that lot wrote:
Being born and bred here(I know that doesn't impress many) to me Thomas St. is one of the last real lewisan streets of cottages that has not been "over managed" and represents a time where lewes dwellings blended well with industry, giving a real heart to the place.I am not against the development as this area is becoming neglected! But to destroy this street and cause massive delays and danger, to an all ready congested Malling, is insane!!!!
This will affect any one who uses Malling st. There are other exits for this development that would harm very little!!! Save Thomas St if you care about this town.......
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 7:11am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I agree that Thomas Street is really rather special, and worthy of protection, but then a lot of people felt that about St Nicholas Lane too, and that didn't stop the Print Works being built.

To me, it smacks of overdevelopment, and will add to traffic problems, but I'm afraid I think it's likely to go ahead.

Interesting that a "Planning Person" thinks we don't have a right to be consulted. I was always under the impression that anyone can submit their views on an planning application in England and Wales and those views should be included in the reports that go before the decision makers. I appreciate that's not quite the same thing as formal consultation, but you can't blame people for wanting to have a say and for hating the way it sometimes seems that sensitive applications are almost under the radar.

Because Lewes is a historic town with a unique built environment, it is only to be expected that people who love Lewes will want to object to developments that they think will spoil it.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 10:39am v.o.b wrote:
more whinging dont you drive up people streets to get to places rosy welcome to the real world
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 12:03pm someone else wrote:
ACT - the interesting thing is that the Town & Country Planning Act came into force in 1948, and since then all attempts to build have been subject to comment and democratic process. And yet that's the period which has produced the least popular architecture. Nothing on Keere Street had planning approval, neither did Southover Grange or the castle. Albion St was put up by rapacious developers who didn't give a damn what anyone thought. County Hall on the other hand was subject to planning approval.

There's a strong argument to say that the involvement of local people and the local Council has pretty much ruined the face of Britain.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 1:12pm Previous Resident wrote:
Personally I think the old culverwells building is probably the nicest example of industrial architecture in lewes. Built as the production and bottling factory for the Southdown brewery in 1836, it served numerous pubs around Lewes and surrounding areas until it closed in the 1920's. Thomas st was built to house the workers (it used to be 2 cottages longer) and the cream and blue house on the corner of Malling st was the offices. 2 huge storage and delivery tanks for the ingredients were sited where Blacklaws garage currently sits.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 1:41pm Southover Queen wrote:
I very much agree, Previous Resident. That building has enormous potential but is a very sad sight at the moment. A sympathetic renovation would be great for the building and could - probably will - have a really beneficial effect on Thomas St. At the moment it's rather marooned in a post-industrial wasteland surrounded by semi-derelict buildings and modern tin sheds. Obviously traffic flow will need to be managed, but I wouldn't jump to negative conclusions based on what's been said here.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 2:32pm One of that lot wrote:
We agree that the culverwells building would from being restored,its a stunning building!But it would be a good idea if Thomas St could be turned into a cul-de-sac, with excess into Davy lane as it used to be before the hoardings were erected. This would also allow traffic to filter out in toLewes,not just to turn left onto Malling street and then turn around in the garage to get back into Lewes. Also as most things these day are delivered by courier in large vans,wouldn't it be difficult to enter Thomas Street with out mounting the pavement,or reversing out onto Malling Street? Access into Davy lane would benifit everyone in that area.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 2:37pm one of that lot wrote:
" Benefit"missing from first line!
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 2:46pm Southover Queen wrote:
" it would be a good idea if Thomas St could be turned into a cul-de-sac, with excess into Davy lane as it used to be before the hoardings were erected. "

That sound eminently sensible. Increasing traffic at that point of Malling Street is a recipe for disaster, and of course traffic should go via the existing Davy Lane exist. I'm sure most people would see that makes sense - I'd be more than happy to support that. Perhaps saying that the basic idea is very welcome but the traffic plans need to be adjusted would be a good way forward?
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 3:18pm Turner wrote:
Fascinating background info Previous Resident. Thanks
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 3:41pm One of that lot wrote:
Brilliant, good idea lets just revise the traffic plans! Simples!
Good to get your response S.Q. You've been missed.
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On 16 Nov 2013 at 6:38pm v.o.b wrote:
damn good idea s.q you are the voice of lewes
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 10:50am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Planning control is a vexing matter, SE, and I take your point about the horrors perpetrated since the '47 act came into force. But we will never know how bad it would have been without the TCPA.
A planning friend told me that the uncontrolled development along the coast at Peacehaven was one of the factors that prompted the legislation. Perhaps without it, there'd be Peacehaven-type development all the way from Brighton to Eastbourne!
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 1:14pm Knoxon Cutts wrote:
Quite so SE,a very pert response. One could surmise that the "democratic process" is not quite so democratic as one presumes,and possibly rapacious developers just resort to the brown envelope method these days.An equally valid point to be taken into consideration is that in 1948 the country was utterly bankrupt after fighting WW2 and couldn't afford anything better.
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 5:03pm old Cynic wrote:
Plumber - just because a business is deemed to be a 'success' it does not give them the right to ride roughshod over their neighbours. It is simply common decency and good neighbourliness to discuss your plans with everyone who is likely to be affected. VOB - you are an uncouth idiot! SQ - excellent idea.
 
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 8:25pm One of that lot wrote:
Read my thread above SQ.
Blowing my own trumpet here,its my idea, S.Q. Just put it more succinctly! Then I sumerised it as a statement!!!
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 9:19pm Southover Queen wrote:
Yes, sorry, OOTL, I didn't mean to steal your thunder! The OP felt quite negative about everything, but when you break it down the main idea sounds like a good one, just as you say. The fact that the current plan seems to favour having traffic exiting onto Malling Street at a really dangerous junction (and which only allows you to turn left away from town) just seems absurd. So your suggestion, to rethink the access, is supportive of the scheme and actually really constructive. (Planners like that sort of thing, in my experience...!)
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On 17 Nov 2013 at 9:29pm One of that lot wrote:
No apologies needed S.Q. It's the other threaders! Ive appreciated your input. You have skills in clarity!
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 9:25am Andy wrote:
Let the planners do their job! There is a consultation period - stop moaning. Personally, this is a brownfield site in the centre of the town, it has good transport links and is much better than building in the national park.
There is a desperate need for housing in the South East. I find it very selfish that the baby boomer generation (& NIMBYs) won't give the opportunity for housing to the younger generations.
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 10:29am Merlin Milner wrote:
Thanks for the local information. The Town Council has it's planning committee meeting this Tuesday at 7pm. Please come, we will be discussing the application and you are welcome to add to the discussion.
Also please contact your local ward Councillors directly. My email is merlin.milner@btinternet.com
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 11:40am Old Cynic wrote:
Andy - the Caffyns development, like that at the Spinneys (and the new Clayhill) are not aimed at housing the 'younger generation' they are aimed at making money for the developer. We are not talking 'starter homes' here but build '[em high minimum outlay / maximum return - and NIMBYs are not always negative for the sake of being so. As with Clayhill, Spinneys and the Pet store there were, and are, genuine concerns about traffic management and over development that fail to be addressed by the 'so called' planners! So, rather than a knee jerk reaction listen to what local residents, who are the ones who will have to live with the cock-ups, are actually saying. Getting it right is for the benefit of those who live there now and the poor buggers who will have to live in the overpriced rabbit hutches they are likely to build!
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 12:33pm Andy wrote:
Old Cynic - it is simply supply and demand. If you supply more housing (no matter whether it is aimed at the younger generation or not) you are increasing supply. Ultimately reducing prices for everyone.
Supply & demand is a fact of the housing market. You cannot spin an argument that it does not apply in Lewes - it simply makes you look like a NIMBY.
Unfortunately in a place like Lewes, local residents will always, always, always find a reason to say no.
I say, it's great news that there will be investment in jobs and housing on a brownfield site in Lewes. This is the exactly the type of development that should be welcomed. The Council should try harder to encourage more investment in our town like this.
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 1:54pm Resident. wrote:
Planning Person. Your comment is incorrect. The planning process does require a number of statutory consultations for the application to be processed and considered. Ignoring required consultations can render an application invalid.
Flooding is an issue that seems to be a problem on this site, as well as parking, access, and a number of other issues relating to the loss of a large commercial property, even though it is well sited in the commercial area.
On the plus side, a good application would bring an attractive Listed Building back into use, and help preserve it from further decay.
The Listing will include all the buildings situated within the curtilage of the Listed Building on the date it was listed. (i.e. everything within the registered plot associated with the Listed Building including walls and outbuildings)
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 2:03pm Cracked Render wrote:
A-C-T is right to mention the Printworks. That was enthusiastically supported by Planners, and Councillors, whilst sensible residents who actually know the town pointed out some problems that needed addressing. They weren't address, mistakes were made, inaccurate legal advice was given, companies wen't bust, and lo and behold the residents were right. We got lumbered with years of problems, and expense, including losing parking space, a fire access debacle, and shoddy building work (that has never been properly remedied)
Since residents have to live with the physical results of a development , and sometimes the costs, they are entitled to be taken seriously.
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 3:37pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Printworks is a good example. When residents made me aware of the problems I worked with them and we spoke against the application. We did not win and that was partly because the application was by then well advanced. However the earlier that you can talk with Councillors the greater the chance that local information can be disseminated and thereby more chance of reducing poor design etc..
So look forward to seeing some of you at our LTC planning meeting. The LTC may not be the planning authority but it is a statutory consultee.
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On 18 Nov 2013 at 5:30pm Townie wrote:
Turn the Culverwells building into a Burger king drive through. Ive had to laugh at some of the comments...."it's a stunning building" for example. Jesus wept, get real, i doubt if 3/4 of Lewes residents even know it's there let alone know its heritage.
We need to start dragging this town out of the 16th century. Things change and things move on, get used to it. I would put good money on that a majority of Lewes residents, if questioned, would either say "what building" or "do what you like with it", it's just the usual vocal minority who have to kick up a bloody fuss.
Pah !!!
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On 19 Nov 2013 at 6:03am One of that lot wrote:
For me it's not the development, it's the risk to all regarding road traffic due to the developments plans. I'm thinking about every one, it's dangerous!
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On 19 Nov 2013 at 1:09pm Old Cynic wrote:
Agree 100% - its not the development per se but the access to and from the site that is the problem with this application.
Andy says "it is supply and demand. If you supply more housing (no matter whether it is aimed at the younger generation or not) you are increasing supply. Ultimately reducing prices for everyone.") - if that is how the housing market works then its an EPIC FAIL isn't it!!
Yes it's great news that there MIGHT be investment in jobs and housing on a brownfield site in Lewes. But is it the type of development that should be welcomed - we don't know what the units are going to used for and that should be taken into account at the planning stage. The Council should try harder to protect our town by not allowing buildings on every postage stamp sized bit of land regardless of the needs of current and suture residents
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On 19 Nov 2013 at 3:08pm Old Cynic wrote:
Old Cynic -
The property market is perhaps 'epic fail' because of NIMBYs restricting supply.
This Caffyns proposal is a brownfield development in a sustainable location. Perfect. It is also mixed-use. Perfect. It will provide jobs. Perfect. It is not on greenbelt land. Perfect.
I really think the development proposal is exactly what Lewes needs. We should encourage this and more like it to. I plan to make very positive comments on the application to counter all the NIMBY, self-righteous baby-boomers that live in Lewes.
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On 19 Nov 2013 at 4:49pm Old Cynic wrote:
The last post was not ME! I suspect it might be Andy! Andy - NIMBYs don't restrict development - not enough to have an effect on the supply / demand of the housing market. Agree Caffyns is a brownfield site; agree its good to have mixed use development; agree its beneficial that its not on green belt land - but there ARE issues with the access to and from the site that MUST be addressed. Agreeing to everything just because it fits into the criteria you mention above does not automatically lead to good quality development - we should not automatically dismiss such applications but they must be based on good, solid, well thought out criteria. I plan to make a negative comment on this planning application in the hope that the residents get a better deal and something they can live with. PS I don't have a back yard nor am I a baby boomer - have a nice day!
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On 21 Nov 2013 at 7:07pm Local wrote:
I reckon there's a few vested interests included here. Like people who live on said street(s) trying to keep things as they are.


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