Lewes Forum thread

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Lewes House

On 10 May 2008 at 7:47pm Local wrote:
There's a story going round on Lewes District Council about why they had to sell the land behind Lewes House to a developer ro build flats. And a right mess they've made over planning permission for that.
Apparently when the council bought Southover House they didn't do a proper survey before buying. As a result they had to spend a fortune renovating it. This left a n
big hole in the council's finances - which they could only fill (and hope the voters didn't find out) by selling off - the land behind Lewes House. It might be a good idea if a few of the councillors resigned so we could have some by-elections to sort this lot out. And the officers have got some explaining to do as well. So - get on the case Sussex Express.
On 10 May 2008 at 10:38pm old Local wrote:
I think you've got yourself in a muddle the council inherited Lewes house in the 1940's and there hasn't been any renovation of note.
Southover house was bought in the 1980's under the Conservatives I think and is not being sold off. So i'm not quite sure what that has to with this current lot.
I'm annoyed about the selling of Lewes House, but what won't help is unsubstantiated rumours.
On 10 May 2008 at 10:46pm The Tooth Fairy wrote:
No old timer it's you that's in a muddle. Re-read the post.
On 10 May 2008 at 10:55pm old Timer wrote:
Re Read the post.
'council bought the house and didn't do a proper suvey'.
Just stating that Southover house was bought long ago under a different administration. So that part is false. As there are basic errors in this rumour then I don't believe that it has much basis.
On 11 May 2008 at 7:24am sashimi wrote:
Whatever, LDC haven't made much from the sale. The Walwers Lane site has been given to Southern Housing for the affordable units and the main site has been sold for a 'give away' six figure sum. That's not exactly 'best value' for the community which objects strongly to the development nor for the cash-strapped Council.
On 11 May 2008 at 12:11pm Local wrote:
Thanks for the responses. It is, as I said, a rumour going round. But on the basis that there's often no smoke without fire, the best thing would obviously be for the Sussex Express to look into it and get the background to the purchase of Southover House and the sale of the land at Lewes House. Or perhaps LDC would like to describe exactly what did happen.
On 11 May 2008 at 12:32pm LDC Worker wrote:
I work for LDC and I haven't heard that rumour. I have worked there for 7 years and I have known from the start that the land behind Lewes House would be sold (unfortunately, as it is our car park, and also I am against further development in the town). I think you will find that as Old Timer says, the decision was made under a different administration, so I don't think the current councillors can be blamed.
On 11 May 2008 at 6:57pm Local wrote:
LDC Worker - thanks for that. I heard the rumour from an LDC worker. Interesting you've known from the start the land was to be sold - I suppose that might go some way towards connecting the need to raise the money with budget problems arising from Southover House. If that's true and it can't be pinned on the councillors perhaps it is long-standing senior officers who could be responsible. Anyway, let's hope more comes out in the coming weeks.
On 11 May 2008 at 8:46pm print wrote:
Don't rely onthe Sussex Express to'look into it'; they totally misreported the CanonO'Donnell Community Hall planning application - said the planners were against proposed plans when the opposite was true; then failed either to apologise or print letters relating to the 'mistake'.
On 12 May 2008 at 10:26am Local wrote:
Print - I share your view of the Sussex Express. I always thought that an important job of a local paper was to keep an eye on the local authority in the interests of its readers. The Sussex Express certainly falls down on that and seems to be a channel for press releases from the council and developers. Still, where there's life there's hope and perhaps they'll wake up a bit after the march through Lewes against inappropriate development.
On 13 May 2008 at 12:05pm s.oliver wrote:
Just one thing.
The current Councillors certainly can be blamed. Planning Applications are not supposed to be political, and the PAC could have voted against this application for a number of reasons. They are responsible to the Electorate not the Council, yet don't seem ever to have read their Code of Conduct.
To make things worse a wonderful new mess is emerging as to the Listed Building status of some of the application that was not handled correctly.
It is interesting to note that Councillor Eiloart has gone mysteriously silent, following his initial enthusaism to communicate with his electorate about the Lewes House decision. Councillor Gardiner is Lead Member for planning, but has said nothing,. He only seems interested in chasing Windmills.

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