On 8 Mar 2013 at 9:36pm Matt Kent wrote:
If you would like to comment on the revised design for 53 dwellings and commercial units on the corner of Mayhew Way and South Downs Road (Malling) you have until Wednesday 13th March. Revised drawings and comments/objections can be made via the link. Matt
Check it out here »
On 8 Mar 2013 at 11:01pm Bongo wrote:
Needs more commercial use buildings on the site. When they knock down the units on the Phoenix estate (90% in use), those businesses will need somewhere to go. It makes sense to extend the existing industrial units in Brooks Road right back to back to the houses/flats. A combination of large & medium units would be ideal.
On 8 Mar 2013 at 11:40pm Local wrote:
I'm all in favour. Aren't Santon already creating more commercial space at the far end of the existing Brooks estate? I'm not sure the people living in the houses and flats that you mention would welcome the metal bashers currently next to the river moving to the end of their small gardens!
On 9 Mar 2013 at 12:50am Fairmeadow wrote:
Personally I think Lewes needs affordable housing (conspicuously absent from this development proposal) far more than it needs more employment space.
And why are these posts all dated 3 August???
On 9 Mar 2013 at 8:12am Sussex Jim wrote:
Yes, but these people also need jobs, Fairmeadow. Or are you assuming that tenants (or buyers) of affordable housing do not work? I think it would be ideal to have some small industrial units providing semi-skilled work within easy walking distance of people of working age.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 8:38am Sparky wrote:
There is affordable housing on the proposed development
On 9 Mar 2013 at 8:39am Matt Kent wrote:
@SJ Try not to forget the 20 or 30 somethings from Lewes that are still living with their parents that DO have jobs and can't get anywhere close to the start of the property ladder. The houses that could be built are llikely to be sold at 10 times the average UK salary (Source: Chris Oakley). More work units are being built on Malling Brooks as pointed out above. Besides, the 'North Street Quarter' in my opinion, should be a vibrant mix of residential, indy retail, entertainment and an area for a local enterprise zone (green technology companies say).
On 9 Mar 2013 at 9:03am Matt Kent wrote:
@Sparky. There is no affordable housing proposed. If you read the revised Design & Access Statement it states 'This is not however considered possible. Firstly, this will require a new application and would not be able to be determined as part of the current application. Secondly, the policy constraints of the site, allocated for an employment use, prohibit affordable housing due to the open-market housing acting as enabling development for the commercial provision on site. Any provision of affordable housing would dilute the ability to provide commercial development.'
On 9 Mar 2013 at 11:12am moonunit. wrote:
If anyone would like to know more about live/work units, take a look at those provided at Baxters in St Nicholas Lane. I am not convinced that there is much more work/living going on, that could not be done in any property that has a room in it big enough for a desk.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 11:42am bastian wrote:
it does tend to be box ticking practice.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 2:11pm grafter wrote:
Matt, persuade me why 20-30 yr olds should be subsidised? Why not build luxury homes? The owners are more likely to spend more on local produce and thereby employ Lewes based workers.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 4:48pm bastian wrote:
because there won't be any Lewes based workers, they will have been driven out by the poverty imposed apon them by the wealthy.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 4:59pm Matt Kent wrote:
@Grafter. Housing prices in general and especially in Lewes have sadly totally inflated exponentially for most house buyers to be honest. But for those people, typically in their 20s and 30s who can't afford a mortagage, let alone get one on even the most average salary (that are slowly decreasing in real terms), have to move out of Lewes communities that they were brought up in to other and further parts of Sussex to find their first home. But the housing market are building houses cheaply and are typically selling them for 10-15 times peoples average salary - is that fair? Lewes is very desirable, why can't or aren't younger local residents not given the chance to get on the property ladder too? There are plenty of luxury homes in Lewes, why not build more affordable quality energy efficient housing stock instead?
On 9 Mar 2013 at 6:29pm Local wrote:
If people wanted to, they would do that MK. But hasn't the current Lewes situation always been the way around the country; areas become popular, then expensive, then exclusive? I find it surprising that time and effort is expended on here trying to buck the trend of the housing market in most of the western world. Just seems naive and idealistic. Sorry. (I would rather have a much smaller mortgage too, but it's not going to happen...)
On 9 Mar 2013 at 7:24pm Matt Kent wrote:
@Local Cheaper housing can be acheived via a Community Land Trust whereby land owners sell land (an exception site) at a vastly reduced rate to an approved Land Trust. This was discussed at the last Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan Seminar in January 2013. Check out the slides on affordable housing.
Check it out here »
On 9 Mar 2013 at 9:46pm Fairmeadow wrote:
MK is right. Lewes could do this, using the site on Old Malling Way as an Exception Site.
The original idea was to build 200 houses there, on a site very prominent in the landscape, so (not surprisingly) the National Park didn't like it.
However, a smaller development, for local people only, would still be pretty profitable for the landowner (much more profitable than retaining it all for farming anyway) and could be located within the site so as to avoid the big landscape impact. It costs maybe £120K to build a new, decent-spec 2/3-bed house, so you could sell the houses for, say, Â£170K and there would still be a fair profit for the landowner. Quite a few young local families, currently priced out, could afford that.
And even National Parks are supposed to meet the needs of local people.
On 9 Mar 2013 at 10:34pm Powerless wrote:
You all missing he point Lewes can do nothing now, Lewes gave away its democratic power to do anything with planning when it agreed to be in the national park. The national park is the planning authority and calls in what ever it likes and we have no democratic maechanism to sanction it whatsoever! Further the national park is not a housing authority and has no manifest complications or accountability even if it completely screws up our world of housing affordable or otherwise. Why don't you all get a useful petition going to compell LDC to do what it can to get Lewes out of the park and take back it democratic power to serve Lewes's housing need. At the moment we're all just impotent nothings!
On 9 Mar 2013 at 11:59pm local wrote:
Not sure I grasped all that jargon, but it looks like a landowner is expected to sell their plot at a vastly lower price? Again, this seems a naive premise...
On 10 Mar 2013 at 10:37pm John Stockdale wrote:
The South Downs Road site is for 'mixed use' - housing and employment. The developer is excused from providing affordable housing on viability grounds - because the ground preparation costs are so great because the site was once used for landfill. The viability claim was tested and agreed by the District Valuer. @Matt, I think you'll find exception sites only apply in villages and not in towns. I was on the Scrutiny Panel that looked at ways of increasing rural affordable housing and this was a productive option. I'm on the follow up Panel looking at urban housing and we are not considering it. @local: you're right the per plot cost for an exception site is about 10% of the 'normal cost' and landowners will often prefer to hold onto a site in the hoppe that it will be included in the next Local Plan. @Fairmeadow, The National Park won't allow development of the green field site at Old Malling Farm. It was pencilled in by LDC for development in the late 20s, so it wouldn't have made an immediate contribution. @Powerless, you are right. SDNP is a planning authority not a housing authority. They have made the developer of this site put forward a much more appropriate plan than the one LDC approved before the credit crunch. 20 of the 27 members of the SDNP Authority are elected councillors. They have delegated back to LDC decisions on 95% of the applications in Lewes and they have an obligation to plan for housing for residents of the town - but (unlike LDC for their area) no obligation to provide for housing for incomers.
On 10 Mar 2013 at 11:03pm Powerless wrote:
Are any of them councilors from Lewes district or indeed Lewes town area?
On 11 Mar 2013 at 12:34am John Stockdale wrote:
@Powerless, LDC's representative on the SDNPA is Cllr Tom Jones, a Tory from Ditchling who is the LDC Lead Mamber for Planning. He's on the SDNP Planning Committee.
On 11 Mar 2013 at 11:03am Ed Can Do wrote:
The concept of giving power back to LDC to make things more democratic, given Jimmy Page's penchant for doing everything on his own behind closed doors is at best laughable. I'd suggest that the fewer people from LDC involved in making decisions about planning in Lewes the better for eveyone really. That LDC's representative on the SDNPA is a Tory means that basically it's once again Jimmy Page that gets the final say on this so we can all look forward to this new development beign waved through at the earliest opportunity I imagine.
I don't really care about the affordability or otherwise of any proposed development, I have no intention of buying one of the houses, but I have lodged an objection on the grounds of the proposed development being completely at odds with local architecture, the huge increase in traffic on an already overly busy road, the disruption and noise inherent with a development on this scale and the concern over where run-off rain water is going to go once they concrete over all that very porous landfill site.
It seems ridiculous to me that a developer should be excused from building certain types of stuff because of the cost implications. Surely they should have considered that when they bought the land in the first place?
On 11 Mar 2013 at 2:57pm brixtonbelle wrote:
I'm very in favour of affordable housing and it would be great if young people local to the town could get a foot on the ladder this way. But the great council housing sell off and the emphasis on property owning in this country has created an impossible market which is very hard for first time buyers on average incomes to get on the ladder anywhere in the south east/ west, London. It's not just a Lewes problem.
There is no point complaining about incomers pushing up property prices - WHO sold them the properties in the first place ? LOCALS. And who can blame them ? Who amongst us is selfless enough to sell our home (or land for development) for below market price to give a young couple a foot on the ladder? The problem needs legislation, maybe rent controls or local price agreements, I don't know how it could be worked out, but cleverer brains than mine could surely come up with an equitable scheme.
What happens (and has happened in lewes) is that people start to buy the less desirable properties. It wouldn;t surprise me if in 20 years time, Newhaven became very desirable - it has some good housing stock, and more importantly, is now being colonised by artists / creatives. This has happened in many other towns/ cities and once derelict areas become trendy and desirable (see London's Chelsea, Notting Hill, East End, Islington etc) once artists move in.......
On 11 Mar 2013 at 5:35pm Matt Kent wrote:
@John. From recollection from being at the, and speaking at the last planning committee meeting for the proposal, Cllr Tom Jones tried to find any possible opportunity to encourage other SDNPA committee members to approve the application. He had no intention of raising the concerns of local residents, local groups and local authorities in and around Lewes. His views certainly weren't representative of current opinion in Lewes. Besides he's from Ditchling, what does he care? I'm sure he'd be less vocal if it was for a development in Ditchling.
On 11 Mar 2013 at 5:41pm Powerless wrote:
I agree, why not get the democracy back and get all Lewes elected coucilors deciding instead of 20 ransoms from all over the place.
On 11 Mar 2013 at 5:41pm Matt Kent wrote:
@John. Out of interest, what are Lewes Community Land Trust doing at the moment to promote 'affordable housing' in Lewes? Just curious.
On 11 Mar 2013 at 8:29pm Farmeadow wrote:
A Lewes Neighbourhood Plan would trump the SDNP (or Lewes DC), and could allocate land for housing the SDNP disagreed with, should it so choose. Such an allocation would depend on local residents agreeing in a referendum. Key principle of the Localism Act - local people know best. Remains to be seen how it works out in practice when pitted against "George Osborne knows best", but the only potential answer to @Powerless's issues.
On 12 Mar 2013 at 11:23am Ed Can Do wrote:
At the risk of sounding cynical, has anyone checked whether the company planning on doing this development has any links with any of our councillors? If Tom Jones is as keen on the development as Matt suggests, it sounds like a missive from on high went out already and Jimmy is firmly in the "Pro" camp. Given he has construction industry links already (As do a few other local councillors), a couple of director searches and a bit of dots joining might be prudent...
Again, the whole thing could be completely above board but there must be a reason why the Tory element of LDC is so determined to build innapropriate housing in Lewes and they've entirely backwards in comign forward about it. All it would take would be a press release stating exactly why they feel that Lewes needs huge houses built all over it and people like me might stop assuming it's because the councillors themselves have something to gain from it but as I've said before, the PR department at LDC seem to have a lot in common with cocoa-based, hot beverage dispensers.
On 12 Mar 2013 at 1:17pm Major Malling wrote:
Lewes will expand, Malling is the only area in Lewes that has land that can sustain that expansion. People had better start getting used to the idea.
On 13 Mar 2013 at 9:19pm Matt Kent wrote:
UPDATE - This application has now been postponed until the 11th April Committee meeting to allow sufficient time for statutory consultees to comment appropriately. Comments can still be made until 2nd April. Cheers - Matt
On 13 Mar 2013 at 9:46pm boggles wrote:
You've put a lot of work in to this, Matt, for which we are grateful. It would have been better though to acknowledge it was the Town Council's complaint about abuse of process, because they had not had the plans, which pushed the postponement.
On 14 Mar 2013 at 7:22am Matt Kent wrote:
Indeed Boggles. It was the Town Council that highlighted the issue of Due Process and the decision date was deferred as a consequence. More comments from the public and local groups have until 2nd April to comment on the revised scheme.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 5:02pm Major Malling wrote:
The comment by Boggles slightly worries me.
On 15 Mar 2013 at 6:07pm Minor Malling wrote:
Why, because he's one of them?