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Mayhew Way Planning Application Meeting

On 29 Aug 2012 at 9:44pm Matt Kent wrote:
A residents meeting has been organised for the evening of Monday 3rd September at Malling Community Centre 6.15pm for 6.30pm start until 7.30pm to discuss the details of planning app. SDNP/12/01557/FUL. More details via the link below. Cheers - Matt

Check it out here »
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:08am Spences Lane John Silver wrote:
Not in my back yaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhd
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:22am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Interesting that they're asking for 25% affordable dwellings. I wonder if that means social housing or affordable for "local" key workers, eg social workers from Croydon, like the Baxters development?
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:44am Pete wrote:
4 storey dwellings, that should block the light to Spences Lane nicely !! The number of buildings proposed suggests "sardines" to me, and I can't help feeling that an AWFUL lot of detailed planning has gone into this, so is it a done deal ? not to mention the water table level and flood risks, AND, industrial pollution - how long will that take to neutralise !! Why don't they just leave it to meadow.....
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:46am Sussex Jim wrote:
It can mean that those who have paid perhaps a quarter of a million for a nice house find themselves living next to families who live for free and allow their offspring to run riot and abuse and vandalise the neighbourhood.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 10:05am Mr Forks wrote:
Sussex Jim you are a snob and a Daill Mail reader. And to be honest quarter of a million in Lewes doesn't buy you that much?!
On 30 Aug 2012 at 10:12am John Stockdale wrote:
Matt, RAID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development) was set up to resist the previous development planned for this site of 125 homes plus industrial units. Rita Ellis who chairs RAID is out at the moment, but I am sure she will want to be at your meeting if she's available. The 'call-in' is more or less automatic for a development of over 30 homes. The LDC Housing Officer is objecting to the development because there is no affordable housing allocated and he is specifying a minimum of 25%. The LDC Tree Officer is objecting that the development is too close to the trees in Blakes Walk. So I think a lot may change before the development is approved. I'll bring the plans for the development to the meeting.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 10:16am Dave wrote:
How does one get to the parking spaces for the commercial units?

Check it out here »
On 30 Aug 2012 at 10:31am onlyme wrote:
Assuming a lot of families will live there, any idea where their children will go to school? As most schools in Lewes are already at capacity does anyone know what the plan will be for this?
On 30 Aug 2012 at 10:38am Southover Queen wrote:
I'm glad that this development is in Lewes, I must say, since it means that the SDNP will have the final say (or at least huge input into the planning process). The behaviour of the Leader of LDC does not inspire confidence at all, but I'm encourage to hear that the Housing Officer is pushing for more affordable housing.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 11:39am Ed Can Do wrote:
I like how the noise levels survey was measuring the impact on the new houses of being near a road, not the impact on those of us who live just behind the proposed development of having early morning deliveries for three commercial units.

That does look like a pretty ugly identikit housing development from the plans and the apartments look tiny. The houses will sell like hot cakes on a cold day though. When we were buying our little two bedroom place near there the estate agent was telling us that Londoners want houses the size of the ones in Landport but want to live in Malling.

One wonders if the planners took into account the hilarious gridlock up there whenever British Gas dig up Malling Hill and how many potential buyers will be warned about Waterloo Bonfire's drop zone being over their houses. Also one of our cats spends days on end in all those brambles, she'll be very upset if it gets turned into houses...
On 30 Aug 2012 at 1:05pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Mr. Forks; I am not a snob; and certainly not a Daily Mail reader. I am an ordinary Sussex born and bred working man who has bought my own property and tries to live as an English gentleman with middle class values.
The scenario I described is actually happening on a development in another Sussex town.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 3:59pm Angry wrote:
You are not wrong Jim. You mean the type of person who thinks nothing of turning up in the middle of the night with a few mates to ride their motorcycles in a skateboard park and then do other unmentionable things in the local train station.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 4:55pm Matt Kent wrote:
@John. From the initial consultation to the current proposal there has been very little revision. The architects, from discussion, have been working 'closely with the SDNP' to develop the design. Many of the issues that I heard residents raise have not been reconsidered and the properties are likely to be 15 times the average salary. Hardly affordable. Oh, and then theres flooding. A spare set of drawings would be useful. Hopefully residents concerns can be relayed to Lewes Town Council Planning Committee again as well as writing to the SDNP planning team as part of the planning process. Cheers - Matt
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:37pm Fairmeadow wrote:
Lewes has more than enough empty offices, but too few affordable homes. The social benefit offered in return for the market housing, which will indeed sell like hot cakes, is currently business space, but there is a far higher need for affordable, which means social, housing. At present none is planned, yet some should be. Real people need affordable housing Sussex jim, and troublemakers can be found in all social groups. You may not read the Daily Wail, but it would be understandable if someone thought you did.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 8:44pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
The plans don't look too bad. I have seen better but it is an improvement over the 125 flat scheme. Maybe good to halve the amount of work space and have a mix of affordable housing - rented / shared equity etc. The developer will make a much better return on affordable housing than commercial.
I think the flooding is addressed by having no habitable rooms below flood level.
On 30 Aug 2012 at 9:05pm Harold wrote:
The area around Castle court ect had a problem with Radon gas I think back in the early 90`s
On 30 Aug 2012 at 11:50pm king cnut wrote:
I live near this proposal and yet overall I'm in favour. Not sure about additional commercial buildings. The one over the road has been empty for ages.
Just hurry up and flatten North street industrial estate please. Its a bloody eysore and a disgrace.
On 31 Aug 2012 at 8:57am Ducatipete wrote:
The area was an early land fill site and many houses in the area have been effected by methane gas and had to be sealed and the land vented. You get radon gas from granite. This will not be an easy site to develop which is why it has sat vacant for such a long time.
On 31 Aug 2012 at 11:47am Ed Can Do wrote:
Yeah, the whole area sits on a Victorian rubbish tip with the associated issues of gas escapes and the difficulty in putting down decent foundations. On the flip side, it's great for draining water away, something that'll be lost if they fill it up and concrete over it. One of the big problems a previous developer had (I think it was Stiles) was that failing to provide adequate drainage on the site would effectively consign the whole of the bottom of Malling to annual flooding when what normally sinks through the site sits on top of it instead. I believe in his plans he was going to include a massive storm drain but there were concerns that even that would be insufficient to cope with the amount of water potentially needing shifting, plus you'd have to dig up the whole of Malling rec to put it in.

I guess if this goes through I'll invest in some sand bags and move all my expensive stuff upstairs.
On 31 Aug 2012 at 12:20pm stevied wrote:
Victorian rubbish tip? Surely the whole area was landfill in the seventies - I remember playing there as a kid...
On 31 Aug 2012 at 5:23pm Really wrote:
I love the phrase 'affordable housing'.
Would any business build unaffordable housing?
On 31 Aug 2012 at 8:05pm Matt Kent wrote:
@EdCanDo From speaking with the architects recently they say foundations for the proposed will be piled, and a methane barrier will be installed for the properties. The properties will flood but have a sacrificial garage, but all the other properties around them will be under water. Cheers - Matt
On 1 Sep 2012 at 5:59pm John Stockdale wrote:
The site has morphed from 125 units plus industrial to 53 units plus offices. When I was shown the plans, I asked if we could have affordable housing in place of the offices and was told that while the developer would prefer it, LDC planners were insisting that the develeopment had to be mixed residential and employment. Now that the Housing Department are asking for 25% affordable, I guess that may no longer be the case. @Really is right to be sceptical of 'affordable' as this Government's definition is looser than the previous one's. Nevertheless, social housing will house locals and key workers like teachers whilst housing at 15 x average income with probably house incomers. But then if you go back far enough, we are all incomers.
On 1 Sep 2012 at 6:45pm Matt Kent wrote:
@John Stockdale. Are you in favour of the proposed development then (with or without 'affordable' homes)? Matt
On 1 Sep 2012 at 7:16pm Mr Forks wrote:
The main problem with the development is the town house pastiche architectural style, it might work in the centre of town but will look out of place on the edge of malling next to the large open space of the recreation ground. Interestingly it'll be the SDNPA deciding it, which means it'll be a planning committee of which 50% are unelected members from across the park area based in Midhurst! A long way for us locals to go for the committee meeting?!?!
On 1 Sep 2012 at 8:29pm Matt Kent wrote:
@Mr Forks. Couldn't agree more.
On 3 Sep 2012 at 9:41am John Stockdale wrote:
@Matt, the site is brownfield being the old town dump unlike greenfield Malling Brooks next door. It was zoned for industrial development under the current 2003 Local Plan, so some sort of development will be permitted there. The Planners approved a development for 125 flats (none social /affordable) and industrial units but it wasn't built and the permission expired. The planning authority is now the National Park (20 of the 27 SDNPA members are councillors nominated by the counties, districts and parishes it covers). 53 units plus offices is a step in the right direction. 53 units plus affordable housing would be even better. I don't much like the architecture and I am concerned about the trees in Blakes Walk and I'd like to think about the buffer zone. All development carries some sort of downside. But failure to develop means people go without homes and/or jobs. It's a matter of judgement and getting the balance right. I'll listen to what local residents say, but I think we can't be far off a reasonable solution for the site.
On 3 Sep 2012 at 3:18pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Just because it was zoned for industrial development 9 years ago, why should that mean it will be guaranteed to have something built on it? A lot can change in nine years, specifically in this case the inclusion of Lewes in a national park but also opinions change all the time and surely the make-up of the various councils has changed in that time too?

The SDNPA members might well be nominated by the areas they cover but then you have the numpties we have doing the nominating on our behalf. Would you trust a planning comittee member nominated by Councillor "behind closed doors" Page? What about one suggested by Councillor "pave over Malling Brooks" Gardiner or Councillor "Never been to Barcombe" Edmunds? Let's face it, for every decent and pro-active council member we have on the many-faceted tiers of local government Lewes is cursed with, there are a number of self-serving, borderline corrupt idiots and I'm sure they're as capable of giving out envelopes stuffed with cash as they are of receiving them. For ESCC public opinion is a dirty word and LDC reel from poorly thought out decision to poorly thought out decision with the town council being as far as I can tell more or less there to make up the numbers.

You say failure to develop means people go without homes and/or jobs but the people going without homes in this instance will be more people on London salaries moving into the town, pricing locals further out of the housing market and filling up the already over-subscribed schools, doctors and dentists with their families. Also unless their is a guarantee that the houses will be built by local firms then who round here is missing out on a job?

All development carries a downside and in this case the downside is a load of ugly houses, disruptive construction work for God knows how long, increased traffic on a road that suffers as a rat-run as it is and a huge area of land ideal for soaking up floodwater being paved over, potentially consigning every house in Spences Lane and the surrounding roads to flooding.

Sounds like just the sort of reasonable solution that gets our various elected bodies in the pages of Private Eye so often these days.

I don't mean to seem like I'm getting at you here John, you're actually one of people I'd consider a decent councillor but I'm surprised at your opinion on this. Your last post reads worryingly like politikspeak and the defeatist acceptance of a foregone conclusion.
On 3 Sep 2012 at 9:11pm Local wrote:
Can't imagine the SDNP was created to protect scruffy corners of land near industrial estates!
On 4 Sep 2012 at 10:17am John Stockdale wrote:
@Ed Can Do, I sympathise with a lot that you say. The problem is that the land at Southdowns Road was zoned for industrial development in the 2003 Local Plan. That can't be reversed without the Council paying the landowner for the difference between development value and agricultural value - and that very rarely happens. Is it being realistic or defeatist to start from that position? I think we have come a long way from the previous approved scheme of 125 very ugly units crammed together and built to the same height as Sackville House. There are still some things we can and must do to make it impact less on the neighbours.
On 4 Sep 2012 at 10:38am biggles wrote:
John, and those things are? Finish the subject man!!
On 4 Sep 2012 at 7:44pm Ed Can Do wrote:
So what practical steps can any of our council bodies actually take with regards this proposed development? Can you force the developers to not dig near the trees? Can you force them to put in proper drainage to save the rest of Malling from a watery grave? Can you make them do a traffic survey on a weekday at five o'clock rather than the inevitable one they did on a bank holiday? Can you force an assessment of the noise impact of the construction and commercial units on people living near the development not just in it? Can anyone on the council other than Page and Gardiner actually get involved in the planning process once in a while? Can you recommend to the SDNPA that they turn down the development on the grounds of it being out of character and potentially damaging to the area?

I'm sure you must appreciate how easy it is to become cynical as a Lewes resident and voter when we are constantly beset by impositions from on high be that the ridiculous parking scheme, the petty painting of yellow lines all over Malling so that in a few years everyone wants a parking scheme, the selling off of council land for a pittance to a hotelier in a completely undemocratic decision, the constant approvals of horrific buildings all over town and the fact it took the various councils several months to change a light bulb at the magic circle. I know that come election time all the candidates claim to have the best interests of the public at heart, it's just a shame that either they change their minds as soon as the polls close or they're just basically massive idiots who have really strange ideas about what the people who live here want.
On 6 Sep 2012 at 8:24am Mr Forks wrote:
Well the Government have today shown that they don't care about afordable housing as they have temporarily suspended the need for new development to provide affordable housing! Also they have proved that they want development approved at any costs. Time to write to lobby Norman Baker?
On 6 Sep 2012 at 7:33pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I may have got this wrong as I didn't quite catch it all on R4 this morning and the local shop has run out of Guardians , but they seemed to be saying that the suspension only applies to developments already granted permission. They seem to think that will be enough incentive to get builders to start building and thus stimulate the economy.
I'd have thought the lack of mortgage borrowing and dearth of buyers was such a big disincentive that the impact of this will be minimal if they stick to it being only a temporary measure. After all, are 50 unsold houses really that much better than 40?
I reckon that this "temporary" measure will be extended until it becomes permanent.
On 6 Sep 2012 at 9:09pm Mr Forks wrote:
No, it's for new developments as well
On 7 Sep 2012 at 4:34pm Ed Can Do wrote:
ACT, there's a lot of info on the BBC news website about it. Essentially, new developments are excused from including social or affordable housing if it's "Not commercially viable". There's also going to be greater checks on planning comittees and those that perform badly can be ignored apparently, although in this context I fear that's the ones who refuse too much stuff, rather than the reverse sadly.

Does seem a bit silly though. At a time when nobody has any money in general and the housing market is collapsing putting many people in a situation of negative equity, you'd think that there being nobody to buy houses would be more of an issue nationally than restrictive planning departments. Essentially it's a way for Dave's rich builder mates to build massive eyesores for his rich city mates in pretty parts of the countryside without the inconvenience of locals objecting to it. We're all in this together etc etc.

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