Lewes Forum thread

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Ouse river front

On 18 Nov 2011 at 2:40pm DoWhat??? wrote:
Mmm. If I was running a business by the river front in Lewes that doesnt have ANY flood defence, I might as well wash my money down the drain - literally.
Not sure what the issue on business / flood insurance is, but without a flood defence, businesses are simply risking an almighty disaster.
Whats the matter with updating an industrial estate, creating a high quality mixed use development (that incorporates light industrial units), increasing access to and revitalising the waterways (naturalising river banks) and PAYing for a flood defence that will protect livelihoods. Taking note that NO ONE else is willing to fund a flood defence, including LDC, EA or the government? It appears to me that there are a lot of overflated egos, with well meaning ideals, who havent thought this through properly, and ARE NOT the ones risking everything.
Simply put - if you DONT RESOLVE the flood issue, local businesses are risking everything - with NO back up plan. Short of finding a magic pot of Gold, NO ONE has come forward to fund a flood defence to protect that area. This situation is unlikely to change - given the current economic crisis the country finds itself in.
It is simply only a matter of time before it floods again. Who do the businesses then hold accountable for the simple lack of action? Who will fund the restoration, restoring livelihoods.
Rather than waiting for one large multinational company to develop the site that is NO benefit to the community - which is definitely what will happen if thing keep evovling as they are. I suspect a smaller developer - more receptive to change - that creates a mixed use development that celebrates the river front and provides flood defence; is a positve alternative. Short of flattening the site and creating flood plain / allotments, which overall, would have much lower economical value to the community and would not provide the much needed flood defence. Just a thought..
On 18 Nov 2011 at 3:14pm Observer wrote:
Why do we need flood defences? The idiot who caused the flood last time is loooong gone now. It won't flood again.
On 18 Nov 2011 at 3:34pm river boy wrote:
That's just rubbish. The flood was caused by lots of rainfall coinciding with very high tides. If you are talking about a councillor opening the weir then you are mistaken. When the river floods opening the weirs makes no difference at all as the river has already gone over and around them.

The river has been canalised. This has made it mostly deeper and straighter, perfect for channelling lots of water very quickly to the first major pinch point, Lewes.
The river should be allowed to return to it's natural meandering state (much of it above Lewes used to be like the river at Cuckmere) and allowed to flood naturally out into the surrounding fields. This would lead to more regular flooding on farmland but none at Lewes. It would also help revitalise the natural life and biodiversity of the river and improve the pasture.
On 18 Nov 2011 at 4:34pm someone else wrote:
I don't understand why people get so het up about over-solving problems.

1 The Phoenix industrial estate is fine as it is. It's great that Lewes has availability of low-grade industrial space of some sort. It's not like there's a lack of lessees down there. For the area to be rebuilt, rents would have to go up.
2 Given the frequency of major flooding and the type of use / activity, it's not like the flood risk is actually catastrophic. There are no nuclear power plants down there.
3 If the river was dredged occasionally and the drains properly maintained and jetted, the flood risk could be massively reduced.
4 A river walk would be nice to have, but that's about it.

There's no need to rub Lewes and the Ouse out and start again.
On 18 Nov 2011 at 4:45pm brixtonbelle wrote:
Agree - we need some low rent business/ spaces in Lewes, otherwise it will just get full of the usual high st shops. I notice crew clothing is going to open here, Lewes will become anytown, anywhere if the small individual local businesses can't pay the rents. I look forward to hearing that the empty high street shops are doing short term low rent periods for small traders to set up temporary/ pop up shops rather than leaving premises empty.

Would be nice to have a riverside walk, and maybe a couple of cafe/pub looking onto the river (the JHT would be perfect if it was able to have a proper pub garden/patio fronting the Ouse).

One place that has closed recently and I really miss is 'Seasons'. Would love a good value veggie unprtentious cafe in town.
On 18 Nov 2011 at 7:30pm bastian wrote:
flood defenses do nothing for areas around them, just push the water onto somewhere else up or down stream..or in the case of the centre of town back onto spences lane.
On 19 Nov 2011 at 12:38am AHMED IMADINNERJACKET wrote:
Having worked on the Phoenix site for 14 years, and during the flood I think its high time it was redeveloped, at the moment there are not a lot of businesses left, most either moved or went under after the flood, and its now a rat infested eyesore. How many of these people who object to the development actually have to look out of their windows over it, not many!!!!
On 19 Nov 2011 at 12:42am AHMED IMADINNERJACKET wrote:
Sorry forgot to add that the water should it ever flood again would not go over Spences Lane as they have had flood defence works done since then..it would go over South Street area, to a worse degree than last time. What the hell as long its not in your backyard, sod everyone else eh!!!!
On 19 Nov 2011 at 1:34am Fairmeadow wrote:
The Phoenix area has been a real mess for years, even before the 2000 flood. Most of it is empty, just a wasted opportunity to give Lewes a decent riverfront, and also somewhere for people to live. Rents in Lewes are sky high, so loads of local people are priced out. A bit of competition is badly needed.
More people want to live in Lewes than can at the moment. Those who can't get a place here just go and live somewhere else with far worse transport links, so end up driving round creating unnecessary CO2. Lewes is the only place around here that has decent public transport.
On 19 Nov 2011 at 2:14am AHMED IMADINNERJACKET wrote:
On 19 Nov 2011 at 2:22am Fairmeadow wrote:
Fair point.
On 19 Nov 2011 at 11:22am No Pot Pourri wrote:
I don't think Landport, Malling and Nevill are Yuppyville rich banker territory. Why not get the 125 places built on Southdowns Road? They already have flood protection and the land is unused.
On 19 Nov 2011 at 4:22pm Fairmeadow wrote:
Yes, that is another good site.
Trouble is people called "property developers" who spend ages getting planning permission, but have no intention of actually building anything - just selling on the site at a higher price than they paid.
If you go through enough of them, each taking a rake off, the site gets so expensive that no actual builder will touch it. Then the last developer goes bust (because holding land for too long with no income is expensive), and it all goes into administration, which a different lot of sharks hold up for as long as possible so as to maximise their rake off. Eventually the whole process starts again. Southdowns Road is currently lost in this time warp. It will emerge - but will it just start the whole developer cycle again?
This is one of the reasons there are zillions of sites with planning permission up and down the country, but hardly any houses are getting built at the moment. Bankers aren't the only parasites ripping the country off for their own selfish and anti-social ends. I believe it is called the free market?
On 19 Nov 2011 at 4:24pm bastian wrote:
the pheonix site is not empty, there are artists studios in there and a theatre...they are there to stop the rats and arson attacks, i would rather have that than yuppy flats.
On 19 Nov 2011 at 4:25pm bastian wrote:
I ahve friends in South st who will not be too happy about flood defenses pushing water onto them as they had it bad last time..what about Thomas st?
On 24 Nov 2011 at 12:59am AYATOLLAH HOGMANNY wrote:
Thomas Street has no flood defences, just Malling Esatate. A lot of the flood defences were reliant on developers getting permission for their developments, now they have been turned down, so the flood defence works do not get done. Good luck to the Phoenix site next time it floods, hope your art gallery has good insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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