Lewes Forum thread

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On 8 Nov 2013 at 11:36am belladonna wrote:
Anyone have any thoughts on the Phoenix estate redevelopment plans? They are still accepting opinions on their second stage proposals.
Here's the Dem Soc report recommendations:
Recommendation 1: For the Third Stage Consultation, provide more detail on specific elements of the proposed scheme, such as housing, transport, traffic and connectivity, building styles and materials, creative and business workspaces, flood defences and environmental sustainability. This should be provided in accessible formats, such as one page handouts and / or videos, which can be also viewed on the website. This will enable generalists and those with specific knowledge to provide more informed comments and feedback.
Recommendation 2: The design should avoid uniformity and have a mix of styles. Where possible, buildings should be designed using traditional, local materials and there should be sufficient greenery, green spaces and play areas for children and young people, in particular.
Recommendation 3: The “shared space” concept is well supported and should be retained. However, this needs to be clearly signed and made safe for all users. There should either be separate pathways for cyclists and pedestrians, or they should be wide enough to accommodate both.
Recommendation 4: The design team should continue to work closely with residents in the immediate neighbourhood to achieve the right traffic flow solutions and to address on-going concerns.
Recommendation 5: The approach to the riverside pathway seems to be largely welcomed, with a mix of styles and viewing points that complements the east side path; is attractive to different users; and which addresses flood risk measures.
Recommendation 6: The existing target of 30-35% affordable housing should be the minimum and, if possible, this should be increased subject to viability. If possible, ways should be found to that ensure that homes provided on the development are accessible to younger and older local people.
Recommendation 7: Plans for a cinema and/or hotel need to be considered in conjunction with other proposed developments in the town. There may be a need for alternative entertainment/leisure uses, if these other developments are approved.
Recommendation 8: The development should find some way of accommodating artistic and other small, independent businesses that is sustainable and viable and which retains a creative community on the North Street Quarter.
Recommendation 9: The approach to “sustainability” should be re-stated more clearly and convincingly, with a particular emphasis on how the development embraces renewable energy.
There's lots of waffle and pr speak on the consultation documents and leading questions. There's some worrying jargon being used to obfuscate the reality of the proposals.
Personally I think they are doing a pretty standard development dressed up as something special with a few trees and a possible cinema thrown in to appease the locals.
Here's a link to the Santon site hxxp://www.northstreetqtr.co.uk/pages/the-plans

Check it out here »
On 8 Nov 2013 at 12:08pm Natural born cynic wrote:
Lots of "should"s, "if possible"s and "where possible"s in those recommendations. All much too vague, and all very subjective.
Unless the developers are explicitly told that they "must" or that they "will have to" do this or that they will simply pay 'lip service' to any such recommendations, and then carry on as they see fit.
Let's not forget that the developers/investors are in this solely to make as much money as they can, not to "improve" Lewes per se. They will do as little as they need to in order to gain the relevant approvals - they are not philanthropists, they are businessmen.
I doubt they are doing anything in this redevelopment for the benefit of the wider town community - unless they are forced to do so in order to gain the planning approvals, lets hope ESCC, LDC and Sussex Down National Park authorities listen to the concerns and needs of Lewes residents first and foremost!
On 8 Nov 2013 at 12:49pm SHS wrote:
The Phoenix is mostly fine as it is. Build a large-screen cinema, bring back the ship building and harness the strong tidal current for a local Lewes-only (not grid export thanks v much) energy supply and Bob's your uncle - lower living costs, local employment and sunshine every day.
On 8 Nov 2013 at 2:17pm xplorer1 wrote:
So build an obstruction in the river that would impede flow and compound the flooding problem? And presumably put it upstream of the shipyards which are in such demand these days?
On 8 Nov 2013 at 4:14pm bastian wrote:
there is the pen of a solicitor all over it a susual, as stated above it is vague, with lots of maybes.
On 8 Nov 2013 at 5:04pm SHS wrote:
Yes xplorer1, a huge demand for ships (hello Portsmouth!), especially supertankers (to transport the floodwaters?). Realistically, something specialised just might come along, now where's that straw gone.....
On 9 Nov 2013 at 12:52pm Andy wrote:
I totally agree with the comments by Natural Born Cynic about "Let's not forget that the developers/investors are in this solely to make as much money as they can, not to "improve" Lewes per se."
Also speak to anyone who lives in their Printworks development about the quality of the workmanship, roof etc etc.

On 9 Nov 2013 at 1:02pm Consult & Ignore wrote:
Doesn't really matter what anyone thinks as the LDC planning process is farcical. LDC and the developers could not give a stuff about the town, only about reaching their targets and securing monies from central government for new build.
On 9 Nov 2013 at 3:41pm bastian wrote:
This is exactly why we need the National park to put halt to the proceedings.
On 9 Nov 2013 at 11:20pm lewes resident wrote:
would be a good thing to develop the Phoenix, just a load of old rusty buildings that are unpleasant to look at. it surely will be good for the town
On 10 Nov 2013 at 9:13am Cuban Raftrider wrote:
Resurrect the foundry as a community co-op with a gallery & small workshop units.
It will provide jobs, a tourist attraction, a resource for commercial engineers & architects, an educational resource for students, act as incubator for sculptors & artists, a direct link with history & ensure tradition is maintained
Boom, like phoenix from the ashes
On 10 Nov 2013 at 4:43pm Market Street Resident wrote:
What is the plan regarding social housing? Will they be pepper potting or segregating?
On 10 Nov 2013 at 6:35pm prufrock wrote:
Fewer than 500 people attended the recent consultation. Only 140 bothered to complete a questionnaire. Developers have bought the land and it will be developed in 2014/5 in a way that makes them money and, if thoughtful constructive criticism is maintained, may well improve a part of Lewes that is currently blighted by a one-way gyratory system as well as provide much needed modern retail space and housing. Suggestions such as 'Community Co-op' and gallery (What else?) or harnessing tidal power (Have you any idea?) are laughable unless someone has £10m to spare (for the land only) and the inclination to waste it. The final consultation is in December or January and it may be useful if people actually attended and offered thoughtful criticism. Lewes surely deserves this.
On 10 Nov 2013 at 8:37pm Belladonna wrote:
About a third affordable housing (out of 400 units). What worries me most is the flood defence proposals - and their lack of commitment to providing affordable space for creative industries/ artists. I would also like to see affordable retail units that encourage new and innovative start ups, or just small business basics (food shops etc) not designer clothes and expensive crafts
On 10 Nov 2013 at 10:35pm lewes resident wrote:
some normal shops would be good, decent housing, an Arts centre not just for Artists and sculptors , a theatre would be really good.
On 11 Nov 2013 at 9:04pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
If the area is to be redeveloped and flood defences introduced it will take lots of money. If you don't want overdevelopment, the "extra" profit to pay for river walk, community facilities, social housing etc. will be limited. You won't get everything you want. Maybe concentrate on things like good design, that need not cost much more but could be a positive and lasting legacy.
I know it take a lot more effort to think about than "cinema", "cheap shops", "artist space", "affordable" (whatever that means) but it would be far easier to influence the design in areas that are viable than those that are not.
On 12 Nov 2013 at 7:49am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
What are the proposals for traffic management? Are they propososing any new roads, or improvements to the existing ones? If all the traffic from the new development comes up North Street and joins the one-way system, or goes along Abinger Place and onto Offham Road by the Elly, the congestion will be horrendous.
On 12 Nov 2013 at 12:10pm belladonna wrote:
400 units at a minimum of 100,000 pounds each will give an income of 40 million. The prices will be much more than that - I would expect to see probably a third of the homes in the 500,000-1 million price range so there is plenty of profit for Santon to make even with flood defences and community centres and a river path.
I would hope for some innovative design and decent building materials used, and most importantly - that LDC and SDNP make sure they keep to the planning restrictions.
I've heard that Santon are also being promised the site on the opposite side of the river.

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