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Phoenix artists housed by developer of Harveys Dep

On 3 Apr 2014 at 11:57am Chelsea Renton wrote:
Heartfelt thanks to the developers of the Harvey's depot by the station for offering IMMEDIATE temporary space to the artists who lost their work and studios in the Phoenix Theatre fire. It is telling that Santon, who 'support the creative industries' and whose building it was that they were in and paid rent for, have offered nothing. The development plans for the depot are on show this Saturday afternoon 5th April, at the depot. In my view they are inspirational and other developers would do well to have a look.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 1:27pm tom wrote:
Yes i saw the plans last Saturday at the Depot. The Architect has done an amazing job. Really hope it happens.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 3:16pm Harald wrote:
Who's behind the Harvey's Depot development? Seems like a thoroughly nice businessperson... I hope it works out for them.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 4:59pm Clifford wrote:
Harald, public relations gestures aren't necessarily the sign of a 'thoroughly nice businessperson'. Nor does making a gesture of that kind necessarily mean a development plan is good. Charles Style used to do the same sort of thing.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 5:13pm sceptical wrote:
PR exercise!!
On 3 Apr 2014 at 7:20pm Brian Sewrer wrote:
OH THANK GOD, the artist's have found another affordable space and now Lewes won't turn into Haywards Heath,PHEWW.
If the community are really lucky maybe just maybe one of them will LEND us another piece of art like the stone thing that is ruining I mean enhancing the Grange at the moment. Wouldn't that be a marvellous thing for the community.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 10:25pm Ben wrote:
Hey Brian, why don't you go f**k yourself.
On 3 Apr 2014 at 11:04pm Deelite 2 wrote:
You should see the plans Clifford. This Saturday the 5th at The Depot, Pinwell Road.
On 4 Apr 2014 at 1:24pm Clifford wrote:
Well said Brian Sewrer. Lewes seems to be turning into one of those places where 'artist' is automatically assumed to mean 'talented'.
On 4 Apr 2014 at 1:39pm The Kronic wrote:
Very well said Brian, absolutely spot on.
On 4 Apr 2014 at 3:07pm Harald wrote:
Clifford, I wasn't just talking about this particular 'public relations gesture', but also the fact that the developer seems to have been willing to take on board all the residents' concerns when coming up with a new design for the space, something which is undoubtedly going to cost them more than they actually need to spend to get the project underway.
I was just commenting on the fact that you can still be successful in business whilst maintaining an element of (seeming) awareness of responsibility to the community.
You rarely hear of developers bending over backwards to appease the local residents, rather they just try to force the cheapest option through where possible.
On 4 Apr 2014 at 4:15pm bastian wrote:
harald, you do know that the only reason the monsterous, ill fitting houses in St Johns were built because the council made the developer include a gallery as part of the permission for consent, then the gallery sat empty for years. LDC only aske for a gallery so it could close Thebes which it had to fund itself.
Whethe you think art has a place in the world or not, provision of public spaces or community use are invaluable, and if you want to know why they are important you need to know your social history.
It used to be illegal for groups of people to meet and communicate incase they were plotting to over throw the crown, so the inclusion of public space and community centres is from a hard won fight, a lesson form the history books.
Unions were set up in pubs, any pub with the name arms in the title; Lewes arms, Gardeners arms etc, are pubs where people met in sectret to set up a council to negotiate with the ir employers, social history.
So, providing a community arts hub is part of democracey, something the very well off don't need, but we little people do-or we will be back to square one, middle ages, waiting for the plague to happen (which by the way is where all our bargainingpower as plebs came from in the first place).
On 4 Apr 2014 at 5:00pm belladonna wrote:
Clifford, the person developing the Depot lives in Lewes, has a very strong commitment to community and loves film. He's also got the money to do this and is not doing it to make a profit, but to give something back - so he is a 'philanthropist' really, and not your average developer. The plans have indeed taken on board the concerns raised by the local community and are, I think, excellent. There's nothing to frighten the locals, it's an innovative use of the space, and will be something of great benefit to Lewes and its community. It's great that he has given use of the building to the artists and others displaced by the Phoenix fire> Seriously - how can you criticise that ? Whatever you think of the arts, it's been done with NO fanfare or publicity, (apart from Chelsea's notice above) so is definitely not a PR stunt, just a gesture of great kindness from someone who wants to support others. By the way, I'm not a personal friend or have any connection with the Depot, just going on feedback from others who do know the owner.

Personally I think the Santon site is a huge missed opportunity. Let's face it, the future of Lewes, now that all its heavy industry has been lost, is as a dormitory town and tourist attraction. The loss of the warehouses on the site, is a loss for many businesses in the town, not just the creative industries, BUT as we all know, creative industries are drivers of regeneration and innovation. Lewes will not go forward with just the provision of retail and housing, it will become more of a rich enclave. Santon is definitely not interested in the community, it's all lipservice and spin, and they want to maximise the profits they get.

Does anyone know what the deal is with the local council as regards ownership of the site - didn't the district council used to own part of it ?
On 4 Apr 2014 at 8:05pm Chelsea Renton wrote:
I would add that I am an artist. I might as well be a plumber. It is how I earn my living and feed my family. And some maker somewhere once designed the chair you sit on, the pattern of the fabric you are wearing and the picture on your wall. I am one of those who lost a studio in the Phoenix fire for which I paid a commercial rent. We need workspace, as do community, educational and charitable enterprises, businesses, industry, services etc. All the things that complete a town. Furthermore, the developers of the Harvey's depot have no idea I thanked them here in public, they were just being incredibly kind.
On 4 Apr 2014 at 9:32pm bastian wrote:
Bella, you will find that the Pells side is owned by the local council, and is also up for development.
As for industry, No, it hasn't left Lewes, Teknica are still operating in the middle of the so called artists site, they haven't been allocated a building in town by Santon, because they are not light industry. Other units are also used by industry -Webham Smith, Goldsmiths roofing, RDH and Compass coaches, A furniture maker which is over 70 years old, it's all still there, but all most people see is the artists area. Everyone on the estate gets on, they all work together. Why can't that be the way forward.
On 6 Apr 2014 at 4:02pm good news wrote:
Im glad they have been rehoused. Newhaven is an area of cheap rents and in need of regeneration. Perhaps more artists could look into relocating there. Or perhaps they are too busy cashing in on lewes and its thriving tourist industry which has been created by the fantastic cafe businesses that have bought the tourists in. The artists in north street have only bought misery by keeping us awake with their loud music and illegal fires by the river.
On 7 Apr 2014 at 3:05pm Harald wrote:
Bastian, I'm afraid I have literally no idea what your response to my post has to do with what I wrote...
On 7 Apr 2014 at 4:16pm bastian wrote:
I was trying to point out that, over the years and due to british history, developers now have to ask for public consent and provide a public space. This is something that never used to happen, but in our egalitarian society has to be adhered to by the rich developers, rather than just steam roll over the people(whihc is how it used to be). You rather made it sound as though the developers were being kind about considering a space for the people to use, no mate, it's the law now, thanks to long faught battles by the common man.
get it.
They aren't bonevelent, they are acting as they ought to. If you need a lesson in social history, you must be quite young as it's been off the corriculum for some years now (replaced by the Titanic and jack the ripper, that's not a joke, they actually are on the history corriculum).
On 8 Apr 2014 at 2:58pm Harald wrote:
Errmmm... it's cUrriculum... how's your education panning out for you?!
Anyway, I really don't think there's any need for the tone of your post. It's a bit self-righteous and rather patronising.
I think you genuinely missed my original point, which is no reason to get all holier-than-thou, but perhaps a reason to read things more carefully.
My point was NOT to do with providing public space (which was always the intention of that development wasn't it?) but rather that, following public consultation, this particular developer actually decided to make changes to the original plans which may not have been necessary to get the plans approved by the planning authorities but which the developer decided he would like to make because the community felt it was important (i.e. incurring himself extra costs because it would benefit the community, not because the planners demanded it).
I hope that clears it up, and I'm sorry you misunderstood my original post.
On 8 Apr 2014 at 3:33pm bastian wrote:
Harold, what makes you think they have to actually do any of the things the public have asked for. Consultaion was the LDC demand on the developer, they do seem to have taken it on board but there is no obligation for them to actually include any of it. We'll see.

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