Lewes Forum thread

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Phoenix developement

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On 22 Apr 2014 at 12:06am convenient wrote:
Does anyone have any idea when they will start redeveloping the phoenix site , I had to drive down there the other day and quite frankly the place is a mess . there are so many buildings that look abandoned and are not only an eye sore but also , as the recent fire there confirmed , not fit for people to live and work in . I realise that some people are against the new development but ultimately it will have hundreds of new homes which will mean those new residents will help bolster the local economy .
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 4:01am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Those new residents will also place a large burden on services and infrastructure. The traffic implications alone are huge, with all those extra cars and delivery vans entering and leaving the site onto an already congested one-way system, and trying to park.
Where are the extra school places and doctors coming from?
The population of Lewes increased by almost 20% in the 10 years between the last two censuses, the size of this development will lead to a huge increase in one go. Unless there are going to be more of the things we all use, the town will be groaning under the strain.
If the development was going to include a significant amount of social housing for people who have no other way of getting a secure home, I'd say the benefits outweighed the disadvantages, but it doesn't. The biggest beneficiary will be Santon.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 5:06am lewes born and bred wrote:
Maybe the town needs a major overhaul and rethink ACT ? Maybe we need to bring a spur off the bypass for the southern end of the town, make the entire high street no traffic between 9 and 5 and re-route some of the existing one way traffic.
Bear in mind that as the population grows, so does (usually) the amenities such as schools, doctors etc.
Do you not think that people were saying the same 50, 60, 70 years ago, and yet we coped. People have got to stop having this "im alright jack, ive got my house in Lewes" attitude and start allowing for more social housing....we have nowhere for our youngsters to live and even the surrounding towns and villages are being filled up with the Lewes overflow.
I really pity any young people in this area because unless they want to move away completely, they've had it.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 7:28am M wrote:
There are a lot legitimate businesses down there such as timber merchants, building suppliers, car shops etc all of which "help bolster the local economy". There is also the more "artistic" group who all live and work in Lewes, use it's shops and pubs and sell and provide to the local community.
You must realise that any housing built there will not be affordable for young local people but will be snapped up by commuters or by the "buy-to-leave" group as an investment. This will more likely be a drain on the local community as it will drive up house prices, remove many local businesses and help turn Lewes into just another commuter town with no local economy apart from estate agents.
If you really want the area to be improved then for a fraction of the cost of a soulless housing development all the businesses there could be given a small grant instead to trying to bulldoze them.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 8:00am convenient wrote:
M Does your plan to give businesses a grant also include all other businesses in town or just those already getting away with paying cheap rent in buildings unsuitable and unsafe for purpose , or is just that artists are somehow a tiny bit more "special " and need extra support .
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 8:17am M wrote:
It's not my plan, just a suggestion to help regenerate an area that you think is a mess and is used by a large number of people in Lewes. If you just hate the artists there then how do you feel about only giving this hypothetical grant to the building merchants or car parts shop instead? I'm sure any business in a run down area would appreciate a bit of help and as you're someone who is so concerned about the local economy and its effects on life in Lewes I'm surprised you'd be against it.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 12:51pm Me wrote:
Call me stupid, but does anybody else think that "conveniant" stinks of Santon?
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 1:38pm lewes resident wrote:
Looking forward to the new development. The businesses in that area have done really well from the cheap rents so cant really complain. They have been aware of the plans for a long time. If lewes is to attract more tourists and do its part towards the housing shortage then the plans are great news. At the moment the site is not living up to its potential and after going through the consultation process with santon I am a firm believer that it will greatly benefit the local economy!
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 3:15pm Stan Ton-Sceptic wrote:
Well said Lewes Born & Bred.... access to Doctors surgeries and schools are already an issue in Lewes.
Rush hour traffic into and out of Lewes is a nightmare whether it is via Prison crossroads, Offham road, A26 tunnel, or A26 Malling hill. Unless the residents of the new development can walk to work they will all be trying to use the current narrow one way system every day.
With so few residences in the proposed scheme I doubt planning rules will require Stanton to build a new health centre or school, so presumably town centre healthcare provision, and nearby primary schools, will be even more "over subscribed" than they are already.
As for affordable housing for the lower paid locals who wish to stay in and around Lewes, ha ha that's a joke (how can that possibly be enforced unless the properties are all rented out via a locally-based housing association to those who can prove they are genuine locals or are "essential workers"?) the properties will quickly be sold on to, or be rented-out to, those who can out-bid everyone else, i.e. the typical London-commuter who has already spoilt the town's character by fuelling the unhealthy number of over-priced "artisan" shops and trendy coffee over-priced bars we see in the town centre.
It might be nice to think the area would become a sort of riverside utopia occupied by a bohemian mix of local artists and craftsmen who live above their own studios and craft workshops, but it isn't likely to happen, it will quickly become a weekday ghost-town whose residents work in London, Brighton or Eastbourne, and who will robably contribute little to the local economy.
The only guarenteed beneficiaries of the planned redevelpment will be Stanton. Sad but true - like most developers they are only interested in the short-term gain, they have no long term commitment to Lewes as a town.
As for the suggestion of another A27 entrance into town - yes, sounds long overdue - how about a short stretch of link road between A27 and Mountfield road (e.g. via Ham lane just beyond the Dripping pan?) - that might ease traffic loads using the Tesco roundabout and over-loaded prison crossroads every rush hour.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 5:25pm lewes born and bred wrote:
Is it legal to build properties and then place a stipulation on them...FOR EXAMPLE. you have to have lived in the Lewes district for at least 10 years ???
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 5:36pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I think the idea of a new access road from the bypass is an interesting one. There is some element of precedent for this, as there was works access to the sewage works from the bypass when they were doing work there back in the early 90s.
Westbound traffic could possibly join there too, go up the Southerham roundabout and then join the westbound carriageway from there, although the additional delays caused at the roundabout might outweigh any gain.
The schools issue is important imo. A couple of years ago, places for 4-year olds were so oversubscribed that Malling school had to have a whole extra class added. If the 350 homes proposed had just one school age child each, that would be an average of 30 or more in each year group.
Given the premium attached to new-build homes, I can't see anyone who can't currently afford a flat or house on Landport being able to afford one of the Santon properties. Santon will get far more out of than Lewes ever will, and the town will have to live with the consequences for long after Santon have taken their money and gone.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 7:50pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Surely by improving access to the bypass you will only encourage more commuters to live here? Poor transport links are the only way to discourage people who don't work here wanting to live here. Same thing applies to local amenities, if Lewes gets a reputation as somewhere with no doctor access and over-crowded schools, people won't want to move here. That School Hill are looking for more patients at the moment would suggest there is spare capacity at the doctors and surely anyone who can afford the inevitable comedy prices the new builds will command would be paying to send their kids to school anyway so space at the Grammar and Brighton College is probably more of an issue.

I don't entirely agree with the concerns about the area becoming a ghost town either. It's not exactly bustling with passing traffic as it is. For all the people decrying the loss of a vibrant community of artists, it's really not exactly a buzzing place. There's a thriving community of van-dwellers and it gets busy when Zu studios is open but who can genuinely say they spend any time at all down there just wandering about drinking in the atmosphere?

At the end of the day, people can voice all the opinions they want but the end result will be a bunch of hideous houses like the ones on the Barrat estate by the Southdown but they'll be out of the way and you'll only see them when you're at Tesco and they're unlikely to be less attractive than the current warehouses and caravans. They'll go on the market for ludicrous amounts of money and won't sell the same way hardly any of the ones behind the Esso garage sold for anything like the original asking price. Eventually some people will move in and all the people currently living by the Pells will rejoice as the vandals wandering home to Landport after a night in town will now have a bunch of shiny new houses with Mercedes parked outside to kick the wing mirrors off long before they reach Talbot Terrace.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 8:03pm bastian wrote:
convienient, you are trolling, trying to stir up yet more rubbish on here.
From this we can see you don't understand what an industrial estate is for-industry! and that isn't pretty, but it is necessary. When did people start to learn (be taught) to look at industry as dirty, disgusting and untidy. 90% of all your household goods were made in an industrial unit somwhere either in this country or more "convieniently", in another country that you don't care about because you don't have to look at it.
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 9:06pm convenient wrote:
Me , I can assure you I have no connection with Santon , I do however have a business on town for which I pay hu amounts of rent and rates , so yes I would I would love a grant to help me out . As Lewes resident pointed out all the current occupiers knew the site was due for developement and so should be prepared to leave at short notice and to not argue against the developement .Lewes I know you dont like change but its 2014 you are going to have to embrace it .
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On 22 Apr 2014 at 9:32pm lewes resident wrote:
People complain about santon and their plans but I dont see a local pressure group trying to shut them down or oppose the plans at all and if they do why dont they make their point at the three consultations that have taken place. I put it to you that are really not that bothered by the plans and if you were we would see a protest or something yet all I see is some comments in a chat room!?
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On 23 Apr 2014 at 9:31am GhostBike wrote:
I work in housing. While I have mixed feelings about the development, partly because I like some of the stuff that goes on in the Phoenix at present, the arguments here are very familiar to me from experiences all around the country. In every town, every city, the arguments are familar: it won't benefit local people, it will place a burden on infrastructure, on schools, it will destroy the character of the town, etc. etc. The overall effect is that far fewer houses than we need get built, and we end up with massively expensive housing that no-one can afford. It's the most pressing domestic political issue facing the country today.
I'm sure similar arguments were made when Nevill, Landport, Malling were built, and thankfully they were, because half of the posters here wouldn't be living here otherwise.
Lewes is an extremely popular town to live in and we need to provide more housing, full stop. If done in the right way it can build on the town's strengths and successes.
I'm never sure about the 'local people' point: why should people get what is effectivley a massive subsidy just because they were lucky enough to be born in Lewes? They may have contributed nothing to the town. On the other hand, why should hard-working people, who may want to add to the community, be denied a place to live if they want to live here?
As to the comments about London commuters above, it has been pretty comprehensively demonstrated that this is usually a positive for a place. The money spent in shops and pubs etc. is boosted as a result. If they weren't ini Lewes, the alternative would not be loads of shops selling stuff for low-income people; it would be boarded up units etc. In any case, people don't commute to London for ever. There is plenty of evidence that London employees are more likely than anyone else to leave their current jobs and start a business which would employ local people.
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On 23 Apr 2014 at 10:13am lewes born and bred wrote:
Great post Ghostbike.
However, i believe that local people should get first dibs on affordable housing providing they fullfill the criteria needed. Ok so they might not contribute to the local economy but they might contribute to the community.
It can be a damn hard wrench for young people, especially if they have a family, to up sticks, move away from relatives and friends and go and live in hailsham, Eastbourne or even further away. What happens if they have jobs here yet are forced to move 20 miles away outside of the district ?
Ok, so where elso is feesable for a housing projects ? hailsham have recognised their town's needs and are undertaking a huge building programme. I know there was talk of building on from the broyle in Ringmer...what about other area. Are there any areas within Lewes ? could the Nevill be extended upwards towards the downs, what about to the west of nevill/Wallands school area ? It's only woodland, we can plant many more trees
We need to address the situation soon. Ok so the new development down by Chandlers will give a bit of a respite but these houses are only for the well off middle class. What about people on 20k a year....absolutely no hope.
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On 23 Apr 2014 at 5:06pm belladonna wrote:
there is a group opposing the santon development and plenty of people went to the consultations and expressed their feelings about the proposals in both verbal and written form.
We need housing and we need places to work within the town that are not just retail based. The argument about local housing is desirable but moot really. There are hundreds of thousands of born and bred Londoners who have been forced out of London because of ludicrous prices. The same applies anywhere in the country that is seen as desirable - eg parts of Devon and Cornwall.
Ever since Thatcher and Tebbit's procalamation to 'get on your bikes' families and communities have been dispersed. People have always moved for work - now it happens on a global scale and Lewes can't be an island. As ghost bike says it can also make for healthier more vibrant communities - its about getting the balance right. I'm hoping to see a genuine mix use development, using many different architects and some innovative environmental approaches. Unfortuantely I think we're going to get barratt homes sold to the highest bidder and no real benefit to the town.
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On 23 Apr 2014 at 5:31pm bastian wrote:
This tory government has just tired to slip through a new deal for people like Santon to assure them that they don't have to build ANY affordable housing, so how is that going to benefit the people of this town who are still shacked up with mum and dad age 30.
As to Ghostbikes comment about Landport and malling...er..it was mostly council housing for people from the town when it needed to expand. When people come in and buy houses , the local youth get pushed out Way back they built cheap housing to accomodate them, but that's unfashionable now, it's a screw the young, pander to the rich kind of thinking now-there will be a backlash.
And there is a group of peopel opposing the developers, not because they don't want it developed, but because they want the area to be developed for the people of Lewes.
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On 23 Apr 2014 at 11:29pm GhostBike wrote:
Bastian, i agree with you on the need for affordable housing but whatever happens these will be extra homes, lived in by people, and it will add to the housing stock. It will in some small way help the housing shortsge. Ultimately i would like to see market housing become more affordable. Countries like sweden manage to get the private sector to build homes at prices ordinary people can afford - and why? Because they build a lot more of the things, or rsther allow a lot more of them to be built.
 
 
On 24 Apr 2014 at 6:16pm convenient wrote:
Well, that worked . Everyone's blood pressure is raised so Convenient puts his big wooden spoon away for another day !
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On 24 Apr 2014 at 9:40pm Deelite 2 wrote:
Right on the money there Mick.
 
 
On 25 Apr 2014 at 12:08am convenient wrote:
Who's Mick ?
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On 29 Apr 2014 at 10:53pm Local wrote:
Based on the number of houses mentioned during the consultations etc, the extra population will need less than 1 full-time equivalent GP. I suspect the town will manage to muster him or her.
Scaremongering, ACT.


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Always good to hear from you or see you IDM whether on the dance floor or on here. Good luck with the new project. Keep us posted. more
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