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Planning App SDNP/12/01557/FUL - Refused

On 11 Apr 2013 at 4:52pm Matt Kent wrote:
Today the South Downs National Park decided to Refuse the amended development for 53 dwellings on Mayhew Way. The Planning Officers recommendation to approve the application was only supported to one (of ten) committee members. The proposal to refuse the revised scheme was supported by nine members. Reasons cited included, inappropriate scale, lack of context, design too tall, poor layout, prominence in the National Park and lack of affordable homes. The applicant could appeal the decision, but for now many people will be pleased that the planning committee listened to the many written and spoken objection statements regarding this development. No-one is denying the land will be developed, but the current scheme was not appropriate.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 5:21pm boggles wrote:
Are you going to name "the one" Matt? Was it the LDC member from Ringmer?
On 11 Apr 2013 at 5:51pm Dave wrote:
What a shame that seems like the perfect place to build a load of new houses
On 11 Apr 2013 at 6:25pm Lewes born and bred wrote:
So that overgrown piece of wasteland will sit there untouched for another 20 years. What a shame, this town needs to develop.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 6:28pm Neville Scroat wrote:
Boggles - as indicated by Matt's post, this application was decided by the South Downs National Park planning committee, which can and does out-rank the district on all applications but only gets involved in these larger ones.
This particular lot consists of:
‚?ĘAndrew Shaxson (Chair)
‚?ĘNeville Harrison (Deputy Chair)
‚?ĘAlun Alesbury
‚?ĘJennifer Gray
‚?ĘKen Bodfish
‚?ĘBarbara Holyome
‚?ĘDavid Jenkins
‚?ĘCharles Peck
‚?ĘTom Jones
‚?ĘDoug Jones
‚?ĘDiana Kershaw
Having said that, keep your Ringmer CB radios tuned. News from those parts will be soon be breaking on another issue entirely.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 6:31pm Matt Kent wrote:
@Boggles. From recollection the one member in support of the Planning Officers recommendation to approve the revised scheme was the SDNPA Planning Committee Chair (I believe a Cllr from Chichester).
@Dave. Totally agree, but not houses that are nearly the same height as Sackville House, and stick out like a proverbial sore thumb, and bare no contextual scale with the rest of Malling.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 8:07pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
Maybe there is some future in having, say 75% of the site for housing (including social housing) at max 3 storeys, with the remainder - say next to the sorting office - left for commercial or other use but not obliging the developer to build it.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 10:23pm Fairmeadow wrote:
Better scale and more affordable housing would be a good start. Does Lewes really need more business units that were not really going to be built anyway? It certainly needs the affordables.
On 11 Apr 2013 at 11:39pm Pedant wrote:
On 11 Apr 2013 at 11:46pm Lewes lady wrote:
I fear there is a risk of Lewes becoming a ghetto of ugly affordable housing. There's little profit in that sector, so it usually ends up featuring rather 'boggo' materials and finishes or, even worse, 'experimental' ideas from distinctly average architects which usually age appallingly.
Do we really want large chunks of North St and elsewhere blighting the NP in this way?
On 12 Apr 2013 at 8:55am Alfie Stirling wrote:
It is perfectly possible to build good quality, ascetically pleasing, affordable housing and affordable rental space for small business. That needs to be the focus of all development in Lewes that is on appropriate land. Too many people are looking for somewhere where they can afford to live and/or work.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 9:16am Merlin Milner wrote:
This is all part of the Thatcher legacy. The right to buy helped the rediculous rise in property prices. Also because Council's were not allowed to invest the proceeds in Council housing we have a lack of social housing. She did this to garner votes and try and destroy non-Tory Councils. Now Councils can no longer directly build local social housing. Affordable housing is not enough.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 10:00am Southover Queen wrote:
Yes, spot on Merlin. The added problem now is that the house price explosion makes even affordable housing very expensive indeed, and anyway private house builders don't want to use their prime land in the present climate. In fact you might very well think that the only sensible way to address the chronic lack of housing availability is for central government to seize the day and just set up some kind of grant scheme to enable it, whether via housing associations or local authorities. It certainly isn't going to be addressed by the bedroom tax IMHO.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 11:09am belladonna wrote:
One way forward is to look into having a proportion of self-build homes for low income families. There was a very good 'grand design' on this about ten years ago about a scheme in Brighton. The houses looked good, fitted the environment and were totally built by the community of self-builders. Such schemes create greater stability as the owners have a greater vested interest in their own homes. The houses were built to a design that allowed flexibility of layout to accomodate differing families needs. I think they revisited the plot recently and all the original families were still there.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 11:31am Lewes lady wrote:
With respect, the houses didn't look good, and would be absolutely slated on here if they appeared in Lewes. There was no context shown on the programme at all, beyond the cul-de-sac in which they were built. That location was next to a busy road, not a picturesque river location in a largely pretty NP town. This thread starts off moaning about design quality for private housing; I can't see it improving for low-profit housing!
Alfie Stirling - can you please quote some examples of decent-looking affordable housing, especially that which isn't hugely subsidised by lots free-market housing as part of the same development. I can only think of one example, in East London, designed by a truly stellar architect who wanted to add that sector to his practice's interesting variety of one-offs. I can only fear all the other rubbish that is justified through planning by it's laudable objective, but which blights it's environment for years to come.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 12:48pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
I really like the designs from developers like Urban Splash. They often successfully incorporate affordable housing.

Check it out here »
On 12 Apr 2013 at 3:27pm Matt Kent wrote:
This housing development in Essex used traditional materials and included 26% affordable housing. Simply variety through architectural massing and a minimal pallette of local robust materials. A sort of take on the Sussex Barn.

Check it out here »
On 12 Apr 2013 at 5:31pm Plain Jane wrote:
'ascetically pleasing' - lmfao!!
A dictionary for the Jimmy-Savile-as-a-boy-lookalike methinks.
On 12 Apr 2013 at 8:10pm Ed Can Do wrote:
That's great news Matt. I'm sure something will be built there eventually but that proposed development was ridiculous. Will there be any comeback on the continually not-fit-for-purpose local planning officers who were so keen for this to get the go ahead? In the private sector, people this bad at their jobs would get disciplined, trained or sacked. I imagine in local government it'll be bonuses and promotions all round...
On 12 Apr 2013 at 8:10pm Ed Can Do wrote:
That's great news Matt. I'm sure something will be built there eventually but that proposed development was ridiculous. Will there be any comeback on the continually not-fit-for-purpose local planning officers who were so keen for this to get the go ahead? In the private sector, people this bad at their jobs would get disciplined, trained or sacked. I imagine in local government it'll be bonuses and promotions all round...
On 12 Apr 2013 at 9:01pm Matt Kent wrote:
@ECD All I can say is, although the Planning Officer in charge of the case recommended that the revised scheme was approved, the majority of the SDNPA Planning Committee went further than another deferral and refused the whole scheme. They listened to the objection statements on Thursday, they took on board the many residents', local interest groups' and Lewes Town Council Planning Committees' comments and agreed that overall, the revised application was still totally inappropriate at many levels. This is a great success story for the planning process, and sends a clear message to developers that the public needs to be engaged fully and that public opinion needs to be considered. I truly hope that future schemes on this site are far more considerate to the residents of Malling, the Town of Lewes and respect the context of the National Park. The SDNPA Planning Committee agreed with my objection statement that the bar needed to be set higher when making a future design proposal for this site and other major developments in and around Lewes. Again, most people accept that Lewes needs elements of development, but it simply needs to be appropriate and well considered.
On 13 Apr 2013 at 1:53pm Xplorer1 wrote:
Well said Matt. Spot on in every respect.
On 13 Apr 2013 at 2:13pm Hooray wrote:
Can I just disagree with one point. It is not a success for our planning process, because yet again our planning officers recommended something completely inappropriate. One can only wonder what would have happened if it had been considered by our own Planning Committee.
A good planning process would have resulted in a good application, (or no application) before it got to a vote.
The wasn't a close vote, it was an almost complete rejection of an Officer recommendation .
On 13 Apr 2013 at 3:25pm Southover Queen wrote:
I must say I agree with Hooray - it shouldn't have got to the SDNP meeting without there having been a thorough review and (obviously necessary) revision of the plans. It's disappointing that the planning officers were unable to advise on changes which would make the application more acceptable both to the community and to the SDNP. Let's hope that this is a teething problem and LDC will learn from this and be able to steer applications more effectively in the future. It's not really a victory that an application was rejected - the victory would be that an application was submitted and then subjected to proper and responsive local consultation and amended accordingly.
On 13 Apr 2013 at 4:06pm Alfie Stirling wrote:
Hi PJ,
'Thanks'. Mishap with predictive text on my phone: *Aesthetically.
Hi Lewes Lady,
The co-operative houses down by the fire station would be an example, in my opinion. I think the houses mentioned in Brighton are decent too. But to be honest there is little point arguing over something that is essentially down to subjective taste and which distracts from the real issue: A crisis of affordable housing and jobs.
The Green Party want to reform Council Tax (using a provision in the Localism Act) so millions extra can be raised each year from high income households in order to build social housing and provide cheap loans for local, job creating, community initiatives.
On 13 Apr 2013 at 5:35pm Applicant wrote:
The original application, passed by Lewes District Council planning department in 2007 (LW/07/0325) was for a much denser scheme, 125 dwellings, some office space, no affordable housing.... and they *still* passed it!

The planning office was Mr Andrew Hill. The same officer who allowed the horrible copper roof blight addressed in the thread below. Mr Andrew Hill has been the Lewes District Planning Officer responsible for authorising a number of controversial and unwanted schemes in the town. He has worked for LDC for a *very* long time.

I think that Lewes residents should be very grateful that, for developments in the town t least, the incompetent LDC planning department is subservient to the South Downs National Park Authority.
On 13 Apr 2013 at 8:47pm Local wrote:
Thanks Alfie. I now know to never vote green, and am very thankful that they won't govern in my lifetime.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 12:37am Lewes lady wrote:
I might have been getting the Brighton houses confused with the Grand Designs show about self-builds in Birmingham; apologies.
But that Essex estate sums up my concerns as stated earlier - odd-looking buildings with inappropriate materials - northern Europe is not a place for timber cladding, let alone water-based stained timber. But at the root of my concern is that local land-owners won't employ excellent architects, and the Council won't 'force' them to.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 7:28am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I think that when developers are rquired to build some social housing as part of a development they should also be required to build it to the same design and standard as the rest and that the social housing units should be distributed throughout the development, not all clustered in one spot that quickly becomes identified as Council-house Corner.
There's a road in Newhaven where they built a lot of semis and detached houses. They had to put in some social housing and it's 3 terraces of about 6 houses, much smaller, completely different style, tucked away in a dip in a gloomy corner of the site. They've even used completely different coloured brick to make sure they really stand out.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 10:24am Plain Jane wrote:
Alfie: I don't want to sound too condescending here, but while these socialist ideas of wealth redistribution etc. might look attractive on the surface (a starter for 10: "let's tax the rich heavily and give it to the poor and needy") for many, many reasons, they just don't work. Show us a nation (not run by a dictator) where it does.
Of course I really don't expect a bright young happy chappie like you to take my word for it. I'm sure you believe it to be an obvious and decent approach.
There's a very old proverb about this:
If at 20 you're not a socialist, you have no heart.
If at 30 you are a socialist, you have no brain.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 11:39am Alfie Stirling wrote:
Hi PJ.
Examples: Denmark; Norway; Sweden; Belgium; Holland; and pretty much every 'Coordinated Market Economy' in the OECD. They each have vastly lower levels of inequality (as measured in terms of Gini-coefficients for household incomes) and over the last 30-40 years have on average experienced equal or superior economic performance compared to 'Liberal Market Economies' such as the UK. If you don't believe me, you can research it for yourself with the official OECD data base. You don't need to log in and you can compare countries across any metric you choose. I have attached the link below.
The UK itself performed better on almost every aggregate between 1950 and 1970 (when it practiced 'counter cyclical demand management' -- excuse jargon) than it has between 1980 and 2010 (when we have relied on supply-side economics). We are not talking about polemics of socialism and dictatorship. We are talking about a very simple idea of changing our politics in the UK (and so far as we can, East Sussex) so that our economy becomes a resource for communities rather than people being a resource for an economy. With respect, when people invoke extremist rhetoric to undermine the case for a fairer Britain, it tends to be because they don't want to engage with the substantive issues of the debate.

Check it out here »
On 14 Apr 2013 at 12:24pm Alfie Stirling wrote:
Hi Local,
That's fine. The point of standing for election in a democracy is not to try and sound like everyone's ideal cup of tea. The fact that most politicians think it is, and end up all sounding the same as a result, is one of the biggest problems we have. All I and the Green Party want to do is present a clear choice and argue for its merits. Democracy is about the electorate making the decisions.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 3:33pm Plain Jane wrote:
Alfie - two initial points:
1. Income equality is a fairly useless metric to judge a country by. Inequality in an African tribal society can be effectively rounded to zero, but no serious person is suggesting that we should all live in mud huts and practice subsistence farming. That old socialist chestnut seems to apply to your thinking in this case, namely: ‚??I‚??d rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich."
2. The idea that the UK performed better on every metric between 1950 - 1970, than between 1980 - 2010 is just bonkers. Common sense tells us that. In the 1950s Britain was recovering from the war, the county was broke and food was rationed. By the end of the 1980s GDP was going up and up. If you think there are any metrics in which we were better off pre 1980, name them. Name one.
The idea that the Scandinavian countries successfully practice socialism is a fallacy. There have been many articles debunking this idea, which all clearly show that the UK and US aren't as 'free market' as lefties like to think, and the Scandinavian countries aren't as socialist as they like to think.
Profit making free schools were a successful Swedish experiment that Gove copied, not the other way around. If you Google 'debunking socialist Scandinavia' you'll find the arguments.
Then there's Anders Borg, the finance minister for Sweden, who cut tax rates in the 1990s substantially and saw the economy boom in response.
The tax levels Norway have fluctuated between 40 and 45% of GDP since the 1970s ‚?? that‚??s the whole overall rate, not the marginal higher rate. But what does it really mean - in simple terms - when you push down on the wealthier or higher paid to fund a ‚??managed economy‚???
It means that the successful, the wealthier, people than run businesses (providing jobs & growth) leave the country.
When a company announces that it will be imposing wage cuts and redundancies what happens? The answer is that the most mobile, those with talent, those most employable elsewhere leave first.
And it‚??s the same with countries that impose these huge taxes ‚?? because they want to fund their social programmes. A simple single example: how many of Norway‚??s national football team live in Norway or even play in Norwegian teams? None of them.
On 14 Apr 2013 at 4:06pm Local wrote:
Cue a slight delay, whilst Green Party Central Command and Control is contacted for further info...
On 14 Apr 2013 at 9:02pm Alfie Stirling wrote:
1. The straw man rears its head again: Nobody is talking about 'socialism' except you. And you haven't even defined it, you are just using is as a rhetorical shield. Lower levels of income equality in OECD countries have been shown to be associated with healthier, happier, better educated and freer societies. Every aggregate has it's limits to application, that doesn't mean that we should stop measuring things.
2. I can name two straight away: average GDP growth rate and employment rates. You can check them for yourself via the attached link. Data sourced from the ONS.
3. I am not saying Scandinavian countries practice socialism. I was making a comparison between to types of market economies: 'coordinated' and 'liberal'.
4.I am also not going to start competing to see see who can come up with the highest number of choice examples from western political economy. Current academic consensus is that there are huge differences between the two types of market economies mentioned above, in terms of things like labour institutions, professional training, social spending and finance. Read economists such as Hall, Soskice, Pontusson, Da Neve et al if you just don't know what I am talking about.
5. The idea that high taxes somehow ends investment and creates a talent shortage is factually vacuous. Investment is contingent on a number of things including reliable courts, transport links, supply chains, culture, language, tax etc. All are taken into account, not just tax. Nobody has found changes in tax levels to have a particularly significant effect when controlling for all other variables. The best Norwegian footballers want to play in the best quality football leagues, not the countries with the lowest taxes. If your hypothesis were right and mine were wrong, all footballers would be playing on the British Virgin Islands. You have also assumed 'talent' to be some sort of scarce resource without any evidence to back it up. That's because there isn't any.

Check it out here »
On 15 Apr 2013 at 12:00pm Bored of Local Politics wrote:
Alfie is in danger of winning my vote.
On 15 Apr 2013 at 12:34pm Local wrote:
I like the window poster in the Pells - 'Don't vote; it only encourages them'.

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