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SANTON consultation

On 27 Mar 2014 at 8:42pm belladonna wrote:
Anyone got any responses to the Santon consultation at the Grange today ?
Personally I don't think there's enough space allocated for creative small business units (they couldn't tell me what proportion there would be compared to what currently exits) and I'm very concerned that this could be a ten year project with Santon selling off parts of the site for other builders to develop who will be given a set of style guidelines. So the look of the buildings on the plans displayed are NOT what we may end up with.
Disappointed that the Phoenix Ironworks will be demolished despite a pseudo commitment to the industrial heritage of the site - why isn't this building listed by English Heritage ??? And the signage on the side of the buildings was crass and frankly naff - who wants to see 20 foot high letters proclaiming LEWES on the side of one of the new buildings as you cross the causeway??

Concerned that a real opportunity to have a great community arts facility will be lost - they propose a 5-screen cinema, but thats already a non runner with the proposals for the Depot hopefully going ahead - what about something like a state-of-the art concert hall - not just for classical, but also contemporary music that could also act as a base for many of the musical societies , groups and choirs in town ?

Positive that there will be 35 percent affordable, although again, no idea of what is considered affordable. And positive on the eco/sustainability aspect, although I think all the new builds should have solar heating, not just a proportion.

Also disappointed that whilsta riverside walk is included in the plans, there is no real thinking about how to open up the river - create moorings, encourage boats, maybe even house boats ?!!

But it is a huge site and will have a massive impact on the town. It's like adding another Nevill/ Landport estate. So needs very very careful thought and adjustments that consider the whole community in Lewes. We don't want to end up with a town that is little more than houses and shops, we want business (not only retail) and innovation and creativity too, and this plan really need s some forward thinking about how it serves the rest of the area too
On 28 Mar 2014 at 12:20am Local wrote:
I hear that there's plenty of folk doing their level best to thwart Santon. It would be sad if they succeed solely in persuading Santon to sell off chunks as you say, on the basis that it's too much hassle to remain in it for the long run.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 12:28am Fairmeadow wrote:
No one will be selling anything unless there is credible flood protection, and I doubt you can add that bit by bit.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 8:28am Another B and B lady wrote:
They are definitely not selling parts off to other builders. They plan to develop the whole site and Santon have a proven record of keeping their sites. They will not have a cinema if the depot goes ahead. They are building a new skatepark to replace the current. Artists always collonise cheap, underused buildings. That's what happened with the original Phoenix and they have had the virtually free use of the site for over 5 years. Time to move on to Newhaven which could do with the this sort of regeneration.
The river is tidal. It never has been very suitable for use by small boats - no one boats gently by - it's very fast flowing. I can't imagine houseboats would find it a suitable mooring.
Think the plans as good as we can hope to get and Santon have had consultation, after consultation with Lewes.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 9:31am Jane S wrote:
Some good points, AB&BL. At the CLT meeting the other night, though, the point was made that 'Lewes needs a rough edge' (of small industrial manufacturing and of rackety premises used by artists etc), otherwise it WILL become a smug, middleclass ghetto. Oh, surely not.........
On 28 Mar 2014 at 9:41am Sussex Jim wrote:
I recently visited Car Parts and Accessories on the Phoenix estate, to buy some wiper blades. The cost was 2.66. I could have paid 12 at Halfords, or even more at a main dealer.
We have already lost BTR brakes, and Kwik-fit. What we need on this site are more small outlets selling sensible products at affordable prices. The planners should retain this area as a light industrial estate.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 2:21pm belladonna wrote:
I don't know where you get your info from ABABL, but selling off parts of the site in incremental stages IS very much part of the plan. I had a long discussion with two of the Santon reps yesterday and found it very disturbing that it's a definite possibility, given the length of the time the development may take - they said up to ten years. The only 'guarantee' that any of Santon's designs may get built by other builders is that there will be a detailed 'style' guidance document that other builders (Wimpey and Persimmon were mentioned) would have to adhere to. Santon would be doing the first phase, which includes the underground carpark, and the flood prevention work -although much of the defence measures are 'built-in' to the houses.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 2:28pm smedley wrote:
@sussex jim - trouble is then LDC would not get the council tax and special expenses for all these residential properties. Yes special expenses even though there does not appear to be a tree in sight (well maybe one).
I agree with you, we need more industry. Maybe not today, but come the next housing bubble pop we would be very glad of it.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 3:29pm someone else wrote:
I'm at a loss to understand why people are up in arms about the idea that the site would be sold off for incremental development.

Lewes is a pretty town precisely because it's been developed in a piecemeal way for the last 500 or so years. The worst thing that kind could happen is that one architect / developer designs and builds the whole thing. Lewes is too small to deal with homogeneity (or faked non-homogeneity) on the kind of scale the Phoenix offers.

As long as there's a masterplan there to guide overall layout and scale, it will be much better if it develops bit by bit.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 4:24pm Georgie girl wrote:
Might find this worth a look (not a Santon or LDC site!)

Check it out here »
On 28 Mar 2014 at 6:04pm belladonna wrote:
I have to agree that part of Lewes's attraction is its small piecemeal development and variety of architectural styles and
I agree with you on the homogeneity idea, someone else.
But I am concerned about the continuity of the building works and worry that parts may not be developed or the ideas and original designs will be diluted or even ignored/ substantially changed by different builders, leaving us with something far less than was originally agreed - if planning permission is given.
I have no confidence in LDC to enforce any planning constraints a few years down the line.
On 28 Mar 2014 at 6:06pm belladonna wrote:
Also forgot to add this site, which has some interesting ideas

Check it out here »
On 29 Mar 2014 at 9:47am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm livid that there's no social housing included. "Affordable" housing on the Baxters site was expensive shared ownership for local people. I was told that eventually the council agreed to widen the definition of local to a radius of 50 miles, so they could find buyers for the things.
I think including social housing might have mitigated the opposition somewhat.
On 29 Mar 2014 at 11:24pm priority wrote:
I think its really important here to focus on the main problem that is facing all of us and especially our kids and that is the shortage of housing. I see the development enabling others to join our wonderful town and to share what we have. At present most other than the lucky few are simply unable to afford lewes prices and im hoping the development may help towards this end. Its great to have the arts etc but really housing must be top of the agenda. Living on the edge of the proposed development I see it as a major asset for the town and a major improvement to the current site.
On 30 Mar 2014 at 11:49pm convenient wrote:
Build it and build it quick ! why on earth would any sane person object to anything being there , anything is better than the ugly mess that is currently on the site and don't kid yourself that there are loads of cute little businesses there , there are a lot of people with very very cheap workshops and dwellings and they will have to join the real world ....sorry guys

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Bill Lewes 10:132
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