Proposal to develop the former Lewes Magistrates Court

Two Friends of Lewes officers attended an on-site presentation on 28 January 2013.

Quora Developers have their main base in Newark, Nottinghamshire, and an office in the Old Candlemakers in West Street, Lewes. Their spokesman is Jason Davis, one of three partners, who is now resident in Lewes.  Quora as a company is not much more than a year old, though there was a company previously featuring all three surnames. Quora are working with Juice Architects, who are based in Finsbury, London, and with Planning Potential, the planning consultants based near Tower Bridge in London, and Harrogate. All three teams were represented at the on-site meeting on January 28th. Quora say their experience centres on brownfield sites and sustainable design, citing a grade 2* mill conversion in the North and Morrisons supermarket in Hampden Park, Eastbourne.

Their proposal for the Magistrates’ Court site would be to demolish and build to cover the whole 20,000 ft2 site on three floors, but with the front aligned with Fitzroy House, making for a wider pavement. They are in advanced negotiations with Premier Inns to build a 60-bed hotel on the upper two floors, with large retail units and maybe a restaurant on the ground floor, with access from both Friars Walk & the large car park behind. Although the tendering period for the purchase of the building is described as running until late March, they say they have already exchanged contracts. The private car park at the end of Court Road, across the street is part of the deal; they envisage it remaining a car park. They think that a planning submission might be made in April, with a possible completion date of late Summer, 2014.