This derelict land to the south of Spences Lane was subject to a 2012 planning application for a development of 53 residential units and 2,650 sq m of commercial space.
The Friends of Lewes objected to the application on grounds including its inappropriate massing, unsympathetic use of materials and lack of connection with its surroundings. The South Downs National Park Authority refused the application in 2013, and the applicant appealed this decision in 2014. However the Inspector dismissed the appeal.
In 2015, the developer submitted a revised application for more housing and less commercial space, to an improved design, and this was approved in 2016. The revised plan involved the felling of many of the poplar and lime trees along Blakes Walk, just outside the western boundary of the site.
A campaign sprang up to protect the Walk, and the developer agreed to a revised plan that preserves and maintains the trees in the walk. Extensive tree work, planting and scrub clearance was carried out in spring 2016, greatly improving the condition of the Walk.
By the beginning of 2018, permission had been granted for 101 dwellings, and work appeared to have started with some scrub clearance in evidence. More details at ECE Planning.
The South Downs Road development site
Friends of Lewes Consultation Responses on the Southdowns Road development:
- Land At Southdowns Road, Lewes – FoL response. April 2015
- Land at Southdowns Road – FoL statement on SDNPA dismissal of planning permission appeal. March 2014
- Land at Southdowns Road – FoL statement in support of SDNPA refusal to grant planning permission. March 2014
To explore other Friends of Lewes statements and submissions to the planning authorities on this development, use the search box at top right, and see the Friends of Lewes Newsletters.