Following the approval of the outline planning application for residential development at the former Newlands School site, Eastbourne Road, in September 2017 the developers, Bellway Homes, have submitted a detailed application covering the layout and design of the dwellings, the housing mix and other matters not covered in the first application.
The outline consent was for a total of 183 dwellings, including 40% affordable housing, access via a new mini roundabout on the Eastbourne Road (A259), conversion of the main school building to residential apartments, the provision of public open spaces and a children’s play area and a sports pitch with ancillary changing rooms to replace the public sports facilities formerly provided by the School.
The 40% affordable housing requirement imposed by Lewes District Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan policies and confirmed in the terms of a s.106 Agreement tied to the outline consent would have provided 70 affordable units for rent or shared ownership for local residents. However, the developers have, in the current application, submitted an assessment setting out their case that the development can only remain viable if the affordable housing provision is reduced from 40% to 8%, i.e. 14 units out of the total 183.
The developers argue in the assessment that the viability of the scheme approved in the outline consent is affected by various factors including the loss of profit on the 70 affordable units, the need to pay over a million pounds in Community Infrastructure Levy and the provision of the sports facilities as well as contributions to highways works and improvements under the Section 106 Agreement.
The Town Council’s Officers will be meeting with Bellway and District Council Planners to discuss the Affordable Housing provision and other important issues such as the future management of the sports facilities, open spaces and children’s play area.
The documents and plans submitted are available for inspection at the Town Council’s Offices at 37 Church Street during normal office hours Monday to Friday. It is open to any resident to submit their views on the application to the District Council. The application (ref LW/19/0258) can be found on the District Council’s website
The Town Council’s Planning and Highways Committee will consider its formal response to the application at a Public Meeting likely to be held in late May/early June after the local elections and the appointment of the newly-elected members to the various Council Committees.