District Councillors for Lewes have welcomed significant improvements in plans for a housing scheme at Old Malling Farm.
The outline planning application for the proposed development went before the South Downs National Park Planning Committee on 10 June. Councillor Adrian Ross, Cycle Lewes and Lewes residents spoke at the committee to demand improvements to the plans submitted for consultation in January.
Outline planning was approved by the Committee, but with many positive conditions and improvements, including:
– affordable housing increased to 50% (from 15%)
– 10% Lewes Low Cost Housing (a first)
– a commitment to zero carbon and zero waste
– £1.7m allocated for traffic-calming measures and sustainable transport links into town
– a ramped cycling and walking path from the south of the site down to the old railway line and into town
– car club spaces and EV charging points for every home
– tree-protection orders on all of the trees along the central road to ensure as few are felled as possible.
Councillor Ross, who organised a campaign against the earlier plans, said, “This has all been achieved due to amazing work by many local societies and by the 250+ residents who raised objections. Thanks and well done everyone!”
“Although we didn’t get everything we asked for, this is a huge step forward. We will continue to push for other improvements including: an extension of the old railway line over the Ouse to Hamsey; a community hub, café and shop; and a firm commitment to a pedestrian crossing over Church Lane to St Michael’s Terrace.”
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, also a District Councillor for Bridge Ward, said, “Well done to all those who objected and campaigned to get this application to build on Old Malling Farm as good as it could be.
“This site has been in the planning stages for decades. We’ll now keep up the pressure on the South Downs National Park to hold the developer to their promises.”