Newsletter – Important Update from Lewes Phoenix Rising

Dear All,

 The LPR Roadshow was buzzing. Around 700 people came to see and comment on the display at Lewes House, Nevill, Landport, Malling and the Linklater Pavilion. On show, we had the Masterplan for the site and campaign film, both of which you can see on our website.

In addition there was a 10 minute animated fly-through of the site, industrial heritage display, business and interconnections surveys, eco-approach display, 3D model of the Phoenix Ironworks showing the heritage roof structures, buildings and the live/work micro homes, plus visuals of innovative affordable housing for visitors to choose their preferences.

We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to fill in the feedback forms with their encouraging support and valued suggestions. We will put the results on the website in the New Year, along with the additional materials on display at the Roadshow.

The Masterplan clearly demonstrates that by building close-knit homes in keeping with our historic town centre and thus creating a more neighbourly environment, that all the housing required by policy (390) can be built on the site, plus an additional 48 genuinely affordable homes at social rents and the buildings of the Phoenix Ironworks can be preserved and renovated to provide substantial affordable space for businesses and enterprises.

Regrettably, neither the developer (Santon) nor Lewes District Council (with the exception of some very supportive Councillors) have responded to the Masterplan. This despite their request in May that we would need to show them how to achieve the above, if they were to engage with us. They have however invited us to discuss a small element of the scheme: the provision of ‘creative’ workspace.

Santon will be displaying their revised plans for the site, the first consultation since March, on December the 22nd to Town Councillors and the Steering Group of the Neighbourhood Plan (of which we are members). We will be looking for:

    •    substantial and suitable provision of affordable space for workshops, businesses and community enterprises (there are at present 50 odd businesses and 450 jobs on the Phoenix estate);

    •    substantial provision of genuinely affordable housing;

    •    preservation of the heritage buildings and structures of the old Phoenix Ironworks;

    •    genuine partnership and consultation with the community on the development of the site;

    •    a forward-thinking development focusing on economic and social diversity, environmental sustainability and a vision that serves the current need and that of future generations.

We will get back to you in the New Year with our analysis of their revised plan and our next steps if their plan is not sufficient.

Meanwhile, the Local Plan for the area goes to examination in public by a planning inspector in January. LPR has made representations as we do not believe the plan is sound due to the omission of current industry and heritage buildings (we believe it should be a mixed-use site, not primarily residential). If you wish to attend the examination, the policy for North Street is being considered on 22 January from 9.30am.  The meeting is being held in the East Platinum Lounge of the Amex Stadium, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9BL.

LPR has applied for an emergency preservation order on the old Phoenix Ironworks buildings and structures to enable an investigation of their heritage status.

LPR has prepared applications for some of the enterprises on site to be registered as Assets of Community Value (for submission in January).

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