Regeneration plans for Lewes North Street Quarter

Aerial visualisation of North Street Quarter
A joint-planning application to regenerate the North Street and Phoenix Industrial Estate area of Lewes was submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority by Lewes District Council and Santon North Street this week.

The North Street Quarter proposals, which are the result of three years of consultation with people in Lewes, include 416 new homes, 40% of them (165) affordable, vital town flood defences, new riverside public spaces and walkways, well-designed workspace, sustaining and securing long term employment.

Cllr Rob Blackman, Leader of Lewes District Council, said, “We want to create a vibrant, mixed use neighborhood here which is designed to reflect and complement the character and industrial heritage of Lewes, whilst delivering a huge number of benefits to local people on this rather hidden and isolated brownfield site in Lewes.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver so many affordable homes in the mix – a first for Lewes District – which will not only be earmarked for Lewes people, but also cover the range of family sizes and needs of our local community.”

Bim Sandhu, CEO and owner of the Santon Group stated “Plans for the North Street Quarter have been drawn up in accordance with local planning policy, which requires development to be sustainable and sympathetic to its location on the banks of the River Ouse, yet delivering much needed regional housing and optimising employment opportunities through mixed use spaces.”

Proposals include 140,000 sq ft of new flexible employment workspace, accommodating 475 full time equivalent, registered jobs, with subsidised rent offered to creative start up businesses, secured through a Section 106 agreement. This includes 72,000 sq ft of light industrial space at Malling Brooks, which is already under construction. The construction programme will also create 100 full time jobs, with an emphasis on recruiting local people, and an apprentice scheme. The regeneration represents £150 million inward investment into Lewes and the South Downs National Park.

The scheme includes a huge investment in infrastructure, including essential works to tackle the contaminated ground on the site and completing the town flood defences. It also uses state of the art design techniques, which will make it the most sustainable development in the area.

Designs include beautiful new public spaces for local people to enjoy, including a double-level riverside promenade and footpath, all the way from the Causeway to the South Downs, and a large new riverside public square. Named Phoenix Wharf, this will link to Malling Brooks by a new foot and cycle bridge across the river.

A new health centre, serving 26,000 patients with doctors and dentists practices, will include a children’s nursery and a public exhibition space, celebrating local artists and acting as a living museum of the site heritage, as well as outdoor public gardens overlooking the river. A play strategy will see improvements made to the existing community play spaces at Pells Park and Malling Recreation Ground.

The scheme also includes improved pedestrian and cycle connections to public transport and improved local highway infrastructure, taking much of the traffic coming into the town on the Causeway straight into the development and a covered ‘pay on exit’ car park for residents and visitors to the town centre.

Lewes residents and businesses have helped to shape the scheme’s final design during a three-year programme of community consultation events, which started in 2012. Hundreds of comments were collected at three consultation exhibitions run independently by The Democratic Society. Discussion continued through dozens of local design workshops and two Lewes Town X-Ray events focused on design aspects of the plans. The requirements of specialist groups, such as the views of schoolchildren and residents living adjacent to the site, were explored further at their own dedicated events.

Said Clive Wilding, Project Director from Santon North Street, “The North Street Quarter will revitalise his sustainable brownfield site, creating a rejuvenated eastern gateway into the town. The new riverside walk and footbridge, along with new through routes, will improve access and views to the area and reconnect it to the town’s social and cultural hub, the historic High Street.”

Previous Post
Brighton i360 looking up!
Next Post
Sussex celebrity chef at Brighton i360