All 5 Lewes Group Leaders oppose rail based new village outside South Downs – so where exactly will Lewes Put it’s Housing?

Sussex Argus

Quick answer – they haven’t a f****g clue where it will go, instinctive opposition to a sustainable location being the default position. So they will end up putting their housing at car based sites at Ringmer or Chailey instead, those villages will love that.

ALL five party group leaders on a district council oppose controversial plans by Eton College to build a 3,000-house new town near a national park.

Leaders of Lewes District Council have deemed the 500-acre site East Chiltington, which sits on the edge of the South Downs National Park, as inappropriate for a new town.

Don’t Urbanise the Downs, which was formed in March to fight the scheme and now has nearly 2,000 members from right across Sussex, approached all five party group leaders to get their views on the proposed scheme.

Lewes District Council is currently a hung council, with no one political party having overall control.

Control of the Cabinet is with councillor James MacCleary as leader, as part of a cooperative alliance, consisting of the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, Labour groups and a member from the Independent group.

Conservative group leader Isabelle Linington said: “I’m totally opposed to this development.

“No doubt about it. I think it’s totally inappropriate and shouldn’t even be considered, let alone allowing anything to proceed.”

“Our mantra has always been brown site first; you shouldn’t even consider greenfield sites until you’ve filled all the brownfield sites.

“I’m very worried about it. It would be disastrous if they put a town there.

“It’s just unthinkable that they could destroy all that land.

“Also, it’s a nonsense argument to say that people can enjoy the countryside if they lived there because if they build this town, there wouldn’t be any countryside.”

According to the group, East Chiltington would grow to 16 times its current number of homes and have more than 3,000 additional buildings crammed in to just 20 per cent of the parish if the plans were to go ahead.

It would also result in over 3.5 million more car trips per year from the 6,000 additional new town residents and their approximately 4,200 additional cars.

Zoe Nicholson, Green party leader and deputy leader of the council, added: “I stand horrified with residents about the scale and size of this development in our beautiful countryside, and the impact on the fragile eco-systems in which is it sited.”

James MacCleary, LibDem leader and current Leader of the Council, said: “What I find most frightening about it (the scheme) is the traffic generation and the carbon impact of all those additional vehicles … and linked to that would be the energy demands of the development and the effect that has in terms of the sustainability of the site.

“If there is one thing that must be obvious to everyone, it is the fact that the roads there are in no way fit to support a settlement of even the fraction the size.”

By the way according to Lewes Brownfield register it has less about two years supply of brownfield sites, most of which are already permitted and form part of their housing trajectory; what about the other 18 years of the local plan, plus overspill housing from Wealden, Eastbourne, Brighton and the South Downs National Park?

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