Permission denied for demolition of Lewes bus station for housing

PERMIT was denied over a plan to demolish a 70-year-old bus station and replace it with apartments.

Eastgate Street bus station, Lewes, was due to be demolished for 40 flats, a commercial area and a pedestrian precinct.

The developer, The Generator Group, was also to agree on a suitable alternative site to build a bus station for the people of Lewes.

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) refused planning permission for the site at a meeting at its Midhurst headquarters.

The Argus: aerial view of Lewes bus stationAerial view of the bus station in Lewes

They raised concerns about a lack of provision for bus facility relocation, insufficient affordable housing, “over-the-top” design and impact on the conservation area and nearby listed buildings, loss of daylight for a neighboring property, and potential problems with proposed areas for tree planting.

Green Councilor Adrian Ross, leader of Lewes District Council, told The Argus: “I’m delighted it was rejected. SDNPA officials made the right recommendations and planning officers made the right decision.

“We are very pleased, but also know that this is only the first round and therefore expect that the Generator Group will either appeal or submit a better application.

The Argus: depicting the development of the Generator GroupPresentation of the development of the Generator Group

“We need to ensure we get both a bus station in Lewes and affordable housing that the city needs.

“They should come back with affordable housing, reach an agreement to provide a replacement bus station, improve the design and scale back most of the existing plans.

“The thing we are most concerned about is the bus terminal, the directive says it should be a functioning, satisfactory waiting facility. We need to make sure we get that, not just a row of bus stops in the narrow streets of Lewes.

The Argus: From left Green Councilors Roy Clay, Adrian Ross, Jonathan Vernon, James Herbert, Wendy MaplesFrom left Green Councilors Roy Clay, Adrian Ross, Jonathan Vernon, James Herbert, Wendy Maples

“It would lead to a complete gridlock in the city if we didn’t get a proper bus station.”

Lewes Green Councilor Wendy Maples added: “This is the right decision – and the number of people taking part on a very wet day shows it.

“Pretty much everything was wrong with the Generator Group’s plans: no affordable housing, over-the-top design and a total disregard for the transport needs of Lewes and the surrounding villages. What now?

“Most urgently, we need Generator Group to show they are interested in working with the city and our local authorities by removing the bus station closure notice immediately.

“Today’s rain showers have vividly demonstrated the shortcomings in the Generator Group’s on-road bus terminal proposals.

“It’s time for a serious talk. We must keep and improve what we have or Generator Group will have to pay for a realistic alternative bus station.”

The Generator Group announced back in August that bus operations at the site would be suspended by September 16.

Lewes Liberal Democrats slammed the decision as planning permission had not yet been granted.

There were nearly 700 objections to the developer’s plans for the site.

The Generator Group has been contacted for comment. Permission denied for demolition of Lewes bus station for housing

Fry Electronics Team

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