The developer terminates the license to operate buses at Lewes bus station

ES will no longer have bus services from a 70-year-old train station after the developer canceled the license.

The notice for Lewes bus station in Eastgate Street, Lewes, was delivered by the owners, The Generator Group, last week.

This means that all bus services at the site are to be suspended until Friday 16 September.

Lewes Liberal Democrat councilors have slammed the decision, claiming no alternative location for a different bus station has been agreed.

Temporary bus stops will be set up at School Hill and Friars Walk.

The Argus: The bus station was built in 1954 and is located on Eastgate StreetThe bus station was built in 1954 and is on Eastgate Street

City Councilor Dr. Janet Baah said: “The Generator Group acted prematurely by evicting the bus companies without a suitable alternative arrangement in place. And without planning permission, why the rush?

“The central, flat location of the Eastgate Street bus station is vital for people to have access to local shops and services in Lewes, with space and protection to wait and board.

“The options put on the table by Generator Group would result in passengers queuing on the Phoenix Causeway in the wind and rain.”

South Downs National Park, which has designated the site as derelict, said in its local plan there were “concerns about the long-term viability” of operating the bus station at its current location.

The plan states that “the principle of remediation is permissible provided attractive, operationally satisfactory transfer options are provided for passengers at another location of equal convenience”.

Councilor Merlin Miller urged the developers to either find a suitable site before planning permission is granted, or the bus stop should remain.

The Argus: Visualization of the proposed new Eastgate Street development. Credit ECE architectureVisualization of the proposed new Eastgate Street development. Credit ECE architecture

Cllr Miller added: “Brighton and Hove Bus Company has objected to the proposals, suggesting that the demolition of the bus station could even result in the loss of some bus services.”

According to Lewes Lib Dems, nearly 600 objections have been filed against Generator Group’s plans for a four-storey development of houses, apartments and commercial space with no affordable housing.

The developers are said to have notified local cafes and bus companies that they plan to demolish the site. An attempt by campaigners to get Grade II listed building status for Lewes Bus Station failed last week.

The Argus: Lewes Coach Station in September 2021Lewes Bus Station in September 2021

Lewes Liberal Democrats are calling on the South Downs National Park Authority, which will decide on the application, to hold the decision-making meeting in Lewes so that local residents can have their voices heard.

Councilor Claire Dowling, senior member for transport and environment at East Sussex County Council, said they were “extremely disappointed” by the owner’s decision to serve the council’s notice.

She said: “We remain committed to working with them to provide an alternative site for a bus station in the city center as they are required to do so to comply with relevant guidelines within the national park’s local plan.

“Now that a potential site has been identified we hope they will urgently fund its development to limit the disruption to bus passengers, businesses and local residents in Lewes.”

The Generator Group has been contacted for comment. The developer terminates the license to operate buses at Lewes bus station

Fry Electronics Team

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