Proposals for a housing development in Newick have been given the go ahead by Lewes planners.
On Wednesday (January 17), Lewes District Council’s planning committee approved proposals to demolish a property in Allington Road — known as Point House — and build six four-bedroom homes in its place.
A previous version of the plans, which would have seen the existing property retained, had been turned down at appeal in 2019, primarily due to concerns about its location and impact on the character of the area.
While objectors (including Newick Parish Council) argued the scheme should have been refused on similar grounds, officers had recommended the scheme be approved, as they felt its benefits outweighed its downsides.
Although the committee eventually agreed to grant planning permission, some concerns were raised about the size of the properties being proposed, with several councillors arguing smaller two- or three-bedroom homes would be more desirable.
Cllr James Meek (Green) said: “These are executive properties. These aren’t going to service the people of Newick at all. You are going to get people from elsewhere coming with the money, probably a million quid of something to be able to afford a house like this in this kind of situation.
“So they are going to get more people from outside with money, who aren’t actually members of the community at all. What we are trying to strive for locally is community.”
The committee were advised against a refusal on these grounds, with officers saying they would want to take legal advice before pursuing such a reason for refusal. Officers also noted how a change in the house sizes would likely alter the appearance of the site and its impact on the character of the area.
The committee’s legal advisor also warned councillors that the price of the properties and “type of people” who may buy them was not a material planning concern.
Ultimately, the committee reached a decision to approve the scheme.