Skip to navigation

Council miscalculation could lead to a developer free for all, warns CPRE Sussex

Friday, 12 October 2018 11:21

Lewes and the Downs Lewes and the Downs © Henry Hemming

CPRE Sussex is urging Lewes District Council to urgently update its housing figures after discovering that the council could lose control of its Local Plan due a ‘mis-assessed’ shortfall of just 6 houses.

Under planning laws the district must prove that it has five years’ worth of building land or risk losing control over local development – a move which could result in a ‘developer free for all’ in the countryside. Lewes District Council’s newly published ‘Five Year Land Supply’ figure presently stands at 4.99 years - equating to a shortfall of 6 units.

CPRE Sussex has now produced detailed information which proves that the council has substantially underestimated this figure - putting the district’s countryside at great risk.  

“We believe that the Council’s published assessment of its 5 year Housing Land Supply is incorrect,” says CPRE Sussex’s John Kay. “It does not include or mis-assesses elements of the Housing Land Supply that should properly have been included in the assessment”.

“This assessment, based on a very small shortfall, is of crucial significance. It is therefore essential that the calculations on which the key conclusion is based are accurate”.

Detailed analysis now being made public by CPRE Sussex shows that the council has underestimated its housing numbers by “at least” 79 units in Ringmer alone. The Campaign’s report also highlights other under calculations for new houses on sustainable sites elsewhere in the district.

“When CPRE Sussex representatives in our Lewes District Group examined this data, they immediately identified that there was a serious undercounting of the available sites,” says Dr Kay.

“They focused initially on the data for a single parish, Ringmer, where they identified conservative omissions in this parish alone, in several different categories: of a total of at least 79 units that in our view should have been included in the housing land supply”.

“These omissions in Ringmer are sufficient on their own to transform the District’s Five Year Housing Land Supply from unsatisfactory to satisfactory”.

CPRE Sussex has sent its analysis to Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Council calling for an urgent re-assessment of the figures.


Photo © Henry Hemming

join us

Back to top