South Downs National Park Update June 2022
Issues in the South Downs National Park
Plan to scrap Natural England
There is a proposal buried in a recent government consultation on nature recovery, which would mean that Natural England (the conservation watchdog) would be absorbed into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in effect destroying it.
Shoreham Cement Works
A public consultation on the Issues & Option version of the Shoreham Cement Works Area Action Plan (AAP) is now open and will run until 2 August 2022. The AAP for Shoreham Cement Works is a mini Local Plan for the site, which follows on from its allocation as a strategic site in the South Downs Local Plan
The Shoreham Society is holding a consultation event on Friday 17th June, 6pm until 9pm (arrive any time) at the Shoreham Centre, Pond Road. See: www.shorehamsociety.org.uk/whats-the-future-forthe-cement-works/
South Downs National Park Consultation papers: www.southdowns.gov.uk/area-action-plan-shoreham-cement-works/
Loss of Lewes Bus Station
Will the South Downs National Park approve plans to demolish the Lewes Bus Station?
The Generator Group, and the site owners are proposing to demolish Lewes bus station and replace it with 40 dwellings along with commercial space for offices or shops. Sadly, currently they propose no affordable homes nor do they appear to offer to fund a new bus station. See: https://savelewesarchitecture.uk/2022/06/08/demolition-of-lewes-bus-station-less-than-a-week-to-submit-your-views-closing-on-15th-june-2022/
Getting the best out of National Highways!
National Highways (formally Highways England) is mainly known for its major road projects whether they be motorways or trunk roads. However, there is another aspect to their work which is to fund and execute projects (under the heading of ‘designated funds‘). There are 4 areas of funding:
– Environment and wellbeing
– Innovation and modernization
– Safety and congestion
– Users and communities
Nearly £1 billion has been set aside for schemes under the above headings. You may also be interested to note how much money remains in the fund to cover the period of 2022 to 2025, – Some £650 million! See:
West Sussex County Council Bus Transport
West Sussex County Council (WSCC) have launched #WestSussBus – a long-term engagement project – to collect views, suggestions and ideas about local bus services. It’s on the WSCC engagement hub: https://yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/westsussbus It’s an online forum.
Also you can give your comments, views and ideas by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Street Development – Lewes
This is probably the most significant development possibility in the National Park apart from the Shoreham cement works. The large brownfield site in Lewes has been in a semi derelict state for decades. The developer (circa the early 2000s) gave up because of the recession in 2008. Santon took over the site and spent many years putting forward complicated plans to the National Park which eventually culminated in planning approval between 2016 and 2019. This was for 415 homes plus various commercial and public realm buildings. The National Park was effectively wedded to this development though many of us said the development costs were far too high. Santon (and their own Mas Rei) pulled out a few years ago and now the site is effectively owned by Human Nature. They are struggling to get the National Park to rethink things to allow a development of some 700 homes, public realm buildings and craft/commercial workshops. For more information https://humannature-places.com/