Public pressure delays plans for 400 new homes

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Plans for more than 400 homes in towns across Lewes District have been delayed after public pressure from campaigners.

Lewes District Council has agreed to look at 49 provisional sites in its area after campaigners raised concerns over the way the contracts were negotiated.

Campaigners said the council was being secretive over its plans with Karis developments and Southern Housing in a protest march in Lewes on Wednesday (December 9).

The protest was held the same day as the local authority’s full council meeting, which saw councillors debate a series of petitions against the potential 415 homes.

The decision was made to delay planning applications until the public could be fully consulted on the plans.

The developments include the controversial Buckle car park site in Seaford as well as sites in Newhaven, Peacehaven and Lewes.

One of the protesters Jackie Bishop, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“It seems that common sense has prevailed at last.

“But it has only been as a result of the public pressure and I urge everybody who is concerned by these plans to lobby their local MPs and councillors to make their opinions heard.

“They are elected by the people and need to listen to what we think.”

Speaking in the debate, Lib Dem councillor Vic Ient said: “I can’t see why it was kept secret. We actually own these sites so what was the need to keep it secret?”

Councillor Susan Murray, Green Party, said, “It seems to me the public are starting to lose faith in our council and hold it in contempt. They are really concerned with the way this process has been handled.

“I’m still not sure this council has really understood what has gone wrong here and it would be well advised to look hard at its process.”

The decision was also welcomed by Conservative Sharon Davy, who added, “I think we do try our best and there’s nothing to be ashamed of not getting it right all the time. But we can change it.”

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