Barratt Southern Counties have officially submitted their application for 143 homes to be built in Peacehaven. Plans for an additional 307 properties have also been detailed with plans to build over two separate stages. The new build will comprise of two storey and two & a half story homes, two and three storey flat blocks and the remaining land will be incorporated into Centenary Park in a bid to increase the open green space of the area. The project was approved by Lewes District Council at a planning meeting held at the Meridian Centre last night (23 April). The planning meeting was disrupted multiple times by disgruntled residents opposing to the project. Over 100 Peacehaven locals turned out in opposition with Newhaven Town Councillor June Dyer outwardly objecting “I can’t see how they can make the A259 any better. The volume of traffic is so high. There are too many houses in the scheme and they don’t think about doctors, roads and schools in the area. They just want to develop houses and be done with it”. According to Barratt Southern Counties the housing will be 40% affordable but Cllr Dyer additionally said that “in this area, what is affordable? It could be out of a lot of people’s budget”.
The councillor’s opposition came after a £1.2 million transport plan was announced. It has suggested that residents of the homes will get free bus passes, cycle vouchers and in order to tackle complaints about pollution the house will have electric car chargers in place. Additionally, Barratt have been in communication with Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company asking them to increase the frequency of the 12X bus as well as 3 new buses for the fleet. Peacehaven residents are not interested in the proposals and over 1000 people have directly objected to Lewes District Council.
The issue doesn’t seem to be the building of new houses, it’s the area they’re in and the increase in congestion and pollution that were the main concerns. Lance Richards told The Argus “the loss of green space is my main concern . It’s a popular area for families and they are just going to ruin it. There are lots of birds at the site too. I know there’s a need for homes countrywide, but I would rather they weren’t built here. I may possibly move away because of the development”. Richards lightly touched on the national housing crisis which has led to an increase in poverty, sub-standard living conditions and a huge (and largely under-reported) increase in homelessness. This has spurred most councils in the UK to set targets for the building of new houses, with Lewes District aiming to build 6,900 homes by 2030. Arguably, it was for these reasons the development was approved by seven out of ten councillors. Councillor Turner stated “I am going to reluctantly vote for this. I’m sorry. I feel very, very sorry for the people of this district because of the housing we’ve got to build.
Keep an eye on Brighton Journal to find out more as the development, and opposition to it, continues.