Housing density can be a good thing. No one
wants to see towns like Lewes spread out like Los Angeles,
covering the Downs in swimming pools and shopping malls. Then
again, too much density can start to feel like overcrowding.
Lewes resident John Stockdale wrote to the Sussex Express
recently, concerned about the proposed Phoenix Development.
His letter can be read on the Lewes Matters website. Stockdale
points out that, while the South East Regional Design Panel
recommend only 30-50 housing units per hectare, the Angel
proposal for the Phoenix Quarter will build in excess of 200
units per hectare.
We’re not sure if his figures are correct. But if they
are, how dense are we talking about? Well if each proposed
new housing unit contains only one person, that will give
the residential area of the new Phoenix Quarter a greater
population density than any borough of inner London. If we
assume instead that each unit were to contain the UK average
of 2.41 people, it would have a population density of 482
per hectare. Of course we’re only talking about a small
area here, but if that density were to be increased over a
larger urban area it would be roughly that of the Kowloon
City district of Hong Kong, and higher than Calcutta, Manila
or Manhattan. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this.
Angel Property have not given out exact numbers of how many
units they plan to build. But these comparisons underline
the importance of bringing their proposal through every step
of the normal planning consent process. DB