Opinion -Charles Style, property developer

Is the Phoenix Quarter proposal too tall or too dense? The density and heights of buildings are currently under review by English Heritage and the Design Panel. Lewes is not Brighton or London. There will be no tower blocks. We feel there is a huge opportunity here to create a vibrant new area and to encourage exciting modern architecture. We would like the new quarter to mesh with the town, have a distinctive character, and fulfill needs that are not currently catered for. One of those needs is for a cinema. We feel a purpose built three-screen cinema, together with a new art gallery and live/work space for local artists will be an important and popular local facility. We have included space for The Sussex Innovation Centre, which will attract knowledge-based industries. Open market and affordable housing, new shops and offices and a new landscaped riverfront, together with the proposed flood defenses will make this part of the town available for the first time, not only for people who will live and work there, but also for visitors and tourists.

This opportunity deserves to be considered in the light of the needs of the County and the District, ie the need for new housing, workspace and leisure space on a brownfield site in the town rather than in the countryside or the small coastal towns and villages. This is the County Town and the benefits created by regeneration of this very unattractive and under-utilised area will make Lewes an even better place.

Charles Style: “There will be no tower blocks.”