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The impending planning applications for Malling Brooks and Phoenix Industrial Estates were the subject of a meeting with Angel Properties, the prospective developer, hosted by Lewes Matters, a community forum intent on keeping open lines of communication between community, developers and Council. Sustainability was the issue, and the call was to challenge and surpass government socio-ecological benchmarks to formulate a sustainable blueprint for new developments in a town that is aspirational and forward-thinking.
Malling Brooks will provide light industrial workspaces for many businesses currently working from the Phoenix Estate, a new Fire Station for the Council, and car parking. It is a greenfield site in a flood plane. This development will impact on traffic, flood defences, and local habitat, yet the long-term environmental sustainability that should be at its core, seems to have been largely overlooked. Malling Brooks may end up like any other industrial estate, with the minimum energy efficiency, flood defences and water cleansing provisions to get it through planning. The Malling Brooks planning application is likely to be submitted by the end of 2006. This will be a detailed application, linked to the Phoenix application - which may only be submitted in 2007. The go ahead to develop Malling Brooks will free up Phoenix for development, and will be a massive tick in the developer’s box, the very same developer spearheading the Phoenix development.Malling Brooks should be seen as an opportunity to innovate, to gain sustainability experience thus preparing the groundwork for the much larger Phoenix project. It would be beneficial for Lewes Council to consult more widely with the community prior to developments of this scale so we can work together to create the Lewes we all want. AM

Running wild: but not for long. Malling Brooks is about to be developed