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Councillors consider next steps for future development consultation

Council leader: 'community involvement remains crucial'

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The Leader of Lewes District Council has repeated her call for residents to get involved with the next stage of consultation on future development in the district and to 'not take anything for granted', after Cabinet councillors yesterday (9 November) considered the spatial strategy and policies document.

The strategy sets out the policies and framework for new homes, employment space and community facilities.  The plans are evidence led, with the information gathered by council officers informing where development is appropriate and where it is not.

The government gives every council an annual housing target for new homes built - the target for Lewes district is 602 homes per year, double the previous target.  However, the evidence gathered so far by the council, including 42,000 representations from residents and organisations that followed the 'call for sites' and issues and options documentation, shows that a maximum of 210 homes a year is deliverable.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson said: "Community involvement remains crucial if we are to show the government what housing numbers are genuinely sustainable in Lewes district.

"While many sites are being assessed and consulted upon, residents should not take anything for granted.  This is a long process that will lead to all the evidence we have gathered being examined by the government's planning inspector before the new local plan is formally adopted.

Subject to consideration at Full Council (20 November), the public consultation is scheduled to run from 29 November 2023 to 8 February 2024 and include a range of opportunities for people to have their say, including local exhibitions across the district and online feedback.

Councillor Laurence O'Connor, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: "I'm looking forward to this consultation as it gives residents an opportunity to really get under the skin of the document and share their views on it.

"The draft local plan is much more than just a road map for where homes and businesses will be developed in the future. 

"Using the vast amount of evidence our officers have so far collected, it informs a raft of policies that are key to deciding planning applications received by the council in the future."

Details of how to take part in the consultation will soon be available on council website, the council's social media channels and in the local media.  Activities will include drop-in events, use of social media to highlight key themes, webinars for parish councils, the deposit of documents in key locations for inspection and a webinar for all district councillors.

Published on November 10, 2023.

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