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Council to sell minority share in North Street Quarter to Human Nature

Cabinet councillors at Lewes District Council have agreed to sell their minority share in the North Street Quarter site in Lewes to Human Nature, subject to the developer securing planning permission for the new scheme that it wants to bring forward.

The decision follows the news last week that MAS REI, the majority landowner at the North Street Quarter, has agreed heads of terms with Human Nature for the sale of its land at the site.

Human Nature hopes to complete its purchase of the NSQ by February, shortly before launching a community design event in the Spring 2021.

MAS REI has owned land at the North Street Quarter since 2012 and despite receiving planning permission for a major mixed-use redevelopment, the project has not progressed beyond initial preparatory work.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "We believe that it is in the best interests of our town, our residents, local businesses and the council that Human Nature becomes the landowner and developer of the North Street Quarter site.

"The sale of our share of the NSQ is dependent on Human Nature securing planning permission for a new scheme and we will work with them to ensure the plans they bring forward reflect our ambitions for this important site.

"Human Nature has made it clear they are focused on delivering a truly sustainable scheme and I look forward to seeing the details of that vision emerge during 2021."

A new scheme will bring greater benefits because the South Downs National Park's Local Plan includes tougher requirements on sustainability, flood defences and affordable homes.

Councillor Nicholson added: "In addition to our expectation that affordable homes boasting the most ambitious sustainability credentials will be built, alongside the creation of local business opportunities, we are also very clear that a new health hub must be included in Human Nature's planning application for the North Street Quarter.

"I have no doubt that there is local demand for a health hub and I am certain that Human Nature will quickly arrive at that conclusion too when they begin talking to GPs and other health service decision makers."

Human Nature has confirmed that extensive public consultation will begin in Spring 2021 and that this will be integral to the final design of the scheme.