9 June 2019

 

Green Party Leader, Zoe Nicholson, has slammed  District Council leadership on North Street Quarter development as a “missed opportunity” and is calling on the Conservative Leadership to take action.

 Monday’s Cabinet meeting sees the Conservative administration discussing next steps for the North Street Quarter development in Lewes, which is the largest housing and workspace proposal in a National Park in the UK. The scheme, was given planning consent by the South Downs National Park Authority earlier in the year.

Green Party Councillors, the second largest group on the Council, are calling on the Conservative Cabinet to take action to reduce the environmental impact of the development.  Zoe Nicholson, Leader of the Green Group said,

“Even the  Conservative Leader of the Council says the development is “slightly disappointing”  - but I would say it’s a catastrophic missed opportunity. Even our government, in their prevailing chaos, admits we have a climate emergency, that we have 11 years left to halt the worst impact of climate change on our communities and environment. A development of this importance,  that is being built in the next few years, needs to be carbon neutral, otherwise it will simply add to the problem not make it better”.

“The agreed plan is uninspiring, fossil fuel dependent, and car-centric; hardly something to be proud of! While this is not this Administration’s doing, as the National Park is responsible for the planning consent itself, we have a continuing duty to make sure we get the most from this development at every turn”

Green Councillors are urging the Council to buy the remaining site not already owned by the Council, and, if this is not possible then the Council should at least purchase the 165 affordable housing to make sure it really delivers for local people.

“If the previous Conservative Cabinet had thought about this earlier, they could have bought the land and possibly saved taxpayer money”. Said Cllr Nicholson. “Now they will have to buy the homes from the developer, which might well end up costing  the taxpayer more than it should have.”

On Monday Zoe Nicholson, will be asking the Cabinet to ensure that when developers are invited to bid that they are encouraged to aim for a “Carbon Zero” development. .

The Green Party Leader has said she will also push for the Cabinet to buy the 165 affordable homes.