We are proposing to build new homes, spaces for small businesses and a safe and attractive pedestrian landscape and active street frontage between the High Street and the Phoenix Estate.
We are Generator Group and you can see more on the About Us page. We purchased the freehold interest in the site on 30th April 2021, with a view to redeveloping it for homes and commercial space.
The site on Eastgate Street was historically owned by Southdown Motor Services who developed the existing buildings on the site as a bus station and bus garage in the 1950s.
In 2006, the site was sold by Southdown Motor Services having been deemed no longer operationally necessary, and ceased being used as a bus station, office and bus garaging. It has been allocated for redevelopment in the Development Plan for Lewes since at least 2003.
When the site was sold to a private owner in 2006, it was agreed by the owner of the site at the time that East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and the bus companies could on a temporary licence basis, continue to use the tarmac areas of the bus station for dropping off and picking up passengers only.
The former bus station facilities have since been let to various tenants including a café, a charity literature company, a builder for the storage of materials and a warehouse for furniture.
The current legal basis of occupation is that ESCC have a licence solely to ‘drop off and pick up’ passengers within the area of hardstanding on the site.
The licence can be terminated by either side giving the other 70 days’ notice.
As a private land owner, we are not responsible for providing bus stops, however, recognising the importance of the bus service in Lewes, when we purchased the site, we decided not to seek vacant possession and give notice to terminate the licence at that stage, but to work with all stakeholders to explore alternative possible locations for the bus stops. Engagement with ESCC has been ongoing since June 2021.
It has been known for fifteen years that the bus pick up and drop off facilities on site were being provided on private land on a temporary legal basis and that a more permanent solution was required.
We commissioned an expert transport consultancy to undertake a comprehensive Bus Re-Provision Assessment. This included reviewing and technically assessing how the stops are used now and all possible locations for the reprovision of the bus stop facility to a temporary and/or permanent location within the town centre of Lewes.
The Bus Re-Provision Assessment demonstrates that there are a number of potential technically viable solutions for the relocation of the bus stops in Lewes town centre. The report provides a sound basis upon which ESCC, in consultation with Lewes District Council and Lewes Town Council, can review the options and determine and implement the most appropriate alternative location.
These options are part of our public consultation and we welcome your comments.
Aside from it not being commercially viable, the Local Plan policy identifies concerns over the long-term viability of operating the bus station in its current location.
From a highways perspective, the existing arrangement is substandard and not deemed fit for purpose. Provision for pedestrians is considered unsuitable and unsafe. Air quality and noise pollution are also considered to be issues that would be exacerbated if services continued from this location.
It is Generator Group’s understanding that the provision of the elements that make up a bus stop are the responsibility of and managed by three different organisations:
- Bus Stops (hard standings and poles) – East Sussex County Council (ESCC)
- Bus Shelters – District, Borough or Parish Councils
- Bus Flags and Timetables – the relevant bus operator
We recognise the importance of buses to the town centre of Lewes and we are keen to assist in finding a solution. We have already shared our Assessment with East Sussex County Council and will also share the findings of our public consultation, so that they can take this forward. We have offered our assistance in the form of providing expertise from our transport consultants, to support this process. You can link to the detailed Pre-application documents and the Bus Re-provision Assessment
37 apartments and 3 houses.
In accordance with Local Planning Policy this will be assessed subject to viability.
18 car parking spaces including disabled and electric vehicle charging. The level of provision is based on a landscape and sustainability led approach (SDNPA policy), the accessible town centre location and local car ownership data.
Yes, provision for every unit.
421 sq metres of ground floor space suitable for small independent businesses / retail / café / other.
We will consider all feedback on our proposals and will work on a final planning application to submit to South Downs National Park Authority later this year. They will carry out a formal consultation before it goes to planning committee next year.