Future of Lewes bus station in doubt!

Could the Lewes bus station be lost? 😦😦😦  A “pre” planning application has been submitted to the National Park planners to demolish the bus station and construct a mixed-use ‘gateway development  with 3 commercial units and 41 residential units. The overall height is planned to be 4 storeys with some 5 storey elements. These are initial plans and they could change. This is what the first part of th application says:

There is a real chance the bus station will be lost. The applicants have been made aware of the planning requirement for a replacement bus station facility but we don’t know at this stage if such a requirement is mandatory. In any event where would a new bus station go? 

The application number is SDNP/21/03284/PRE but according to the South Downs National Park on-line comments are not permitted. This may be because it is a “pre” planning application. However there is no harm in writing to the National Park planning department. Email: planning@southdowns.gov.uk. It may also be worthwhile writing to the National Park members nominated for East Sussex. They are Richard Waring, who is also a Lewes Town councillor,   (richard.waring@southdowns.gov.uk ) and Vanessa Rowlands (Vanessa.Rowlands@southdowns.gov.uk ). They both sit on the Park’s Planning Committee.   

If you value the bus station facility, do write and give them your views. 

Also, East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is involved as they are the Transport Authority and it’s believed that discussions regarding the provision of a replacement bus station have been opened with them. One could write to them at publictransport.pts@eastsussex.gov.uk to express your views. The county councillors for Lewes are: 

Councillor Johnny Denis  cllr.Johnny.Denis@eastsussex.gov.uk    

Councillor Wendy Maples cllr.Wendy.Maples@eastsussex.gov.uk 

The irony of this threat to bus services in Lewes comes at the time when the County Council is consulting on a government proposal  entitled Bus Service Improvement Plan! It’s bad enough getting East Sussex County Council to improve the bus service when they’ve done just the opposite over the last decade but this threat to the bus station isn’t a good omen to kick off the county council’s public consultation on their Bus Service Improvement Plan https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/bsip/  This consultation has just opened and will close on 14 Sep 2021 

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