As we know, Lewes has a rich and varied abundance of house types from 18th century terraces to large Edwardian villas and even the occasional contemporary modern home. House type, style and the materials used for the building of the new homes will be driven by ensuring that character continues – a rich mix that addresses the local demand, enhances the sense of place within Lewes and positively adds to the historic evolution of Lewes’ housing stock.
Like the rest of the country, Lewes has a growing elderly population. Today’s building standards demand that all new housing is flexible to enable the elderly, infirm or disabled to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible.
The streets of Lewes vary from tight knit twittens to wide Edwardian avenues, each offering a different sense of place that affects the way we use each street. New streets created on NSQ should continue to offer this hierarchy of street form to provide efficient vehicle links through the site, clear, accessible routes for pedestrians to walk or cycle and smaller more intimate residential spaces in which residents can live, play and meet.
Part of the charm of Lewes and other ancient towns is that they have evolved with private gardens and spaces that are very much suited to their immediate environment, be it a rooftop garden, flower pot in the street or a lawned rear garden with a 6ft fence. Ensuring that eclectic mix continues should be seen as a positive opportunity – perhaps complemented by shared, communal community gardens.
Leaving the larger public open spaces for use as amenity space for the residents of NSQ will optimise the potential for all to enjoy the outdoors.
While dependency on the car is constantly being tackled, households today continue to own at least one car, often more. Under-provision of spaces can result in crammed and dangerous on street parking therefore more blue sky thinking about secure parking is a far better approach to provide safe, secure and sufficient parking – within an acceptable distance from people’s homes, to ensure the character of new streets is not dominated by the car.
To create an additional vibrant centre to the town we know we also need to address the issues around public car parking provision.
NSQ will provide a sustainable location for affordable dwellings that could provide accommodation for rent or shared ownership within Lewes, thereby helping local people unable to get onto the property ladder due to relatively high house prices and below average wages.