The masterplan is NOT a planning application. It is a set of ideas for the area which will be used as part of decision making by Lewes District Council who decide on planning applications. Planning applications will come in from developers at a later stage.
Here are some frequently asked questions which may help you
Why do we have to have another Co-op and why is the new one smaller?
The Co-op own some of the site and wish to stay. They will decide what they feel is commercially viable and put a planning application forward later. A smaller store reflects changes in retail design. The current store has a lot of wasted space, with wide aisles. A smaller store will remove some of this space but will not necessarily mean that the product range will lessen.
Who owns the site?
A mixture of the Co-op, Peacehaven Town Council, Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council. The Town Council does not have the freehold over any of the existing parking areas.
Why has Community House been removed from its existing location on the masterplan?
This was to keep ideas flexible, there are no firm development plans to relocate Community House at present. The Town Council and the public will be consulted on future planning applications, Community House may stay and be enhanced or be relocated. The masterplan has included an area of community space which could potentially be used as a civic building.
There is a need to improve infrastructure before building more houses, such as more Schools, Doctors/Dentists
The masterplan is a vision document for the area based on evidence and research from local government and central government. The current research shows that the medical facilities in the town are of a size that can serve the local population, the main problem has been recruiting GP's to the area. Likewise, the research shows that there is a decrease in the number of school children age over the plan period and as such there is not a current need for more school places. However, we appreciate that this is based on evidence gathered by other parties and if there is other more up to date evidence that needs to be considered then please include this in your comments. For example, parking at the health centre has been noted as an issue.
The A259 cannot cope and needs improving
With regards to traffic congestion, we fully appreciate that the A259 is a challenge. Therefore, the Neighbourhood Plan is trying to create policies that will help reduce day to day traffic, creating the right centre for Peacehaven will reduce dependency on outside towns to provide goods and services. It is important for us to understand the type of shops and services you think the centre of Peacehaven needs.
There is not enough parking in the plan
The levels of parking within the masterplan reflect the aims of the Neighbourhood Plan to reduce reliance of cars for short journeys by creating better cycling and walking routes for local people. A balance must be achieved as more parking also leads to additional traffic congestion and air pollution, sustainable “green” modes such as walking and cycling need to be encouraged.
Shop units are too small
The size of the units was kept small because early resident surveys indicated that residents wanted local crafts and trades in the centre of Peacehaven. To help encourage a range of local independent traders to the area the units were kept small. This is a visionary document, if you feel that a range of local independent traders is not what the local area needs then please provide comments as to what you would prefer and why
Why are there cycle routes across the site?
To encourage travel by sustainable modes
What about bus services, taxi’s, car clubs?
Public transport and other modes of transportation are all being considered as part of the Neighbourhood Plan. The aim is to try and become less reliant on the car locally, to help ease the traffic congestion on the A259, improve air quality and our local environment and to do that we need to improve accessibility and make cycling, walking and other forms of transport available and easy to use, such as car clubs, taxi's and hire bikes etc. The masterplan makes a start on this by introducing the idea of better connected walkways, particularly from North to South, and introducing cycle ways across the site that could be used in conjunction with cycle hire schemes and electric bikes.
Where is the library?
The masterplan sets out a range of community and civic spaces. A library could be included as part of the community spaces or form part of a future option for Community House. Please let us know what services you would like to see the Library or Community House provide as this can help inform the size or location of the community space.
Why is housing included on the plan?
The masterplan site is a large site that can accommodate housing as well as retail and other services. Having housing close to shops, medical facilities and schools enables fewer car journeys and will reduce traffic congestion on the A259. It makes sense that this site is used to help provide the towns housing requirements, which are determined by central government, as well as provide other services for the town.
Why build more green spaces when parking is a priority?
Green spaces are needed because the benefits they bring are substantial. Well-designed landscaping and urban green spaces provide places for recreation and leisure, that helps our wellbeing and fitness, improve the climate, reduce air and noise pollution and bring biodiversity encouraging wildlife and native species. Green spaces benefit all ages and local research shows that while we have a lot of green space in the town much is not managed and easily accessible for residents to use.
Why can we not have a shopping centre like Langney Centre in Eastbourne?
Peacehaven cannot host a town centre like Langney Shopping Centre because it provides retail to a population of over 100,000 people within a ten minute range and creates around a thousand vehicle trips per day, far more than could be accommodated on the A259. The Langney centre has many units which are empty, the retail market has changed over recent years with less reliance on visiting brand shops and increased ordering online. High streets and local centres are now focusing on providing spaces for independent retailers, community uses, food & drink.
Does the masterplan meet the vision of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group?
The masterplan is a vision, developed to help us understand how the centre of Peacehaven could be used in the future and to gain residents ideas.
Will anything we say make a difference?
YES. Please complete either the paper or on-line survey in addition to commenting on social media so that your views can be counted. Click to complete: A new centre for Peacehaven Survey (surveymonkey.co.uk)
What happens next?
All comments need to be received by 30 January 2021. A summary report will be produced and available during February 2021.