In June 2019 the Eye reported that the North Street site was for sale. It was understood that bids were to be made by September of that year.
The Eye had suggested that there might be problems selling the site. Surveys done by local groups had suggested that the site was not viable given the current planning permission, even if no affordable housing was built at all. This was partly because of the likely cost of flood prevention. If no developer can be found the owners, Lewes District Council and Mas Rei, must either develop the site themselves or attempt to vary the planning permission so that the scheme is more potentially lucrative to a developer, for example by taking out some of the less profitable sections such as the doctors surgery and the rented housing.
Who knows, with the government’s current gung-ho attitude to building on the flood plain, the developers might be allowed to do away with flood defences altogether.
It looks as if the Eye’s suspicions were right because the site is now up for sale again. The agents are Avison Young and Vail Williams.
The advertisement in the Estates Gazette is dated 17th January 2020, so this is clearly a re-advertisement.
Whatever is going on?
The leader of Lewes District Council says that the site is not for sale and the Estates Gazette has made a mistake.