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February 17 2016.

Following on from today's LDC decision to scrap its controversial housing project Richard Becket writes:

Early in the 1900’s there was a public auction of plots of land on Mount Pleasant with each plot given a designated number on a plan of the area. Each numbered plot had a designated length with the majority having a frontage to the road of 20 feet.

In the late 1950’s through the early 1960’s, those plots of land, still identified by the original given number, were still being sold for building, and properties, (mainly bungalows), erected thereon with an average of 40 foot frontage per property. i.e. two plots per property - which is exactly what the legal documents of my bungalow show.

Having closely examined the original map it is obvious that a substantial number of those plots sold at the auction remain undeveloped to this day, and having made a rough assessment of the number of undeveloped plots, by assuming two plots per property, it would appear that there still remains the possibility to complete the original development for in excess of some 450 properties. This is surely more than enough to satisfy the requirements for new housing in Newhaven.

I am aware that part of the original layout is now within the Southdown National Park, but even allowing for that organisation not permitting development in their “patch”, surely any area of undeveloped land within the remaining land on the side of (1) The Crescent, (2) Fairholme Road (3) Palmerston Road etc., could be included in the neighbourhood plan. After all, looking at the plots of land already identified on the Neighbourhood Plan, several of these possibilities are already shown adjacent to roads 1, 2 & 3 mentioned above.
I know that the identity of the owner(s) of many of the vacant plots cannot now be identified due the passage of time and it would probably be difficult to trace them. However, surely a financial plan can be arrived at where money is set aside from the sale of those plots in order to reimburse  any person or persons who might surface with legal evidence of ownership?

Also, with regard to any of the undeveloped plots which have been acquired by legal means, that is to say by Unchallenged Use and Occupancy for the legal number of years, then surely those plots could be made available for development through a Compulsory Purchase Order?

Richard Beckett