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“UK’s most sustainable neighbourhood” granted planning permission

by | 15 Feb 24 | Commercial Landscaping, Landscape Architecture, News, Sustainability

Phoenix Lewes

A multi-use “walkable neighbourhood” in Lewes, East Sussex has been granted planning permission a year after proposals were first announced.

The Phoenix will see a 7.9ha brownfield site turned into 685 ‘highly energy-efficient’ homes that will be the UK’s largest timber-structure neighbourhood where pedestrians will be prioritised over cars.

Public squares and gardens will be incorporated alongside community buildings and a site-long river walk. Play areas and communal garden plots form part of the first homes designed by Ash Sakula Architects in Parcel 1, with a central courtyard that includes a rain garden.

Budding developer Human Nature is behind the plans. The East Sussex based company was founded by former Greenpeace directors Michael Manolson and Jonathan Smales. It has worked with design agency Periscope and Kathryn Firth, director of masterplanning and urban design at Arup, on the Phoenix masterplan.

“We’re working with an amazing team, bringing together best practices in sustainable design, urbanism and construction to provide a new breakthrough model with the Phoenix,” says Smales, who condemned the “current mainstream model of development” as “catastrophic” and “deeply unsustainable.”

Existing materials on the former industrial site, such as cladding and bricks, will be used where possible. Local apprentices will be trained on site in ‘modern’ construction methods.

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