After months of campaigning by local residents and Liberal Democrat Councillors, the Conservative-run District Council voted today to drop the '49 sites' proposals, which had more recently been re-branded and spun as the 'New Homes Plan.’
Leader of the Lib Dem group Councillor Sarah Osborne is calling for the principal architect of this project, Cllr Rob Blackman, to resign, saying:
"Cllr Rob Blackman's arrogant refusal to listen to either the concerns of the Lib Dems or to vast numbers of residents in Lewes District has ended up costing the tax payer nearly £600,000. We consistently called for an open and transparent process and when it became clear the Tories wouldn't listen, we challenged for the Leadership twice, failing only because the Independent Councillor Ruth O'Keefe abstained. Consequently this sorry saga has led to years of uncertainty for many residents and a great deal of expense for us all".
Cllr Steve Saunders, a Lib Dem Cllr in Newhaven added: "Today's decision to drop the strategy is a real win for local people and it is essential that some of the sites are now re-considered. We desperately need more affordable housing but this should only be built after proper consultation with local residents. To close this sorry chapter once and for all, disgraced Council Leader Rob Blackman must now resign."