The Phoenix – the UK’s largest timber neighbourhood


Plans to redevelop a major industrial site in East Sussex have been revealed – valued at £370 million. 

Phoenix East Sussex
Credit: Human Nature
by Rory ButlerFebruary 6, 2023

Developer Human Nature has unveiled a proposal to transform the site once home to Phoenix Ironworks, in Lewes, to a new sustainable riverside neighbourhood. 

The Phoenix development will be mixed-use and will include around 700 homes, a riverside trail and flood defence measures. 

Community spaces, including a fitness centre, event hall, cafes, healthcare practice and work studios are also proposed within existing industrial buildings. 

Around 500+ construction jobs will be created.  

Phoenix East Sussex
Credit: Human Nature

The 7.9-ha brownfield site had once been a place of heavy industry but has stood in ruin for about 20 years. It also suffered fire in 2014. 

Human Nature will use engineered timber, much of it locally sourced, which is 100% renewable. It is understood The Phoenix will be the UK’s largest timber development when complete. 

This new neighbourhood turns the imperatives of the climate and natural emergencies into opportunities for better design, better placemaking and ultimately healthier and better living,” wrote Human Nature.  

“Planned to prioritise people over cars, powered by renewable energy and designed to encourage a culture of sharing, it represents a new and regenerative way to make a place, build a community and create a more productive local economy fit for the 21st century.” 

A planning application will be submitted shortly.  

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