In August 2014 Friends of Lewes drafted guidelines on the design of dormer windows to address concerns that unsightly large dormers constructed under permitted development before the formation of the South Downs National Park were contrary to the aims of the National Park. Such development now requires planning permission and the guidance note has been further developed and reviewed in the light of subsequent planning decisions with the aim of influencing how local planning authorities determine new planning applications for dormer windows.
We have also noticed that the number of planning applications for garden rooms, to be used as home offices and to provide additional accommodation for members of the extended family, has increased year on year. Planning law is clear that a garden room should be ancillary to the main building, and its use is limited to meeting the need for which it was originally intended. However, we are concerned that, in time, when the immediate need has gone, there could be a change from ancillary to permanent commercial or residential use, with a detrimental impact on neighbours and support infrastructure. The guidance note sets out the key principles regarding the design of garden rooms that the Society encourages local planning authorities, property owners, developers and architects to follow.