Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 4 March 2021

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 4 March 2021: 

SDNP/20/05539/CND: Removal of condition 3 of application SDNP/20/04231/HOUS for removal of the green roof.  17 Fitzgerald Road.
Friends of Lewes have concerns about the removal of this condition. The extensive flat roof will increase runoff from the site and insufficient details have been provided that demonstrate how rainwater will be adequately managed and recycled.

SDNP/20/05749/FUL: Erection of two x 4 bedroom houses to replace existing studio building. Liquid Studio St Andrews Lane.
Friends of Lewes comment that this is a thoughtful mews development, which is appropriate for this site and has been well explained.

SDNP/21/00002/HOUS: Replacement timber frame sash windows to main house with hardwood timber frames and double-glazed units, and replacement of garage door with French doors. 24 St Annes Crescent.
Friends of Lewes support the use of hardwood timber frames within the conservation area that match the existing windows being replaced. However, no details have been provided of the window construction, particularly those relating to the timber profiles and glazing bars. The Society considers this information should be provided to support an assessment that the application meets Development Management Policy SD15 of the South Downs Local Plan.

SDNP/21/00021/HOUS: Erection of garage to rear with patio above. 2 Sackville Close.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the proposal but the development will increase runoff and details should be provided that demonstrate how rainwater will be adequately managed and recycled.

SDNP/21/00096/LIS: Replacement of existing brick steps/stair with new timber staircase. Flat 2 48 Southover High Street.
Friends of Lewes object to this application because inadequate details have been provided. The scope and nature of the work proposed to the listed building cannot be understood from the information submitted.

SDNP/21/00252/HOUS: Single storey rear extension. 13 Grange Road.
Friends of Lewes object to this application because inadequate details have been provided. The scope of the work proposed and the materials to be used in the conservation area have not been adequately described.

SDNP/21/00287/HOUS: Proposed alterations to lower-ground front and rear elevations, proposed new sunken rear courtyard and internal alterations. 9 St Annes Terrace Western Road 30/3/21.
Friends of Lewes comment that details of the construction and glazing of the windows for the front elevation have not been provided. This information is needed to assess the impact of the development on the conservation area.

SDNP/21/00695/PRE: (This for officer advice before a planning application is submitted to establish if it is likely to be successful) Residential development of 60 dwellings (comprising 35 affordable, 15 private market and 10 live/work units), cycle paths, camping area, footpath alterations, woodland, wildlife habitat. Road:- visual barriers including land and s106 contributions to junction relief works at Earwig Corner. Land to The South of Lower Stoneham Farm, at Earwig Corner Stoneham Ringmer.
Friends of Lewes support the principle of zero carbon development that proposes affordable housing and prioritises pedestrianisation. However, it objects to this proposed development because the site falls outside the development boundary and is not currently allocated for development. No justification has been made for residential development within the countryside in this part of the National Park. The provision of 100 percent affordable housing is not proposed, contrary to Strategic Policy SD29: Rural Exception Sites. The scale and location do not relate well to the existing settlement and landscape, and the piecemeal development risks harming the setting of an important gateway into the town of Lewes.

The need for housing and employment land can be met from existing brownfield and greenfield allocations in the Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan and the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan at sites including the North Street Quarter and Old Malling Farm. Development of allocated brownfield sites should proceed the development of new greenfield sites. The need for employment uses can be met at Malling Brooks in Lewes and at allocated sites in Ringmer.

SDNP/20/05823/HOUS: Section 73A Retrospective application for shed in the back garden and pedestrian access gate to the back garden. 36 Highdown Road.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the shed or gate but comment that the shed has a large mass and will be less prominent if the wooden cladding is allowed to weather naturally.

SDNP/21/00020/FUL: Extension to existing garden centre to provide improved cafe and outdoor seating area, new warehouse space, enclosure and extension of existing garden centre sales area and erection of new garden centre concession units and other minor improvement works. Lewes Garden Centre Newhaven Road Kingston.
Friends of Lewes welcome investment to improve and enhance the primary purpose of the garden centre and to secure employment. However, the Society objects to plans to expand the retail operation at the site by more than 50% with concessions that may not be related to horticultural use. At a time when the town of Lewes has a high vacancy rate of shops within the historic core it is both inappropriate and unreasonable to expand retail outlets within the adjacent countryside.

Lewes Garden Centre falls outside the development boundaries of both Lewes and Kingston. Development management policy SD38 (Shops Outside Centre) of the South Downs Local Plan requires a retail impact assessment to be undertaken in such circumstances, where the proposal exceeds 150m2. The application has failed to provide this assessment and has not demonstrated that the primary use of the centre is, and will remain, for the sale of plants and horticultural products. A detailed breakdown of the proposed use of all of the retail areas is required. Most importantly, the retail impact assessment needs to assess whether the impact of the proposed retail development would have an adverse impact on the existing retail centre in Lewes.

The extended garden centre will be more visible from Lewes, from views along the Kingston Road, as the new development is elevated by its construction on the sloping site. Insufficient landscape containment has been included and the landscape led approach required by the South Downs Local Plan does not appear to have been adopted. Further plans are required to address the need for additional screening on the north and eastern boundaries.

Strategic Policy SD19 (Transport and Accessibility) of the South Downs Local Plan supports development proposals that are located and designed to minimise the need to travel and promote the use of sustainable modes of transport. Strategic Policy SD20 (Walking, Cycling and Equestrian Routes) supports development proposals provided they contribute to a network of attractive and functional non-motorised travel routes. Whilst the transport report finds that ‘the proposed extension, new concession units and warehousing space are not anticipated to generate a level of additional traffic to and from the site that will materially impact on the local highway network’ no evidence has been submitted to support this statement. Neither improved pedestrian nor cycle access is promoted in the report. Newhaven Road has no grass verge or footpath on the side of the road that the garden centre is situated. Pedestrian access is extremely hazardous close to the garden centre entrance and the adjacent junction with Wellgreen Lane. Measures to improve pedestrian and cycle access to link the garden centre with adjacent footpaths and cycle paths should be included, via conditions requiring contributions for highway improvements.

16 trees are being removed to facilitate the planned development and a condition of planning approval, if given, should be that a minimum of 16 replacement trees are planted elsewhere on the site and that the tree protection procedures recommended in the Tree Survey are adopted in full.

 

The Committee examined the following applications and had no observations to make:

SDNP/20/05828/HOUS & 05829/LIS Ilex House, 210B High Street.   Alterations and repairs to boundary walls, including landscaping to rear garden.
SDNP/21/00003/HOUS 38 South Street.   New flat roof to existing extension and enlarge external WC room.
SDNP/21/00094/HOUS 40 East Way.   Demolish garage covered area and rear extension, and construct part single, part two-storey side and rear extension.
SDNP/21/00244/HOUS 142 South Street (Rusty house). Construct garage, alter fence and construct garden room/store.
SDNP/21/00261/HOUS 80 Court Road.   Replace timber windows with PVCu.
SDNP/21/00326/HOUS 8 Dorset Road.   Demolish conservatory and erect rear single storey extension and create new shower room above upper ground floor rear.
SDNP/21//00375/FUL 25-26 High Street.   Replace windows with double glazed aluminium windows to north and south.
SDNP/21/00385/HOUS 60 St Pancras Road.   First floor rear extension.
SDNP/21/00549/LIS 107 Malling Street.   Timber windows to ground floor rear and side.
SDNP/21/00508/LIS Southover Od House, Southover HIgh Street. Replace balcony and add missing balustrades.

Planning Application Approved