Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 6 May 2021

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 6 May 2021: 

SDNP/18/06103/OUT: Erection of up to 226 dwellings and Public Open Space with associated infrastructure including a new access to Monks Way. (Outline with all matters reserved except access and elements of the Layout comprising the principal access route through the site’ development parcels, street frontages and the size and location of the proposed Open Space).   Old Malling Farm, Old Malling Way, Lewes, BN7 2DY.
Friends of Lewes have reviewed the new documents associated with this application and makes a supplementary representation to that made in January 2019. Robert Cheesman has asked the Society to mention that his representation of 22 February 2021 was a personal objection and was not made on behalf of the Society.

Friends of Lewes remains of the view that the prospect of 226 houses with provision for 450 cars having only one vehicular access (remotely located at the most northerly part of the site, at the greatest distance from Lewes Town Centre) is unacceptable as it would result in a car dependent development based on a number of ‘cul-de-sacs’ and as such would be totally unsustainable.

The Society notes the representations made by the SDNPA Access Team and ESCC Highways and calls for the application to fully address the delivery of walking and cycling infrastructure which is essential to ensure sustainable access to the town centre is provided as a meaningful alternative to car travel. It objects to the current proposals, which are inadequate.

Furthermore, the single road access at the north end will lead to longer road journeys than if there was an access point at the south end. The consequences will be inconvenience to the site’s residents, nuisance from additional traffic to existing residents in Old Malling Way and increased noise and air pollution in the area. The Society remains of the view that a vehicular access to the site should also be provided at the south end.

Also of relevance are the recent changes in the likely timescale for implementation of any development proposals for the North Street Quarter site in the centre of Lewes. These included a package of measures to improve the circulation of traffic within the town centre that are understood to have been an integral part of supporting the proposals for the Old Malling Farm site. The original scheme by the North Street Quarter Ltd has been abandoned and there is likely to be a significant delay in the implementation of any alternative scheme on this site. The necessary developer contributions for junction improvements at Phoenix Causeway roundabout, required to meet the needs of the Old Malling Farm development, have therefore not been secured.

The Society notes the comments by the SDNPA Design Officer, SDNPA Conservation Office and the SDNPA Landscape Officer that some requirements of the Old Malling Farm Design Brief have not been met. It considers it important that these are determined as part of the consultation and not as reserved matters.

The Society maintains its objection.

SDNP/21/00253/HOUS: Replace front facing windows on the ground and first floor and the front door. 12 Mount Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC, which is an inappropriate material in the conservation area. The Society also objects to the inadequate information provided with the application that describes the proposals and the absence of before and after elevations. This makes it impossible to properly assess the proposals.

SDNP/21/00853/FUL: Change of rear uPVC dormer window to a timber window. The Flat 7 Fisher Street.
Friends of Lewes support the proposed new dormer window, which is a good improvement.

SDNP/21/01223/HOUS: Side extension and rear extension. 3 Hamsey Crescent.
Friends of Lewes comment that the extension is immediately next to the garage next door, which is in front of a setback extension. The Society has concerns that the design of the new extension could disrupt the existing street scene.

SDNP/21/01399/LIS: Retrospective application for the retention of roof terrace screens and lighting.  6 Eastgate Street.
Friends of Lewes support the proposal that time limited approval should be given and suggest three years.

SDNP/21/01784/FUL: Demolition of existing Church Hall and garage and the construction of 3 No. residential dwellings. St Johns Church Hall Talbot Terrace.
The earlier proposal for this site – subsequently approved – was for a pair of semi-detached three bedroom houses. The approved scheme had three gables facing onto Talbot Terrace but the impact on the streetscape and on neighbouring properties was mitigated by setting back the left and right gables. It also referenced the church hall with its chequer board decorative gable. The proposed scheme has three four-bedroom houses with twice as many bedrooms as the approved scheme. In consequence the proposal is both bulkier and wider than the approved scheme and will have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties and the street scene. Despite the applicant’s claims, the general appearance walking along Talbot Terrace is of two storey terrace houses with dormers.

Two parking spaces are proposed, squeezed into the residual space at each side of the development. The pavement is a well-used pedestrian route into the centre of Lewes via the steps at the end of Talbot Terrace; it is used daily by schoolchildren on route to schools on the south side of the town. Two new vehicle cross-overs will create an unnecessary hazard. The great majority of households – if they have cars at all – park on the street. There is an existing pedestrian right of way along the south side of the site that provides access to the rear of the Old Bakery. This was shown in the approved scheme but is ignored in the new proposal, which uses the space for parking, preventing access for buggies, bikes, wheelchairs etc.

This is a disappointingly bland scheme that seeks simply to achieve the maximum amount of development without regard to the context or sensitivities of this specific site. Friends of Lewes object to this new proposal on the grounds of overdevelopment, poor quality design and the adverse impact on both the street scene and neighbouring properties.

SDNP/21/02305/FUL: Creation of 1no. 3 bed dwelling to the rear of 111 High Street.
Friends of Lewes commend the design which seeks to reduce the height. It is a thoughtful proposal for a rear garden development which is well explained.

SDNP/21/02318/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. Street Record De Warrenne Road.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

SDNP/21/02321/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. Street Record Southover High Street.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. In the case of the Southover High Street site, the cabinet is an intrusive addition to the face of a high quality flint wall in the Conservation Area. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

DNP/21/02324/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. 51 High Street.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. In the case of the High Street site, there are already 4 large cabinets in situ, together with a litter bin, A boards and two bike racks. A fifth cabinet will compound the visual chaos, further disfiguring a highly visible corner in the centre of the Conservation Area. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

SDNP/21/00998/HOUS: Replacement of five existing timber windows with pvc double glazed windows, replacement of fully glazed door, replacement of existing porch with a new pvc porch, and a double glazed half front door and porch roof is to be replaced with double glazed roof . 35 Paddock Road.
Although it is obvious from the condition report that the windows and doors as well as the entrance porch need to be replaced, these should be in timber. Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC, which is an unsustainable, inappropriate material in the conservation area. There is inadequate information to assess this proposal except that uPVC is being considered. This house is very visible across the Paddock and is within the conservation core of Lewes.

SDNP/21/01925/HOUS: Proposed loft conversion and single storey rear extension. 85 Spences Lane.
Friends of Lewes has no objection to the rear extension proposed. However, the Society objects to the bulk of the box dormer which is too high and too wide, contrary to the Design of Dormer Windows Planning Advice Note published by the Friends of Lewes.

SDNP/21/01228/PRE: Proposed seasonal camping use on existing undeveloped land. Proposed seasonal pop-up bar and café. The Old Racecourse.
Friends of Lewes have concerns that the proposals could materially change the nature of areas adjacent to the Old Racecourse and risk turning a special area renowned for its peacefulness, nature and views into a hospitality venue. The pop-up bar is an inappropriate development in an area of very visible, quiet open land within an unspoilt natural environment.  It will encourage drinkers to congregate, resulting in noise and the risk of anti-social behaviour.

 

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

SDNP/21/00100/FUL/01794/LIS Flat 2 and 3, 48 Southover High street.   New maisonette combining flats 2 & 3, including reinstatement of stair and reconfiguration of internal spaces.
SDNP/21/01078/HOUS 43 Fitzjohns Road.   Single storey side and rear extension with new porch.
SDNP/21/01087/FUL North Court & South Court, Styles Field.   Spikes on chimney stacks.
SDNP/21/01304/HOUS 2 Verrall’s Walk.   Demolish conservatory and construct rear single storey extension and associated alterations.
SDNP/21/01440/HOUS 34 Winterbourne Close.   Rear extension.
SDNP/21/01489/FUL Unit 2 Malling Industrial Estate, Brooks Road.   Change use to B8.
SDNP/21/01495/HOUS 19 Fitzjohns Road.   Ground floor rear extension, changes to rear ground floor fenestration and internal alterations.
SDNP/21/01731/HOUS 20A Montacute Road.   UPVC rear conservatory.
SDNP/21/01735/HOUS 1 Southdown Avenue.   Replace catslide roof and small extension to side, new front porch, replace windows, rooflights and doors.
SDNP/21/01773/LIS 111 High Street.   Replace rotten timber columns.
SDNP/21/01839/HOUS Applewood House, Kingston Road.   Single storey side extension and new rooflight.
SDNP/21/02033/HOUS 15 Cross Way.   Single storey side and rear extension and internal alterations.
SDNP/21/02062/FUL Reed Court, 38 Boughey Place.   Replace timber cladding, replace timber windows with Non-Combustible and 30/20 fire-rated windows and intumescent-filled ventilation grills, new ventilation openings and window and associated alterations.
SDNP/21/02245/HOUS 6 Southdown Avenue.   Single storey rear extension with decking, part first floor front extension, loft conversion with nominal raising of roof ridge and alterations to front and rear.

Planning Application Approved