Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 3 March 2022

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 March 2022: 

SDNP/22/00295/HOUS: Single storey rear extension and loft conversion with dormer window to rear elevation. 39 Abinger Place.
Friends of Lewes object to the rear dormer, which is contrary to the Friends of Lewes advice note ‘The Design of Dormer Windows’ and the SDNPA Draft Design Guide SPD. Even on a rear elevation, the dormer should not dominate the appearance of the original pitched roof and the top of the new dormer should always be lower than the existing ridge. The current proposal fails both these tests. It appears from the drawings submitted that like many Lewes terrace houses with slate roofs, there is insufficient height within the present roof space to create a room that complies with Building Regulations. This has generated a disproportionately large box dormer that occupies more than 80 percent of the existing slate roof. The Society considers this is not sufficient justification for the development proposed. Purely on aesthetic grounds, the dormer height should be reduced by at least 100mm and the width by 50% to meet the higher standards expected in a Conservation Area.

SDNP/22/00365/HOUS: Single storey rear extension and the erection of front and rear dormers. 15 Talbot Terrace.
Friends of Lewes object to the rear dormer which is too wide, at ridge level and out of scale with the roof. Furthermore, no details of the materials to be used are provided in the application. It is important that they are appropriate for the conservation area.

SDNP/22/00504/ADV: 2 sets of non-illuminated fascia signs and 2 non-illuminated awnings. 34 – 35 High Street.
Friends of Lewes comment that the application contains no details of the colours of the blinds proposed. Conditions should require their approval by planning officers.

SDNP/22/00542/HOUS: Single storey rear extension, garden room with raised terrace, rooflight to front, revised fenestrations and dormer windows to rear. 6 Bradford Road.
Friends of Lewes comment that insufficient details have been provided on the materials to be used in this development, which should be appropriate for use in the Conservation Area.

SDNP/22/00879/FUL: Demolition of existing buildings contained within a former woodyard. The White House Eastgate Wharf.
Friends of Lewes strongly object to this application. Development within the Conservation Area involving the demolition of existing buildings should only proceed if and when replacement buildings or alternative development has been approved. The Society disagrees with the Planning Statement which concludes that the buildings do not contribute positively to the architectural character of the surrounding neighbourhood, that also forms part of the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. The buildings are important landmarks within the wider landscape when viewed from Phoenix Causeway and Cliffe Bridge and should be replaced with a development worthy of the site. Friends of Lewes strongly object to the proposal for a car park which would make a negative contribution to the character of the surrounding area and fail to preserve and enhance the Conservation Area in accordance with the SDNPA Draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document. The Society therefore calls for the application to be refused in accordance with Core Policy SD1 (Sustainable Development) of the South Downs Local Plan as the development proposals fail to conserve the landscape, natural beauty and cultural heritage of the National Park.

The Society comments that the threat to the existing building appears to be the consequence of inadequate security, repair and maintenance of the buildings over a long period. The failure of the applicant to undertake this work over many years to the point that they claim it is not economically viable does not justify its demolition. Mitigation measures could and should be taken to stabilise its condition and make it secure, pending a development proposal worthy of a key site in the Lewes Conservation Area being brought forward for approval.

SDNP/22/00927/HOUS: Conversion of existing garage into ancillary workspace, alterations to west and east elevations, including removal of porch, amended glazing, and first-floor balcony to bedroom, pergola, minor addition to rear ground floor. Kilimani Cuilfail.
Friends of Lewes object to the inadequate information that is required to judge this application. The drawings are poor, it is not clear what will be built or remain and details of the materials proposed are insufficient. The conversion of the existing garage does not appear to be for ancillary use to the exiting building and it could be used as a separate dwelling.

SDNP/22/01017/HOUS: Replacement of existing metal framed windows with double glazed UPVC windows to the front and rear. 35 Talbot Terrace.
Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC windows in the Conservation Area and the lack of details provided of the windows proposed. The use of uPVC windows in the Conservation Area is contrary to SDNPA Draft Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document. Traditional timber windows should be used to match those retained elsewhere in Talbot Terrace.

SDNP/22/00602/TCA: T1, T2, T3,T4,T5 – Fell to stump level and re-plant of 5no. fruit trees. Flat 1 1 Friars Walk.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the removal of the Bay trees because the trees are very close to the Grade 2 listed building and there are concerns that the roots may damage the drainage pipes. The plans suggest that the trees are going to be felled to stumps. In our experience regrowth is highly likely if the stumps are not ground out. We commend the planned replacement with five trees but advise that fruit trees tend to be high maintenance and prone to disease. A better choice might be resilient native trees with blossom and berries for wildlife, (such as Whitebeam, Hawthorn, Wild Cherry). The Friends of Lewes Trees Committee would be happy to advise on re-planting.


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

SDNP/21/04279/HOUS 19 Cleve Terrace.   Replace frosted UPVC window with non-frosted timber window.
SDNP/21/04797/FUL Western Road Community Primary School, Southover High Street.   Polycarbonate canopy over play area.
SDNP/21/06316/HOUS 21 Cranedown.   Single-storey rear extension and landscape works, including forming rear courtyard cladding rear facade with hung tiles and first floor and render at ground floor and new side window.
SDNP/22/00245/HOUS 19 Prince Edward’s Road.   Re-roof turret and two conservation rooflights.
SDNP/22/00328 4 Warren Close.   Single storey rear extension with roof terrace and single storey side extension.
SDNP/22/00348/LIS The Lewes New School, Talbot Terrace.   Internal and external alterations including flood resilience works, internal layout changes and refurbishing toilets.
SDNP/22/00355/HOUS & 00356/LIS 19 Lansdown Place.   Redecorate window and door frames.
SDNP/22/SDNP/22/00600/HOUS 13 Mill Road.   Part two storey, part single storey rear extension, create porch and reconfigure staircase.
SDNP/22/00673/FUL Malling House, Sussex Police HQ, Church Lane, South Malling.   Upgrade telecommunications installation on existing mast.   Replace 3 antennas.
SDNP/200782/FUL & 00783/LIS 90 High Street.   Change of use to self-contained C3 dwelling.
SDNP/22/00897/HOUS The Workshop, Pipe Passage.   Garden studio to replace shed/workshop.
SDNP/22/01006/HOUS 126 Western Road.   Replace rooflight with dormer, replace rear rooflights, replace fibre cement tile roof with traditional slate and erect bike shed with green roof.

Planning Application Approved

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