Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 7 February 2019

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 7 February 2019

SDNP/18/06103/OUT: Outline approval for residential development comprising up to 226 dwellings with associated landscaping and parking, with access from Monks Way (All Matters Reserved except Access and Layout). Old Malling Farm Old Malling Way Lewes BN7 2DY.
Friends of Lewes object to this application because it fails to meet the requirements of Spatial Policy 4 – Old Malling Farm, Lewes in the adopted Lewes District Council/ South Downs National Park Joint Core Strategy. This requires that a Masterplan and a Design Brief must be approved by the local planning authority in advance of an application. No evidence has been submitted with the application that demonstrates the Masterplan and Design Brief have been approved by the planning authority. The Society considers full public consultation on the Masterplan and Design Brief is essential, before approval.

The Design Brief submitted with the application contains a wide range of illustrations and endeavours to establish some parameters for developing what is essentially a very difficult site that is clearly visible within the wider landscape setting. In particular, the suggestion that some parts of the site need to be kept clear of any development indicates that the site is not suitable as a housing site for Lewes. Furthermore, the prospect of over 200 houses having only one vehicular access at the most northern part of the site is considered to be unacceptable as it would result in a development based on a number of long ‘cul-de-sacs’.

The allocation of Old Malling Farm for development is currently under review as part of the Examination in Public of the South Downs Local Plan. The Society considers this application should not be determined until the Inspector’s report on this matter has been published.

Overall, as submitted the application is considered both inadequate and inappropriate for Lewes due to its remoteness from the town centre and other facilities and for the National Park which is seeking to promote landscape character in determining the suitability of sites for development.

SDNP/18/06615/REM: Reserved matters pursuant to permission SDNP/15/01146/FUL for Phases 2 & 3 consisting of the demolition of existing buildings, construction of flood defences, provision of infrastructure, enhancements to recreational facilities at Malling Fields and Pells Park, and the erection of new buildings up to 3 storeys comprising up to 173 residential units (Class C3) (Appearance and Landscaping to be considered). North Street Industrial Estate North Street.
Friends of Lewes support this application. The Society has been fully engaged with the consultation that has taken place on the design of phases 2 & 3 of the development and welcomes the outcomes. The changes that have been agreed as a result of the consultation process have been for the better and Friends of Lewes support the proposals.

SDNP/19/00086/HOUS: Proposed conversion of loft to habitable room with rear dormer window. 32 Queens Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed dormer which is too large and does not conform to the recommendations set out in the Friends of Lewes ‘Planning Advice for Dormer Windows’.

SDNP/19/00061/LDP: Creation of dormer to rear of property and conversion of roof space.
8 Fitzjohns Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed dormer which is too large and does not conform to the recommendations set out in the Friends of Lewes ‘Planning Advice for Dormer Windows’. (This application was published in the weekly list but is now not available on the SDNPA web site which suggests it has been withdrawn.)


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

SDNP/18/05141/HOUS 5 Mount Place.   Flue pipe.
SDNP/18/05949/PA14J Sussex Police HQ, Malling House, Church Lane, South Malling.   Solar PV.
SDNP/18/06152/FUL 89 High Street.   Change of use to residential.
SDNP/18/06213/LIS 19 Keere Street.   Internal alterations.
SDNP/18/06301/HOUS 37 Priory Street.   New dormer and rooflight.
SDNP/18/06431/HOUS 22 Mountfield Road.   Single storey rear extension.
SDNP/18/06594/HOUS 33 Prince Edward’s Road.   Demolish conservatory and erect new single storey extension with terrace.
SDNP/19/00093/FUL The Stewards, The Motor Road, Old Racecourse.   Replace fencing.
SDNP/18/05648/ADV 35 Friars Walk.   Two fascia signs and A board.
SDNP/18/06391/HOUS 37 Abinger Place.   Detached single storey garden studio.
SDNP/18/06595/HOUS 16 Fisher Street.   Repair cladding, replace door and window.
SDNP/19/00053/HOUS 5 St Swithun’s Terrace.   Replace garden building.
SDNP/19/00088/LIS 2 Albion Street.   Enlarge lower ground floor kitchen.
SDNP/19/00084/FUL 151B High Street.   Change use to residential.
SDNP/18/06551/PA30 20-21 High Street.   Change use first floor to flats.
SDNP/19/00247/LDP 8 St John’s Hill.   Refurbish rear extension.
SDNP/19/00280/HOUS 79 Houndean Rise.   Convert garage, erect rear and side extension with dormer and garage-workshop with car port.
SDNP/18/06417/FUL Sackville House, Brooks Close.   Change use to orthodontist.
SDNP/19/00076/FUL 2 South Street.   Change use to restaurant.
SDNP/19/00381/FUL & 00382/LIS 65 High Street.   Over-clad render with tile hanging.
SDNP/19/00475/HOUS Meadow Barn, Landport Farm Road.   Convert barn to garage/workshop with annex.


Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 3 January 2019

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 January 2019

SDNP/18/05782/ SDNP/18/06120/LIS: Proposed extension of existing flue to rear of building.  18 Cliffe High Street.
Friends of Lewes consider the proposed flue extension that would hug the roof slope of the rear projection to be visually unacceptable. The Society objects to the proposal and suggests a simple vertical extension of the existing flue to eaves level might be less intrusive.

SDNP/18/04511/HOUS: Proposed two storey side extension.  4 Pellbrook Road.
There was insufficient information available on the SDNPA web site for the Friends of Lewes to understand the scope of the proposed works. The plans made available do not provide adequate information and the application form, which would give details of the materials to be used, was not published. The Society objects to the application because the SDNPA Local Validation List requirements have not been met.

SDNP/18/05647/FUL: Change of use from B1 to D1 Health Centre; ‘The Unity Centre’. Installation of sign above entrance, new lighting above entrance, alteration to rear entrance with associated ramp, closure of existing access to Styles Field and restore access to Broomans Lane. 35 Friars Walk.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the change of use from B1 to D1 Health Centre. However, it objects to the proposed shed which although described as temporary is not supported by information that justifies its provision or quantifies how long it is required. The shed does not fit in with the existing building or the surrounding Conservation Area and will be visible from both Styles Field and Broomans Lane.  Furthermore, the Society comments that insufficient details of the proposed signage have been provided and further details of the sign and its construction are required.

SDNP/18/06086/HOUS: Construction of two single storey side extensions and alterations to fenestration.  1 Castle Banks.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the proposed development but comments that details of the windows and doors to be installed have not been provided with the application. It considers these details should have been provided as the development is within the Conservation Area.

SDNP/18/06419/HOUS: Loft conversion with rear dormer. 15 Glebe Close.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed dormer which is too large and does not conform to the recommendations set out in the Friends of Lewes ‘Planning Advice for Dormer Windows’.

SDNP/18/05444/FUL: Redevelopment of allocated housing land from ‘former auction rooms’ into ten residential units comprising two no. two-bed split-level apartments, four no. three-bedroom houses and four no. four-bedroom houses.  Garden Street Auction Rooms Garden Street.
The Friends of Lewes support the redevelopment of this brownfield site for housing provision. However, it OBJECTS to this proposal as the design is considered to be both inappropriate and overdevelopment on this important site in the centre of Lewes.  The Society is disappointed that after meeting the applicants on site they did not take on board any of the points made to them.

Of serious concern is the lack of consideration of the relationship of the proposals within their immediate townscape context and in particular with the neighbouring housing development in Tanners Brook and the need to relate to the Garden Street frontage with its significant change of levels. In this respect, the proposed four storey development at the lowest part of the site close to Tanners Brook is considered to be unacceptable.

It is suggested that the proposed development should take account of the change of levels along the Garden Street frontage and be designed so that pedestrian access can be gained to the individual housing units from Garden Street, thus making a positive contribution to the local streetscape. Furthermore, the curved shape of the housing units has resulted in a number of ‘awkward’ spaces within the overall site plan which would be both difficult to construct and to maintain.

Whilst a number of sections have been included in the planning submission, a plan illustrating where these relevant sections have been taken has not been included and as a result the drawings are difficult to interpret accurately. Indeed, the scale of the proposed buildings and hence their likely impact on the adjacent townscape is difficult to assess as the neighbouring buildings and in particular the houses in Tanners Brook, seem to have been drawn at an excessively large scale.

The Society considers the development proposed to be contrary to Policies ST3 (Design, Form and Setting of Development) and H5 (Development within or affecting Conservation Areas of the Lewes District Local Plan and the aims of the NPPF.


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

SDNP/18/04408/LIS 70 North Street.   Replace/extend flue.
SDNP/18/04250/HOUS 18 The Avenue.   Extend patio, erect terrace wall, shed/garden office and decking.
SDNP/18/05621/HOUS & 05738/LIS 11 Keere Street.   Rear garden room, remove chimney stack and internal partitions, new opening in rear ground wall.
SDNP/18/05076/LIS Castle Precincts Cottage, Castle Precincts.   Replace guttering and roof repairs.
SDNP/18/05606/FUL 39 South Street.   Replace windows.
SDNP/18/06269/HOUS 1 Downside.   Ground and first floor rear extension, internal alterations and new front window.
SDNP/18/05389/LIS 77 High Street.   New electric and gas meters.
SDNP/18/06246/HOUS 31 St John Street.   Replace doors and windows.
SDNP/18/06041/HOUS 55 The Avenue.   Single storey rear-side extension, remove section of wall.
SDNP/18/06122/HOUS 52 Middle Way.   Two storey side extension and rear decking.
SDNP/18/06123/ADV Waitrose, Eastgate Street.   Internally illuminated freestanding LED display.
SDNP/18/06563/LIS 151B High Street (is actually in Pipe Passage). Change of use to residential.
SDNP/18/06368/HOUS & 06369/LIS 15 Albion Street.   Alter rear garden wall and extend front parking bay.
SDNP/18/06376/LIS Thebes Annexe, 32 High Street.   Basin/vanity unit.


Friends of Lewes i-Tree Eco Survey of Trees in Lewes

The Friends of Lewes has conducted a detailed survey of trees in Lewes in order to inform its tree planting programme which aims to help improve the natural environment of the town.

The survey identifies the number, species, and ages of the stock of trees in Lewes, and will guide the choice of trees to plant in order to maintain a varied and healthy tree population. It also puts cash values on the benefits that the tree population brings to the town.

Summary report of the i-Tree Eco Survey of the trees of Lewes [pdf 1.2mb]


Cliffe in Lewes showing trees


Friends of Lewes Design Awards Nominations for 2019

The brick paving in a twitten, an eco-house replacement for some derelict chicken huts, and a development of riverside apartments are among the nominations for Friends of Lewes Design Awards later this year.  Twenty small and large developments or building improvements have been nominated to receive an award from Friends of Lewes, the town’s civic society. Those successful will be announced and certificates be presented at a ceremony in May 2019.

Every three years the Friends of Lewes asks its members to nominate new buildings, renovations or other building work in Lewes that they feel to be worthy of recognition. A panel is then appointed to consider those nominations and the successful projects are chosen.

“The aim is not only to acknowledge projects that enhance the local environment and make a positive design contribution to Lewes but also encourage other people who may be thinking of undertaking projects to support high standards of design,” says Friends of Lewes chairman Robert Cheesman, “and, of course, we hope to draw the attention of the wider public to the good things that are being done in Lewes”.

Awards are given to buildings and other projects that are seen as being sympathetic to their surroundings within Lewes, use appropriate materials and demonstrate an impressive quality of work. In previous years the Dial House conversion (which houses Waterstones bookshop) in the precinct, a modern rear extension to a house in Castle Ditch Lane, and The Linklater Pavilion on the Railway Land have been award winners.


Friends of Lewes Design Awards 2016 winners


The Lewes Neighbourhood Plan Referendum – Thursday 7 March 2019

Referendum results given out on 8 March 2019:

Yes 2993 (92%)
No 268 (8%)

Turnout 24.8%


Lewes Town Council has prepared the Neighbourhood Plan through a Steering Group representing the community.

Neighbourhood planning allows local people to contribute to shaping and influencing development in the places where they live and work.

In Lewes, the intention is to:

  • preserve the character of the town
  • sustain both the community and our environment
  • use previously developed land for future housing
  • find ways to provide low-cost housing
  • preserve historic features, and
  • protect green spaces and our natural environment

The Plan sets out a vision for the town through to 2033 and, if adopted, will guide future development.

The Referendum Version of the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan can be found at both the Lewes4all website, and the SDNPA website, along with further information.

This Referendum is for Lewes electors only

Provided a simple majority is in favour the Plan will become part of local planning law


Lewes Neighbourhood Plan Referendum leaflet