Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 4 July 2019

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 4 July 2019:

SDNP/19/03045/ADJAUT: Redevelopment of ‘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 Society has reviewed the revised scheme and maintains its objection to this development. It shows no material changes from the original scheme other than the block of flats adjacent to the station, which have been reduced from four floors to three. The Society considers the proposal to be an inappropriate design solution for this important site which remains unacceptable. The visual images clearly illustrate the use of very hard detailing for a housing scheme with raised walls separating the individual units and the use of cobbles throughout, with minimal landscaping. This approach is more suitable for an office or commercial development rather than a residential scheme.

One of the delights of Lewes is the glimpses one gets of the South Downs between and above developments. One such place is by the Southover Grange Gardens gate at the top of Garden Street where the view of the chalk face rising above the Cliffe is good. The development will block this important view and the wonderful golden glow of the chalk, seen at sunset, will be lost. Strategic Policy SD6: Safeguarding Views in the emerging SDNPA Local Plan is intended to conserve and enhance the ‘Breathtaking views’ referred to in Special Quality 1 of the National Park and the ‘Scenic quality’ which forms the second factor of Natural England’s evaluation framework for natural beauty. A requirement for development ‘not to harm the visual integrity, identity and scenic quality of the National Park’ is included in the policy. The Society strongly believes that the proposed development is in breach of this policy.

On matters of detail, the Society’s concerns have been ignored regarding the lack of consideration of the relationship of the development within the immediate townscape context and also the need to relate to the Garden Street frontage with its significant change of levels. The extensive use of timber shingles is not suited to curved buildings and would be both difficult to install and to maintain between units that are very close together.

The elevations showing the likely impact of the proposals on the overall setting remain inadequate, in particular the “Elevation from Southover Road – North”.

In summary, the Society considers the development proposed to be contrary to Policies ST3 (Design, Form and Setting of Development), H5 (Development within or affecting Conservation Areas of the Lewes District Local Plan and Strategic Policy SD6 (Safeguarding Views) of the emerging SDNPA Local Plan.

SDNP/19/02293/HOUS: Replacement of existing timber frame windows with UPVC casement windows. 73 Western Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC windows in the Conservation Area. Traditional timber windows should be used.

SDNP/19/02691/HOUS: Proposed single storey side and rear extension and gable roof extension, 2no roof lights to the front and dormer to the rear. 9 Fitzjohns Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the scale of 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/19/03073/ADV: Proposed fascia sign to front elevation. 48 Malling Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the size of the lettering proposed, which is too large; smaller lettering would be more appropriate.

SDNP/19/02989/HOUS: New dormers to front and rear roofslopes, roof extension at rear, various external changes at rear of property. 8 Grange Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the design of the rear dormer which is too wide and too high. Furthermore, the roof extension that extends beyond the dormer is of a strange design, too fussy and will look out of character. The existing hipped roof to the rear, which is shared with the neighbouring property, will be interrupted and the remaining roof structure will appear out of place.


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

SDNP/19/01744/HOUS 22 The Gallops. Single storey extension.
SDNP/19/02752/FUL Trinity St John Sub Castro Parish Church, Lancaster Street. Interpretation panels.
SDNP/19/02775/HOUS 7 Pelham Terrace. Rear dormer, demolish shed, build single storey rear extension, replace windows and doors, external and internal alterations.
SDNP/19/02798/HOUS & 20799/LIS Malling Deanery, West Wing, Church Lane, South Malling.   Entrance gates.
SDNP/19/03044/ADV 20-21 High Street (formerly Steamer Trading).   Signs.
SDNP/19/03002/HOUS 18 Highdown Road.   Two storey side extension.
SDNP/19/02803/FUL Southover Pumping Station, Kinston Road.   Chlorine dosing and storage kiosk.
SDNP/19/02813/FUL & 02860/LIS 191 High Street.   Remove chimney stack and chimney breast.
SDNP/19/03016/HOUS & 03017/LIS 65 Southover High Street.   Two storey rear extension.
SDNP/19/03062/FUL 54 St Anne’s Crescent.   New dwelling.
SDNP/19/03134/LDE 22 Talbot Terrace.   Retain single storey rear extension.
SDNP/19/02862/LIS 140 High Street.   New WCs.

Planning Application Approved

Lewes Heritage Open Days, 12-15 September 2019

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or charge for admission.

Eighteen historic Lewes buildings and tours will be accessible over this long weekend. Some are not normally open to the public, and for others, their usual entry charge has been waived for this event.

There are a range of guided tours, and for some, advance booking is essential.

Booking opened on 8 July 2019. Please book by 9 September 2019 for all venues except for: Lewes Prison (book by 6.9.19 Sold out), Lewes Town Hall (by 11.9.19), and Barbican House Library (by 12.9.19) – please check the booking page for details.

Brochure, full details, and how to book your place for tours 

An opportunity not to be missed!


The Workshop (Jonathan Swan), The Croft, Edward Reeves

Lewes Heritage Open Days is organised by the Friends of Lewes


Photos of Lewes High Street from 1860 to 1960 – Friends of Lewes talk, Thursday 12 September 2019, 7.45pm

Tom Reeves: Retail Retold – Life on Lewes High Street

Tom Reeves shows images of the town and people of Lewes taken in the High Street from 1860 to 1960.

The images are from the Edward Reeves Archive, a collection of historic images from the world’s oldest surviving photography studio.

This talk is linked to the new lightbox exhibition which runs from the 5th to the 29th September 2019, featuring 80 lightboxes in windows up and down Lewes High Street.

The exhibition will focus on the importance which High Streets – now very much under threat – have in the life of a community.

Special emphasis will be given to the much more sustainable way in which generations before us did their shopping.

Lewes High Street, Tom Reeves talk
Lewes High Street and clock, c. 1936 (detail)
Image courtesy of Edward Reeves Photography

Venue: 7:45pm at Trinity Church Southover, Southover High Street, Lewes BN7 1JH

Entry: Open to all – admission free to Friends of Lewes members, £3 for non-members

Tea & coffee in the interval

See the Diary page for a list of  forthcoming events organised by the Friends of Lewes.



Rowland Halls – A Sussex Architect: Exhibition and Talk, September 2019

Rowland Hawke Halls (July 1879 – March 1919) was a Lewes architect working in the Arts and Crafts tradition in the decade before the First World War. To mark the centenary of his death, two events are planned:

Exhibition of drawings and photographs – Tuesday 10 to Monday 16 September 2019, 9:30am to 4:00pm

On display will be Halls’ designs for local buildings, and previously unseen material from the family archive.

Venue: Lewes Town Hall, High Street, BN7 2QS

Entry: Free


A talk on Rowland Halls: A Sussex Architect – Wednesday 18 September 2019, 5.30-6.30pm

Event at The Keep, Falmer

Architect Rowland Halls died in a motorbike accident in March 1919, aged 39. He had spent most of his life in Sussex, where he designed many Arts and Crafts style houses, as well as public buildings such as the Council offices in Fisher Street, Lewes.

Halls celebrated traditional crafts; many of his buildings used local materials and were decorated with scenes from Sussex life and nature.

This talk, by his grandson David Scott Cowan, will explore Halls’ life and work, referencing his letters home from France and Belgium in WWI, as well as architectural plans, watercolours and other material from the East Sussex Records Office at The Keep and family archives.

Entry: £5, which includes the parking fee

Booking in advance is essential via The Keep’s website or call 01273 482349

Venue: The Keep, Woollards Way, Brighton,  BN1 9BP

Rowland Halls exhibition and talk, September 2019
Click image to enlarge



Lewes History Group talk: Stories Behind the Lewes Town Hall Paintings – Monday 9 September 2019, 7:00 for 7:30pm

Sarah Bayliss and Wenda Bradley

Pictures have hung in Lewes Town Hall for more than 120 years and an analysis of the collection helps tell the history of our town. Three of the most important oil paintings have recently been restored with Heritage Lottery funding and their subjects stand out as depicting key moments and influences on local as well as national culture, from The Battle of Lewes to the Protestant Reformers to The Visit of William IV and Queen Adelaide. Other paintings in the Town Hall collection contribute to a rich visual heritage, ranging from images of famous men and two women, shipbuilding, orientalism, cricket, Bloomsbury and Bonfire.

A book has been written about the collection by journalist Sarah Bayliss, with educational materials prepared by Wenda Bradley of Artemis Arts. Their September 2019 talk for Lewes History Group will reveal colourful stories about the paintings’ subject matter, the artists and the generous benefactors who have donated such a variety of art to the people of Lewes.

The Visit of King William IV and Queen Adelaide to Lewes, 22 October 1830, by Archibald Archer - detail

King William IV ascending the steps of The Friars and being welcomed by Lewes’s MPs and High Constables, 22 October 1830. (Detail from painting by Archibald Archer)

All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.

There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £1 for members, and £3 for non-members.

Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)

See the Meetings page for a list of  forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 6 June 2019

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 6 June 2019:

Weeks ending 7, 13, 20 & 27 May & 3 June 2019

SDNP/19/02185/HOUS: New first floor extension to existing single-storey house including timber cladding with black window frames, photovoltaic panels mounted at new roof level, new ground floor entrance lobbies and replacement windows, with timber spandrel panels to match new first floor extension, new sedum-planted roof coverings to existing flat roofs, and general improvements to hard landscaping to front of house.  4 Park Road.
A range of views were expressed on the application with no one strongly objecting to or supporting the proposals. Following a lengthy discussion it was felt that the new owner is entitled to alter the house to match current lifestyles provided that this is done with sensitivity and respects the qualities of the existing house. The design of the new cantilevered box was felt to be in keeping and the scale, materials and flat roof were in the same idiom as the original John Schwerdt design. There was concern that the planners had influenced the design with the introduction of ‘playful’ elements such as brise soleil etc. There was a strong view that the detailing will determine whether the design is successful. Given the heritage important of the building it was agreed that the following neutral representations should be submitted that do not object to the proposals but articulate the concerns raised about details of the design:

The Schwerdt house in Park Road is an important heritage building in Lewes which has survived virtually unaltered since the 1960’s. It is a high quality design that is an excellent example of the optimism of the period; the self-effacing, rational elevations and simple materials look almost Spartan by current standards. The Society recognises that the new owners have the right to alter the house to meet current lifestyles. It does not object in principle provided it is done with sensitivity, respects the qualities of the existing house and does not have a significant adverse impact on neighbours. The Society was concerned to read in the Design and Access statement that pre-application advice encouraged adding “an element of playfulness to the ‘austere’ design of the extension” It considers the scale, materials and flat roof of the first floor proposed should be in the same idiom as the Schwerdt design and respect the heritage of the original building, both internally and externally. The success of the design is dependent on the detailing of the building which the Society has been unable to assess from the drawings submitted with the application. It would welcome more details being provided.

Week ending 7 May 2019

SDNP/19/02039/FUL: Proposed extension of existing workshop, and subsequent change of use to create 1 x two bedroom dwelling. 1 Morris Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the mix of modern and traditional design of this development which does not fit in with the surrounding area. An alternative design that is more sympathetic to adjacent buildings in the Conservation Area is required.

Week ending 13 May 2019

SDNP/19/02205/HOUS: Proposed loft conversion with formation of rear dormer and roof extension. 32 The Meadows.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed box dormer which is too large and does not conform to the recommendations set out in the Friends of Lewes ‘Planning Advice for Dormer Windows’. The design, which includes altering the hipped roof to a gable end, will make the pair of houses unsymmetrical and visually unbalanced.

Week ending 20 May 2019

SDNP/19/02239/HOUS: Proposed erection of a two storey side extension. 51 Hawkenbury Way.
Friends of Lewes object to the felling of the mature tree that is covered by a TPO as it sets a precedent for felling mature trees in favour of development. It would take a considerable time for any replacement tree to have the value of the existing mature tree, e.g., in terms of carbon sequestration etc. The i-Tree Eco Survey, Lewes has identified the need to almost double tree canopy cover in the town from 11.5% to at least 20%. The development proposed is contrary to the need to improve the situation.

Week ending 27 May 2019

SDNP/19/02464/FUL: Proposed replacement railings and gate to rear entrance, proposed planting boxes to front elevation and proposed lighting to front elevation. 65 High Street.
Friends of Lewes have supported and commended much of the restoration of the former Post Office. However it objects to the proposed railings to the rear elevations which it considers are too big and elaborate. Simpler railings are required that are more in keeping with the area. The Society also objects to the uplighters to the first floor windows which are contrary to the Dark Skies Policy of the National Park. Finally, the planters proposed at ground level are considered inappropriate in this location.

Week ending 3 June 2019

SDNP/19/02253/FUL: Replacement of two second floor sash windows (West elevation) including associated making good/decorations. Flat 3, 10 Waterloo Place.
Friends of Lewes support the renovation of windows at this property. However, it comments that the proportions of the replacement windows proposed are not Georgian and the renovations present an opportunity to get the design of the windows right, historically.


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

SDNP/19/01582/FUL  4 Old House Courtyard, Southover High Street.   Single storey rear extension.
SDNP/19/02057/FUL 9 Nevill Crescent.   Erect three bedroom house.
SDNP/19/02117/HOUS 75 Valence Road.   Single storey rear extension.
SDNP/19/02419/HOUS 70 Houndean Rise.   Double storey rear extension, rooflights, rear and side dormers.
SDNP/19/02080/FUL Undercliffe House, Malling Street.   Vehicular crossover to formalise existing access.
SDNP/19/02406/FUL & 02407/LIS 22 Sun Street.   Refurbishment.
SDNP/19/02476/HOUS 51 New Road.   Rooflight and rear dormer.
SDNP/19/02480/LIS Pelham House, St Andrew’s Lane.   Alter window opening to form double doors.
SDNP/19/02557/FUL 35 Friars Walk.   Air source heat pump in service yard.
SDNP/19/02616/FUL & 02617/LIS 16 Southover High Street.   Repainting exterior.
SDNP/19/02033/FUL The Moorings, South Street.   Retain replacement of scaffolding poles, gates, scrap iron and rocks with sandbags.
SDNP/19/02298/ADV Southdowns Business Park, Unit 5, Brooks Road.   4 non-illuminated fascia signs.
SDNP/19/02316/LIS 73 High Street.   Internal alterations.
SDNP/19/02266/HOUS 51 Leicester Road.   Replace outbuilding.
SDNP/19/01967/HOUS 55 Priory Street. Replacement front door.
SDNP/19/02210/HOUS 1 Juggs Close. Single storey rear/side extension.



Planning Application Approved