Friends of Lewes aims to Keep Lewes Special

We have set these goals for 2020:

  • we will influence relevant policy makers at national, regional and local levels in areas like housing and transport
  • work with others to promote and protect the vitality of businesses in Lewes
  • protect our Conservation Areas
  • encourage developers to adopt carbon neutral and other ecologically sound innovations
  • increase tree canopy cover in Lewes
  • mitigate risks resulting from climate change by collaborating with other Lewes-based groups
  • learn and seek support from civic societies nationally

If you share these aims, become a member and we can tackle this together.

Join Us

Our 2020 Goals in full

More about the Friends of Lewes

Tree planting at Cross Way, Nevill, Lewes
Community tree planting in Cross Way, the Nevill, in November 2019


Lewes History Group AGM and a talk on Public Art in Lewes – Monday 9 December 2019, 7:00 for 7:30pm

Following a brief AGM, Andrew Buxton will reveal many aspects of the history of Lewes that are represented by statues, monuments, murals and other artworks such as the sculpture of madrigal singers in Grange Gardens and the Battle of Lewes helmet in the Priory grounds. This illustrated talk builds on Andrew’s “Lewes Public Art Trail” leaflet available from the Tourist Office.

Early history is represented by the stylised ammonite ‘snail’ on the Cuilfail roundabout, and capitals on Gideon Mantell’s house. Later references are the painting of the Priory garden on Friars Walk, the Helmet commemorating the Battle of Lewes in the Priory grounds, the madrigal singers in Grange Gardens commemorating Nicholas Yonge, the statue of Tom Paine outside the Library and the painting of him under the Market Tower.

The twentieth century is represented by the War Memorial on the High Street and the frieze at County Hall. Most recent are murals on Friars Walk and Station Street supporting the Extinction Rebellion campaign.

Madrigal singers sculpture at Grange Gardens, Lewes
Madrigal singers

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

Entry for this meeting, incorporating the AGM, is free to Lewes History Group members, and £3 for non-members, payable at the door.

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 plant street trees for National Trees Week

On Sunday 24th November 2019 the Trees Committee of Friends of Lewes, and friends and family, were able to celebrate National Trees Week by planting seven more street trees in Lewes.

Tree planting at Cross Way, Nevill, LewesWe began in Prince Edwards Road where we planted a white Hawthorn, (Crataegus monogyna), a Hornbeam, (Carpinus betulus), and a Wild Cherry, (Prunus avium). This project was in response to a request from three of the residents, who have each “adopted” a tree to help to look after them.

After watering the trees in, we moved on to the green in Cross Way, on the Nevill. There we planted four more trees, two at each end of the green, to allow plenty of room for play space between them. The trees chosen, following consultations with nearby residents, were: a Wild Cherry, (Prunus avium), a Hornbeam, (Carpinus betulus), a Rowan, (Sorbus aucuparia), and an Ornamental Pear, (Pyrus calleryana “Chanticleer”). (Click on image to enlarge)

Nevill Residents’ Association not only asked for some trees here, but they also donated £300 to us so that we might be able to plant some more around Nevill in the future.

If you have a green space or verge near your home, and you would like us to plant a tree there, please do not hesitate to contact us. We investigate all requests to try to gain planting permission from the landowners. You may contact us using the form at the bottom of our Lewes Urban Arboretum web page.


Lewes District Council Lottery

To meet our vision of “Keeping our Town Special” Friends of Lewes has a long and effective record of conserving and enhancing the key aspects of our town: its history, distinctive buildings and the natural environment. We are very grateful for the continued support of members in helping us to meet our goals. To continue with these objectives, we are hoping to raise new funds through the recently launched Lewes District Council, (LDC), online lottery.

This lottery is set up specifically to support local good causes: 60p from each £1 ticket bought will be shared, through LDC grants, to charitable and voluntary groups in Lewes District. If you nominate a particular good cause, 50p for each ticket will be donated to them, with 10p given to a communal “pot” for distribution by LDC.

We are pleased to tell you that Friends of Lewes has been accepted by LDC as one of these good causes. You may now go directly to our page on the lottery website and select Friends of Lewes as your nominated charity:

We are initially asking for funds to help us with our projects working together with Lewes residents and other local groups, to improve our environment by planting more trees around Lewes. Our i-Tree Eco Survey of the town reveals that our current tree canopy cover is 11.5% – and the recommendations for urban settings are at least 20%. We would like your help so that we can make Lewes a sustainable “town in the trees” for future generations: offering the benefits of shade, shelter, flood prevention, carbon storage and sequestration, improved air quality, wildlife habitats and seasonal beauty.

Thank you for your support and good luck!

Lewes District Local Lottery image


Friends of Lewes comments in response to the South Downs National Park Authority’s consultation on their draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

South Downs National Park Authority is consulting on the draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The SPD provides further guidance to support the implementation of South Downs Local Plan policies, in particular Policy SD28: Affordable Homes, and Policy SD29: Rural Exception Sites. The SPD therefore supports Local Plan Objective 8: To protect and provide for the social and economic wellbeing of National Park communities supporting local jobs, affordable homes and local facilities. It covers a number of detailed matters including: viability appraisal; financial contributions in lieu of on-site provision; vacant building credit and review mechanisms.

Once adopted, the SPD will be a material consideration for relevant planning applications.

Friends of Lewes comments in response to the South Downs National Park Authority’s consultation on their draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), November 2019 [pdf 418kb]

SDNPA Affordable Housing

Further information on the South Downs National Park Authority’s consultation on the draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document is available on the SDNPA website.

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 3 October 2019

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

SDNP/19/04263/HOUS: Proposed dormer to rear roofslope with Juliette balcony and rooflights to front, rear and north east side roofslopes. 40 Gundreda Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed box dormer which is too large and will be an over dominant feature of the rear elevation. It does not conform to the recommendations set out in the Friends of Lewes ‘Planning Advice for Dormer Windows’.

SDNP/19/04407/HOUS: Installation of rear dormer and front roof lights. 9 Delaware Road.
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 will make the pair of houses unsymmetrical and visually unbalanced.


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

SDNP/19/04140/HOUS 11 Priory Street.   Replace and change colour of door.
SDNP/19/04148/FUL 56 High Street.   Change of use to first and second floor to residential, internal and external alterations.
SDNP/19/04230/LIS & 04231/FUL 197 High Street.   Rear extension and re-configuration of retained residential unit.
SDNP/19/04246/FUL & 04247/LIS Removal of tiles and slates and replace with natural slate tiles.
SDNP/19/04322/LIS 45 Southover High Street.   Replace fireplace, install WC, replace sub floor and line attic wall.
SDNP/19/04338/OUT 43 Queens Road.   Erect detached dwelling with new access to road.
SDNP/19/04342/LIS 9 Priory Crescent.   Internal alterations and chimney lining.
SDNP/19/ 04346/LIS 171-172 High Street.   Internal works.
SDNP/19/04411/HOUS 33 Prince Edward’s Road.   Single storey flat roof extension.
SDNP/19/04418/HOUS & 04419/LIS Meadow Barn Landport Farm.   Convert storage barn to garage/workshop with annexe.
SDNP/19/04618/FUL & 04619/LIS 72-73 High Street.   Sub-divide to form to units, reinstate original entrance door and steps to no. 73.

Planning Application Approved