The Lewes Neighbourhood Plan – Update, 8 February 2019

The government-appointed Independent Examiner’s report mentioned previously has been accepted by the South Downs National Park Authority, and the next stage in its adoption  is a referendum of the electors in the town.

A revised version of the Plan taking account of the examiner’s findings has been produced and a reference copy is available in the Town Hall. It sets out detailed proposals for future land use in the town, in particular sites for new housing, and it will be taken into account when planning applications are considered.

The Town Council was tasked by the South Downs National Park Authority to find sites for 220 dwellings in addition to those proposed for the North Street Quarter and Old Malling Farm. In fact the plan proposes 283 dwellings across a number of sites for development in the period through to 2033. One major advantage of having an adopted Neighbourhood Plan is that a higher proportion (25%) of the money paid by developers in the town under the Community Infrastructure Levy is returned to the Town Council for use on infrastructure projects.  Without such a plan the amount returned is only 15%.

Lewes Neighbourhood Plan referendum Window poster 6feb19The Friends of Lewes is in favour of this Plan and asks that you vote YES for it at the referendum on Thursday 7 March 2019. 

A simple majority of those who vote will be sufficient for the Plan to be formally adopted by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Further information on the plan, the referendum and voting are on the SDNPA website.








Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 6 December 2018

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 6 December 2018

SDNP/18/05670/HOUS: Single storey rear extension (amendment to SDNP/18/01748/HOUS) 13 Mountfield Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the extensive flat roof proposed in a prominent position which would be very visible. The Society did not object to the pitched roof in the original application, which is preferred.

SDNP/18/05712/HOUS: Proposed loft conversion with rear dormer, roof windows and associated alterations. 35 Morris 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’. The Society also objects the use of rubberbond roofing material for the dormer. Lead or zinc should be used in the Conservation Area.

SDNP/18/06119/FUL: Proposed extension of existing flue to rear of building. 18 Cliffe High Street. (Trading Post Coffee Roasters)
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/18/05416/FUL: Conversion of club house together with the formation of an additional floors with raised roof to form two x dwellings and associated works including vehicle access. Lewes Working Mens Club Malling Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the design of the raised roof which is out of scale and insensitive in relation to the existing building.


SDNP/18/05751/PRE: Proposed development comprising a 45 unit residential scheme. Pells Church of England Primary School Landport Road.
No drawings were available for this scheme. The Committee felt that in view of the future demand for primary school places that will arise from committed development in Lewes the site should be retained for educational use.

SDNP/18/06007/PRE: The proposal is to change the use of the building from Class A1 (retail) to 4 residential units (2×3 and 2×4 bed houses) together with the provision of 3 car parking spaces, cycle parking, amenity space and various external alterations to the building. 6 Station Street.
The proposed front elevation, other than renovation work, is hardly changed; the restoration of iron railings and associated planting is commendable. There are more obvious changes to the north and south elevations but the ecclesiastical appearance is retained. The modest conservation-style roof windows align with the larger windows below and their impact on the street scene is negligible. The proposal also tidies up some of the damage arising from the earlier conversion works. However, although the scheme is supported in principle, four units risk overdevelopment as the design provides limited daylight to two units. Only development of three units is supported, which matches the number of parking spaces available.


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

SDNP/18/05606/HOUS 65 North Way.   Front side extension and porch.
SDNP/18/05781/HOUS 20 Houndean Rise.   Demolish addition and erect two storey side extension.
SDNP/18/05782/HOUS 34 Western Road.   First floor extension and modifications to rear ground floor.
SDNP/18/05802/HOUS 37 Cranedown.   Rear and side extensions.
SDNP/18/05811/FUL 25 Fitzjohns Road.   Summerhouse in back garden..
SDNP/18/05950/FUL Police HQ, Malling House, Church Lane, South Malling.   Three storage units.
SDNP/18/05330/HOUS 2 St Annes Crescent.  Repaint the front of house; replace the first floor bay sash window .
SDNP/18/05709/LIS Barbican House 169 High Street. Re-roofing and remedial works.
SDNP/18/05469/HOUS 23 Eastport Lane. Glazed patio doors, widening garage door opening and new doors, repaint door.
SDNP/18/05457/HOUS 7 Wallands Crescent. Front off street parking, bin storage, repair garage.
 SDNP/18/05445/HOUS 13 Delaware Road. Rear extension, new windows




Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 1 November 2018

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 1 November 2018

For the weeks ending 9, 16, 23 & 30 October, the Committee had the following comments:

SDNP/18/05016/LIS: Replacement of timber window lintel above ground floor front window, repairs to external front door arch and timber surround and replace lead flashing. 11 Friars Walk.
There was insufficient information published by the SDNPA for the Friends of Lewes to understand the scope of the proposed works. The photographs mentioned in the application were not published. The Society considers the requirements of the SDNPA Local Validation List have not been met.

SDNP/18/05006/HOUS: Replacement of 2 no. existing casement windows to the front elevation. 4B Lansdown Place.
There was insufficient information published by the SDNPA for the Friends of Lewes to understand the scope of the proposed works. The drawings mentioned in the application were not published. The Society considers the requirements of the SDNPA Local Validation List have not been met.

SDNP/18/05206/FUL: Redevelopment of a Retail (A1) unit at Brooks Road, Lewes, with associated parking, servicing and landscaping to include a 1,254sqm retail space. Aldi House Brooks Road.
Friends of Lewes support the redevelopment of this retail unit and the investment associated with extending retail provision in Lewes. However, given the increase in the size of both the store and the associated parking, it is unfortunate that the opportunity has not been taken to address the current vehicular access problems at this location, which are likely to be exacerbated.

In the wider context, the society also considers that pedestrian access from the east of the site and along Brooks Road itself needs to be improved. In this respect, a short term solution maybe to ban car parking on the eastern side of Brooks Road from the roundabout to the entrance to the Aldi store which could improve access /egress to the site and also enable a pavement to be provided on the eastern side of Brooks Road.

In terms of the proposed internal site layout, although the pedestrian access from the south seems to be well catered for, access from Brooks Road to the east would seem to be more problematic with the pedestrian route terminating at a parking bay with no designated route through the car park. The society believes that the walkway from Brooks Road should extend to the store entrance.


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

SDNP/18/04289/HOUS 4 St John’s Hill. Painting front of house including door and window frames.
SDNP/18/05183/PRE South Coast Roofing Supplies, Davey’s Lane. Construct 42 residential units together with office floorspace. (Not appropriate to comment at ‘pre-app’ stage).
SDNP/18/05242/HOUS 18 The Course. Side/rear extension.
SDNP/18/05317/HOUS 4 Foundry Cottages, Foundry Lane. Retain roof light, rebuilding of front elevation and internal changes.
SDNP/18/05106/LIS 77 High Street. (Former Lewes Estates Office) Rear roof terrace.
SDNP/18/05211/FUL & 05212/LIS Pelham House, St Andrew’s Lane. External air conditioning condensers.




Lewes North Street Quarter update, January 2019

The North Street Quarter development has received confirmation from the planning authority that the pre-commencement planning conditions for phase 1 of the scheme have been met.

This is a big step forward in the scheme’s progress as work to prepare the ground for development can now begin.

The work to demolish some of the buildings in phase 1 – units 8-11 Phoenix Place – is due to start next week (week commencing 7 January 2019) and is expected to be completed at the end of February.

Lewes North Street Quarter new ironworks building cgiDuring the demolition work the contractors will seek to salvage parts of the old ironworks that have historical interest. The majority of the phase 1 demolition will take place once a developer has been appointed later in the year.

This information was provided by Lewes District Council, and you can find the full story on their website.




Lewes Neighbourhood Plan progress

A Neighbourhood Plan (sometimes called a Neighbourhood Development Plan) is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work.

The Lewes Plan has been in development since 2014 and is nearing its completion.

The government-appointed Independent Examiner issued his final report on the proposed Lewes Neighbourhood Plan in December 2018. The report proposes some minor changes, but is overall very positive and supportive.

The next steps are for the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) planning committee to review the Independent Examiner’s report at its meeting on 17 January  2019, and a final version of the plan – revised according to the Independent Examiner’s wishes – will be published afterwards.

This final version of the plan will then proceed to a public town referendum, currently scheduled for 7 March 2019, for endorsement, after which (assuming the referendum result is in favour) the plan would come into effect, once formally adopted by the SDNPA.

SDNPA Lewes Neighbourhood Plan Examiner's Report 2018
Click image for SDNPA’s Lewes Neighbourhood Plan page





Tingle’s Way – an eco-walk through Lewes

Tingle’s Way is a self-guided trail with themed stories linking the town of Lewes with our natural surroundings. It’s intended as a lasting memorial to Dr Colin Tingle, who died in 2017.

Colin was a Lewesian and respected scientist who specialised in sustainability and the benefits we derive from the natural world’s processes. These benefits are known as ecosystem services, or “Naturegain”. Simple examples are carbon sequestration in trees and plants as an inherent part of their growth, and flood water retention in woods and wetlands through absorption or by acting as natural barriers. Colin was also a major contributor to Lewes’ Neighbourhood Plan, the first in the country to employ an ecosystem approach as its guiding principle.

Tingle’s Way is becoming part of the South Downs Way, offering a route through Lewes, and is being supported by the South Downs National Park Authority, the National Trust and the Sussex Wildlife Trust, amongst others.

Tingle’s Way was piloted with an initial walk in September, and has now been beautifully documented by Lynda Durrant in this guide. Plans for 2019 include the official launch, an exhibition, and the erection of QR-code based way marks by the SDNPA along the route.

Tingles Way guide map
Click map for the Tingle’s Way guide





Lewes History Group 2019 season of talks

The Lewes History Group is announcing an engaging new series of talks for 2019.

These events take place on the second Monday of each month, beginning at 7:30pm and finishing by 9.00pm. Doors open at 7:00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities.

We welcome Lewes History Group members and non-members.

Entry fee for the talks is payable at the door: £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)

Lewes All Saints Church before and after building of new nave
All Saints Church, Lewes, before and after the nave was demolished (left) and replaced in 1806 (right). Images courtesy of Sussex Archaeological Society