Friends of Lewes sponsors new Swift nest boxes in Lewes

On Thursday 22nd July, Lewes Swift Supporters (LSS) installed 3 new Swift nest boxes at the homes of 3 of their Supporters who live in the Swift “hot-spots” of De Montfort Road and Western Road. This is part of the LSS project to expand existing Swift colonies by providing nest spaces to compensate for those nooks and crannies under eaves that have been lost through demolition, development or renovation.

In line with their goal of “improving our environment, increasing biodiversity and mitigating the results of climate change by collaborating with other Lewes-based groups with such aims”, Friends of Lewes were pleased to be able to partly fund the purchase and installation of the 25 boxes which have been installed by LSS since October 2020.

Lewes Swift Supporters have also advised several other residents so that they may confidently purchase and install their own Swift nest boxes. If you are thinking about installing one ready for next year, you may contact them via lewesswifts@gmail.com or visit their website.

Installing Swift nest boxes in Lewes, July 2021
Installing Swift nest boxes in De Montfort Road and Western Road, Lewes, July 2021
Click on image to enlarge

 

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 3 June 2021

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 June 2021:

SDNP/21/02393/PRE: Erection of 10no affordable homes, four holiday let units and community pavilion along with ecological improvements and native planting (provision of affordable homes for proposed development under SDNP/21/02384/PRE Stanmer House and SDNP/21/02388/PRE Patcham Place). New Pit Depot Mill Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the development proposal which falls outside the settlement boundary shown in the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan and is not a site allocated for development in the plan. The Society considers development would have an adverse impact on the adjacent Lewes Downs Special Area of Conservation and Lewes Downs SSSI. Access to the proposed development site is very poor and risks compromising the safety of the cycle path which links the B2192 to the A26 via Mill Road. Furthermore, the design of the development is dull and unimaginative and does not encompass the landscape led principle for the design of development in the National Park.

SDNP/21/01996/FUL: Proposed amendments to approved application (SDNP/15/01303/FUL) to culvert the existing ditch in the north east corner of the development site, providing new parking, bin & bike store layout. Correcting the site boundary to reflect the Land Registry redline and the development substation location. Land at Southdowns Road.
Friends of Lewes have no objection in principle to the amendments proposed. However, it appears that access to the bike store is very restricted in the new location. Access via the parking space will be blocked if a vehicle is parked and there is a very narrow gap between the bin store and the electrical sub-station. The layout should be changed to address this.

SDNP/21/02308/HOUS: Removal of rear conservatory and replacement with single storey extension and creation of a dormer to the rear roof slope. 13 Prince Charles Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the box dormer which is too high and too wide, contrary to the Design of Dormer Windows Planning Advice Note published by the Friends of Lewes.

SDNP/21/02918/MPO: The obligation under clause 1.5 of Schedule 1 on SDNP/17/03100/FUL to provide the four Affordable Housing Units as affordable private units is amended to permit delivery as Shared Ownership. Land Brooks Road.
Friends of Lewes comment that it is essential that the shared ownership proposal ensures that it delivers the same or greater benefits as affordable housing when measured against the benchmark of Lewes Low Cost Housing set out in the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan.

 

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

SDNP/20/05695/FUL & 05696/LIS 65 High Street.   Single storey side extension, cladding west wall, replace two windows, form door opening (to bricked up historical door opening) and internal alterations.
SDNP/21/01528/LIS Suite 1, 23 East Street.   Sign, repaint front door and privacy film on windows.
SDNP/21/01546/LIS 141 High Street.   Vision panels on internal doors and replace internal doors with fire rates ones.
SDNP/21/01773/LIS 111 High Street.   Replace timber columns.
SDNP/21/01873/PRE Lewes Rowing Club, South Street.  Replace clubhouse.
SDNP/21/02020.FUL Land at units 6-8 Brooks Road.  Change use of ground floor to open Class E.
SDNP/21/02209/HOUS 2 Clare Road.   Single storey rear extension to replace conservatory, side extension and front porch extension.
SDNP/21/02368/HOUS 83 Houndean Rise.   Single storey side extension.
SDNP/21/02392/HOUS 14 Nevill Road.   Single storey rear extension.
SDNP/21/02527/HOUS 35 Western Road.   Replace single storey rear extension with new one.
SDNP/21/02594/LIS 30 Sun Street.   Replace floor tiles.
SDNP/21/02521/FUL Builders’ Yard, Chandlers Wharf.  Three storey dwelling with raised ground floor level and below ground ancillary rooms, detached garage and landscaping.

Planning Application Approved

 

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 6 May 2021

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 6 May 2021: 

SDNP/18/06103/OUT: Erection of up to 226 dwellings and Public Open Space with associated infrastructure including a new access to Monks Way. (Outline with all matters reserved except access and elements of the Layout comprising the principal access route through the site’ development parcels, street frontages and the size and location of the proposed Open Space).   Old Malling Farm, Old Malling Way, Lewes, BN7 2DY.
Friends of Lewes have reviewed the new documents associated with this application and makes a supplementary representation to that made in January 2019. Robert Cheesman has asked the Society to mention that his representation of 22 February 2021 was a personal objection and was not made on behalf of the Society.

Friends of Lewes remains of the view that the prospect of 226 houses with provision for 450 cars having only one vehicular access (remotely located at the most northerly part of the site, at the greatest distance from Lewes Town Centre) is unacceptable as it would result in a car dependent development based on a number of ‘cul-de-sacs’ and as such would be totally unsustainable.

The Society notes the representations made by the SDNPA Access Team and ESCC Highways and calls for the application to fully address the delivery of walking and cycling infrastructure which is essential to ensure sustainable access to the town centre is provided as a meaningful alternative to car travel. It objects to the current proposals, which are inadequate.

Furthermore, the single road access at the north end will lead to longer road journeys than if there was an access point at the south end. The consequences will be inconvenience to the site’s residents, nuisance from additional traffic to existing residents in Old Malling Way and increased noise and air pollution in the area. The Society remains of the view that a vehicular access to the site should also be provided at the south end.

Also of relevance are the recent changes in the likely timescale for implementation of any development proposals for the North Street Quarter site in the centre of Lewes. These included a package of measures to improve the circulation of traffic within the town centre that are understood to have been an integral part of supporting the proposals for the Old Malling Farm site. The original scheme by the North Street Quarter Ltd has been abandoned and there is likely to be a significant delay in the implementation of any alternative scheme on this site. The necessary developer contributions for junction improvements at Phoenix Causeway roundabout, required to meet the needs of the Old Malling Farm development, have therefore not been secured.

The Society notes the comments by the SDNPA Design Officer, SDNPA Conservation Office and the SDNPA Landscape Officer that some requirements of the Old Malling Farm Design Brief have not been met. It considers it important that these are determined as part of the consultation and not as reserved matters.

The Society maintains its objection.

SDNP/21/00253/HOUS: Replace front facing windows on the ground and first floor and the front door. 12 Mount Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC, which is an inappropriate material in the conservation area. The Society also objects to the inadequate information provided with the application that describes the proposals and the absence of before and after elevations. This makes it impossible to properly assess the proposals.

SDNP/21/00853/FUL: Change of rear uPVC dormer window to a timber window. The Flat 7 Fisher Street.
Friends of Lewes support the proposed new dormer window, which is a good improvement.

SDNP/21/01223/HOUS: Side extension and rear extension. 3 Hamsey Crescent.
Friends of Lewes comment that the extension is immediately next to the garage next door, which is in front of a setback extension. The Society has concerns that the design of the new extension could disrupt the existing street scene.

SDNP/21/01399/LIS: Retrospective application for the retention of roof terrace screens and lighting.  6 Eastgate Street.
Friends of Lewes support the proposal that time limited approval should be given and suggest three years.

SDNP/21/01784/FUL: Demolition of existing Church Hall and garage and the construction of 3 No. residential dwellings. St Johns Church Hall Talbot Terrace.
The earlier proposal for this site – subsequently approved – was for a pair of semi-detached three bedroom houses. The approved scheme had three gables facing onto Talbot Terrace but the impact on the streetscape and on neighbouring properties was mitigated by setting back the left and right gables. It also referenced the church hall with its chequer board decorative gable. The proposed scheme has three four-bedroom houses with twice as many bedrooms as the approved scheme. In consequence the proposal is both bulkier and wider than the approved scheme and will have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties and the street scene. Despite the applicant’s claims, the general appearance walking along Talbot Terrace is of two storey terrace houses with dormers.

Two parking spaces are proposed, squeezed into the residual space at each side of the development. The pavement is a well-used pedestrian route into the centre of Lewes via the steps at the end of Talbot Terrace; it is used daily by schoolchildren on route to schools on the south side of the town. Two new vehicle cross-overs will create an unnecessary hazard. The great majority of households – if they have cars at all – park on the street. There is an existing pedestrian right of way along the south side of the site that provides access to the rear of the Old Bakery. This was shown in the approved scheme but is ignored in the new proposal, which uses the space for parking, preventing access for buggies, bikes, wheelchairs etc.

This is a disappointingly bland scheme that seeks simply to achieve the maximum amount of development without regard to the context or sensitivities of this specific site. Friends of Lewes object to this new proposal on the grounds of overdevelopment, poor quality design and the adverse impact on both the street scene and neighbouring properties.

SDNP/21/02305/FUL: Creation of 1no. 3 bed dwelling to the rear of 111 High Street.
Friends of Lewes commend the design which seeks to reduce the height. It is a thoughtful proposal for a rear garden development which is well explained.

SDNP/21/02318/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. Street Record De Warrenne Road.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

SDNP/21/02321/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. Street Record Southover High Street.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. In the case of the Southover High Street site, the cabinet is an intrusive addition to the face of a high quality flint wall in the Conservation Area. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

DNP/21/02324/TEL: Installation of street cabinet 1m high, 535mm wide by 265mm front to back. 51 High Street.
There are unsightly street cabinets already scattered across the town without any great consideration of the streetscape. Despite their green colour these cabinets are obtrusive and totally inappropriate in a Conservation Area setting. Furthermore, these are ‘slave cabinets’ and supplement existing units, so the impact is doubled. Why are they set out 2 metres distant from the existing cabinet that they are slave to? They should be adjacent to mitigate the impact. In the case of the High Street site, there are already 4 large cabinets in situ, together with a litter bin, A boards and two bike racks. A fifth cabinet will compound the visual chaos, further disfiguring a highly visible corner in the centre of the Conservation Area. Friends of Lewes object strongly to the proposals. The application states ‘This document describes the proposed positions with a view to discussing if these would be permitted from a conservation area point of view or if alternative arrangements must be made’. Alternative arrangements should be made.

SDNP/21/00998/HOUS: Replacement of five existing timber windows with pvc double glazed windows, replacement of fully glazed door, replacement of existing porch with a new pvc porch, and a double glazed half front door and porch roof is to be replaced with double glazed roof . 35 Paddock Road.
Although it is obvious from the condition report that the windows and doors as well as the entrance porch need to be replaced, these should be in timber. Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC, which is an unsustainable, inappropriate material in the conservation area. There is inadequate information to assess this proposal except that uPVC is being considered. This house is very visible across the Paddock and is within the conservation core of Lewes.

SDNP/21/01925/HOUS: Proposed loft conversion and single storey rear extension. 85 Spences Lane.
Friends of Lewes has no objection to the rear extension proposed. However, the Society objects to the bulk of the box dormer which is too high and too wide, contrary to the Design of Dormer Windows Planning Advice Note published by the Friends of Lewes.

SDNP/21/01228/PRE: Proposed seasonal camping use on existing undeveloped land. Proposed seasonal pop-up bar and café. The Old Racecourse.
Friends of Lewes have concerns that the proposals could materially change the nature of areas adjacent to the Old Racecourse and risk turning a special area renowned for its peacefulness, nature and views into a hospitality venue. The pop-up bar is an inappropriate development in an area of very visible, quiet open land within an unspoilt natural environment.  It will encourage drinkers to congregate, resulting in noise and the risk of anti-social behaviour.

 

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

SDNP/21/00100/FUL/01794/LIS Flat 2 and 3, 48 Southover High street.   New maisonette combining flats 2 & 3, including reinstatement of stair and reconfiguration of internal spaces.
SDNP/21/01078/HOUS 43 Fitzjohns Road.   Single storey side and rear extension with new porch.
SDNP/21/01087/FUL North Court & South Court, Styles Field.   Spikes on chimney stacks.
SDNP/21/01304/HOUS 2 Verrall’s Walk.   Demolish conservatory and construct rear single storey extension and associated alterations.
SDNP/21/01440/HOUS 34 Winterbourne Close.   Rear extension.
SDNP/21/01489/FUL Unit 2 Malling Industrial Estate, Brooks Road.   Change use to B8.
SDNP/21/01495/HOUS 19 Fitzjohns Road.   Ground floor rear extension, changes to rear ground floor fenestration and internal alterations.
SDNP/21/01731/HOUS 20A Montacute Road.   UPVC rear conservatory.
SDNP/21/01735/HOUS 1 Southdown Avenue.   Replace catslide roof and small extension to side, new front porch, replace windows, rooflights and doors.
SDNP/21/01773/LIS 111 High Street.   Replace rotten timber columns.
SDNP/21/01839/HOUS Applewood House, Kingston Road.   Single storey side extension and new rooflight.
SDNP/21/02033/HOUS 15 Cross Way.   Single storey side and rear extension and internal alterations.
SDNP/21/02062/FUL Reed Court, 38 Boughey Place.   Replace timber cladding, replace timber windows with Non-Combustible and 30/20 fire-rated windows and intumescent-filled ventilation grills, new ventilation openings and window and associated alterations.
SDNP/21/02245/HOUS 6 Southdown Avenue.   Single storey rear extension with decking, part first floor front extension, loft conversion with nominal raising of roof ridge and alterations to front and rear.

Planning Application Approved

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 1 April 2021

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 1 April 2021: 

SDNP/21/00083/HOUS: Extension to north elevation and alterations to main roof to convert hipped roof into barn-hip, extension to existing rear dormer and associated works and external works. 5 Green Lane.
Friends of Lewes object to the development proposed which contains fenestration of mixed styles in the same elevation. The mixture of styles does not fit in with the existing building.

SDNP/21/00426/HOUS: Windows to be replaced at the rear of the property. 19 Tanners Brook.
Friends of Lewes object to the replacement of timber windows with uPVC, which is an inappropriate material for use in the Conservation Area and would set a precedent for similar properties in the terrace.

SDNP/21/00491/HOUS: Erection of single storey rear extension. 6 Morley Close.
Friends of Lewes comments that no details of the disposal of surface water have been provided with the application. Permeable material should be used.

SDNP/21/00614/FUL: Installation of a free standing ATM pod with section of concrete, railings and steps. Street Record Mount Harry Road  & SDNP/21/00615/ADV: Installation of 4no. fascia panels. Street Record Mount Harry Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed ATM which sets a precedent for the development of unsightly free standing ATM pods in Lewes and the risk of bank closures in the town.  The bulk and appearance of the ATM pod, with strident advertising panels will be an eyesore and detrimental to the existing street scene.  The need for the facility has not been demonstrated as there is already an ATM in an adjacent shop. 24/7 availability will bring increasing traffic to the area and night time noise nuisance.

SDNP/21/00657/HOUS: Proposed garden room. 37 Newton Road.
Friends of Lewes comment that no details have been provided of the materials to be used or how surface water drainage will be managed.

SDNP/21/00958/LDP: Removal of rear conservatory and replacement with extension and creation of dormer to the rear roofslope. 13 Prince Charles Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the box dormer which is too large, too high and too wide, contrary to the Design of Dormer Windows Planning Advice Note published by the Friends of Lewes.

SDNP/21/00616/HOUS: Replacement of existing timber sash windows in white finish with PVCu sash windows in white finish. 7 Valence Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the replacement of timber windows with uPVC, which is an inappropriate material for use in the Conservation Area.

SDNP/21/01724/CND: Variation of condition 15 of planning application SDNP/16/01310/FUL to remove requirement for public thoroughfare to be retained. 44A Morris Road.
Friends of Lewes raised no objection to SDNP/16/01310/FUL because it made provision to retain a public thoroughfare for the benefit of the local community. The thoroughfare provides a safe route to Cliffe High Street for pedestrians especially children, the disabled and the elderly. The applicant has profited greatly from this and other development locally and the Society objects to the removal of the condition.

 

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

SDNP/20/05495/HOUS Malling Edge, Mill Road.   Wooden platforms and raised beds to provide play area.
SDNP/21/00113/HOUS 102 Prince Edward’s Road.   Demolish garage and construct single storey rear extension and two storey side extension.
SDNP/21/00475/FUL 63 High Street.   CCTV camera.
SDNP/21/00507/HOUS 14A St John Street.   Convert garage to habitable room.
SDNP/21/00653/LIS 13 Sun Street.   Renew roof covering.
SDNP/21/00721/HOUS 33 Cranedown.   Garage and carport conversion and replace porch with cladding to rear and street elevation, flat roof alterations to include rooflight and green roof, first floor side extension and replace roof tiles with slate.
SDNP/21/0075/HOUS 9 Hill Road.   Rear extension and renovation including flue, potting shed, PV array and altering rooflight location.
SDNP/00811/HOUS 18 Toronto Terrace.   Rear ground floor extension and demolish existing lean to extension.
SDNP/21/00909/PA16 Sussex Police Mast, Beddingham Hill.   Install dish.
SDNP/21/00504/FUL The Old Racecourse.   Boundary fencing.
SDNP/21/00617/FUL The Tote House, The Motor Road, Old Racecourse.   Four box stables to replace loose box stable building and new extension.
SDNP/20/05169/LDP 2 Albion Street.   Change use from B & B back to residential.

Planning Application Approved

Friends of Lewes response to SDNPA supplementary consultation on proposed development at Old Malling Farm

Developers seeking outline permission for 226 homes at Old Malling Farm on the outskirts of Lewes have recently submitted extra information to the South Downs National Park Authority.

SDNP/18/06103/OUT | Erection of up to 226 dwellings and Public Open Space with associated infrastructure including new access from Monks Way

The SDNPA called for comments by 31 May 2021.

The Friends of Lewes response to SDNPA supplementary consultation of May 2021 [pdf 231KB]

 

Outline of Old Malling Farm proposed development site, Lewes
Old Malling Farm proposed development site outlined in red

Retail to Residential: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, April 2021

High Streets throughout the United Kingdom have evolved constantly over the centuries, in response to meeting the needs of living, working and shopping.

Policy makers in the last decade have been particularly concerned with the pace of change – the rise of online shopping, the popularity of out of town ‘sheds’ with good disabled access and the resultant decreasing footfall in the traditional High Street shopping areas.

Covid 19 has accelerated this change with the challenges of lockdown having dramatically increased online shopping and the need for social distancing for the foreseeable future.

It is recognised that many retail premises have converted, or are considering converting, to residential usage due to the lack of demand for retail space at applicable market rents.

The Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Notes set out key principles for maintaining the quality of design within the urban environment and offers them for use by local planning authorities, property owners, developers and architects.

In our Retail to Residential Planning Advice Note, 2021 [pdf 2.6MB] we consider a number of options when considering converting retail premises to residential use.

Friends of Lewes Retail to Residential Planning Advice Note
Priory Street, Lewes

 

The Future of Lewes High Street: Summary of the panel discussion facilitated by the Friends of Lewes, 20 May 2021

Independent planning consultant Lindsay Frost chaired a panel discussion with representatives from Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Lewes Area Access Group, Lewes District Council and Lewes Living Streets.

After brief opening presentations from each of the panel, audience members posed questions and made their contributions to the discussion.

See a summary of of the discussion

Lewes High Street by N Wiseman
Sketch of Lewes High Street, by Nick Wiseman

 

Lewes Priory Trust talk on Thomas Cromwell’s Failed Future for Lewes, 11 June 2021, 7:30pm

Lewes Priory Trust Emil Godfrey Lecture, on Zoom

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The best-laid plans: Thomas Cromwell’s failed future for Lewes

Find out how Lewes missed ‘a glamorous new future’ in Tudor times nearly  500 years ago, in a free talk on Zoom by  renowned historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, Emeritus Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University.

In this 40th annual Emil Godfrey Memorial Lecture presented by Lewes Priory Trust, Professor MacCulloch  explores how Lewes was swept up into English power politics at the highest level in 1537.

Thomas Cromwell, Lewes Priory Trust Emil Godfrey talk 2021 posterMacCulloch’s ‘History of Christianity: the first three thousand years’ won the 2010 Cundill Prize, the world’s largest prize for history, and his TV series of 2015 was a taster for his next book, ‘Sex and the Church’. He was knighted in 2012. His Thomas Cromwell biography appeared in 2018.

Further information on the Priory Trust website

If you have not already been sent a link to register for this talk, and would like to attend, please email  enquiries@lewespriory.org.uk

 

 

 

 

Lewes History Group talk: The Stories of East Street and Albion Street – Monday 14 June 2021, 7:20 for 7:30pm start

A Zoom Webinar

Sarah and Peter Earl: The Stories of East Street & Albion Street, Lewes

East Street and Albion Street comprise what has been referred to as the first phase of ‘New Town’ development in Georgian Lewes. What was originally on the site? How did the land develop into streets? What was going on in Lewes at the time? What has happened since the original builds?

To answer these questions Sarah and Peter Earl, long-standing residents of East Street, have been on a journey of discovery since 2018. Although neither are qualified in historical research, they were inspired by the work and findings of earlier researchers taking part in the LHG’s Street Stories project and took advantage of the training offered to LHG members.

You are invited to see how far they have travelled up to, and since, their small Heritage Open Days exhibition in September 2019, and to learn what sources have proved most useful in piecing together a fascinating history.

East Street, Lewes
East Street, Lewes postcard, from Bob Cairns’ collection

To join this talk, you need to
  1) register your intention in advance
  2) receive our confirmation email with a link to the talk
  3) click on that link to attend the talk 10 minutes before it starts

Lewes History Group Members can attend our talks for free. We will send members emails with a link to Zoom registration. Then please follow steps 1, 2, and 3 as above. 

Non-members can buy a ticket (£4) from TicketSource. The ticket will provide a link to Zoom registration. Then please follow steps 1, 2, and 3 as above. 

Please join the webinar at 7:20pm.

We would recommend a computer screen or an iPad as a minimum screen-size for viewing our webinars.

Our presenters will be speaking live, and you can ask questions by typing in the Q&A box in Zoom.

See the Talks page for a list of  forthcoming monthly events organised by the Lewes History Group.