Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 8 October 2020

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 8 October 2020: 

SDNP/19/05619/FUL: Demolition of the vacant building and the construction of 28 residential units with associated landscaping and on-site car parking (Revised Plans). Astley House Spital Road.

Friends of Lewes support the overall layout, which represents a huge improvement on the existing light industrial shed. The scale in relation to Spital Road and De Montfort Road is appropriate and the layout of the terrace houses replicates the existing urban grain. Materials seem appropriate in principle but will need careful specification. The decision to provide a larger block of apartments at the western end of the site fronting onto Nevill Road is supported but the Society has reservations about the west-facing elevation.

Spital Road:
This successfully picks up the rhythm of the existing terrace houses to the east with a varied roofline. The Society supports the restricted palette of materials and the small number of window types, which unify the whole development without becoming dull. The planting in front of the houses is commendable as it contributes to the public realm and provides subtle screening from the road.

The relatively large windows are supported; windows come in all shapes and sizes in Lewes and there is no compulsion to replicate the familiar Georgian sashes.

De Montfort Road:
This is a vast improvement on the present situation. The revised (lower) roofline is appropriate to the narrower street; the rhythm and scale of the proposal sits happily with the existing houses.

Nevill Road:
The Society does not support the changes made in response to comments from the planning authority. The reduction in roof height is successful, but the decision to break the west-facing façade into three gables buildings with setbacks looks contrived, fussy and unconvincing. The gables do not sit comfortably against the adjacent stable roofs in Nevill Road when viewed from the west and do not convey a feeling of presence.  A unified overall design, reflecting the layout behind and without arbitrary setbacks would look better. The scale of the main entrance is too large and a strong central entrance serving the four high level flats would be more visually appropriate.

It is hard to improve on the arrangement proposed and the logic of the in/out arrangement is recognised. The Society supports the provision of roof gardens above, which will bring softer landscaping into the scheme.

Two mature trees at the west end of the site should be retained if at all possible; failing this they should be replaced with trees that will grow to similar size. They provide screening facing the highway and welcome softening on a busy road. This whole area requires more design input.

The planters along Spital Road are welcomed.

Materials and detailing:
The restricted range of proposed materials and the unity achieved by the use of repetitive details is supported. The challenge is to translate these into real life buildings that will look crisp and unfussy when completed, and will weather well over time with minimal maintenance. Key details drawn to an appropriate scale should be part of the approved documents, so that any future developer/builder will have to adhere to these or seek approval for any deviation. Key details include:

  • Door and window details including reveals, cills and heads.
  • Copings – these appear to be brick on the drawings and should not be replaced with pressed metal. Flashings and damp courses will need careful consideration.
  • Planters – materials, edges
  • Screen walls and handrails
  • External doors to parking, bin stores, cycle stores.
  • Hard and soft landscaping.
  • Service entries, meters, bin storage, extract grills.
  • Materials: a large sample panel or panels should be built well before construction starts so that there is an opportunity to review and comment.

Affordable housing:
The Society remains disappointed at the lack of affordable housing provision and looks to the planning authority to robustly challenge the justification.


SDNP/20/03425/FUL: Application for 2 new conservation style rooflight and an automatic opening vent on the rear roof pitch. 223 High Street.
Friends of Lewes have no objection in principle to the proposed rooflights. However it does not agree with the statement in the Design and Access Statement that ‘as the rear pitch faces the car park and is set back from being overly visible from the public roads, this will mitigate any concern with the visual impact of the additional rooflights.’ The roof is very visible when viewed from Phoenix Causeway and materially contributes to the wider views of the roofscape to the west of Harvey’s Brewery.  The Society comments that the three small roof dormers on the Waterstones bookshop next door enhance the roofscape. It considers the substitution of the rooflights proposed for 223 High Street by three similar small roof dormers would greatly enhance this key view of Lewes.


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

SDNP/20/02453/FUL & SDNP/20/02454/ADV Southover Parish Church, St John Sub Castro Parish Church and St Michael’s Church. Welcome boards.
SDNP/20/02943/LDE 22 Toronto Terrace. Enclose side passage, erect conservatory and rooflight.
SDNP/20/03214/FUL 143 High Street. Change of use to C3 (residential).
SDNP/20/03450/HOUS 49 Hereward Way. Side window on ground floor.
SDNP/20/03681/LIS 30 Sun Street. Works to roof.
SDNP/20/03878/FUL 47 Fitzjohns Road. Change use of shed to dog grooming business.
SDNP/20/03921/HOUS 91 Highdown Road. Rooflight to rear and replace flat roof with pitched roof with rooflights on side and rear extensions.
SDNO/20/SDNP/20/03311/CND Saxonbury, Juggs Road. Variations of conditions 1 and 5 of conditionally approved application to alter window arrangement and tile hanging to second floor.
SDNP/20/03951/NMA 24 Dale Road. Amendment to approval for cedar shingle wall and roof cladding to be replaced by plain clay tile wall and roof cladding.

Planning Application Approved

Pavement repairs in Lewes

Highway Maintenance – The Conservation of Character

East Sussex County Council has proposed that future repairs to the pavements in Lewes town’s conservation area will be made with a single use bituminous macadam, except for the High Street from Cliffe Bridge to Irelands Lane, where the present paving slabs and brick paviors would be reinstated.

The result of this proposal would mean pavements outside of this designated area could look like this permanently:

Pavement repair, Lewes High Street

The Friends of Lewes Executive Committee objects to the proposals which we feel would be detrimental to the character of the historic core of the town of Lewes. We intend to set up a small working group within the Friends of Lewes to clarify the County Council proposals and better understand the consequences, particularly on streets where enhancement works have been undertaken.

If there are FoL Members willing to assist with this work or help identify streets and twittens that should be subject to special protection, please get in touch.

See the full report



Books for Christmas

Marcus Taylor’s suggestions for gifts this Christmas:

This Christmas will be different from usual for most of us. Fewer meet-ups mean more presents needing to be sent. Have you thought of the books published by Friends of Lewes about this remarkable town?

These six would be ideal for a friend who grew up here but who has moved away, or for a newcomer, who has yet to learn what a truly special place it is.

Friends of Lewes books are available from Jane Slater via the Secretary (with postage and packing added to prices shown), and from the Lewes Tourist Information Centre. Friends of Lewes members can obtain books at reduced prices via the Secretary. P&P charges will be waived for members’ orders received during December each year.

Lewes in Detail book cover LEWES IN DETAIL – an artist’s view: 

38 of Marietta Van Dyck’s popular and distinctive illustrations of Lewes architectural details, as seen in Lewes News. Here with contextual comments: a real treat!  £5.00

Clark Twittens book cover THE TWITTENS – The Saxon and Norman Lanes of Lewes:  

Kim Clark’s well-researched look at some of the town’s most-loved features and their history. Illustrations by Peter Messer and Marietta Van Dyck. Updated with colour illustrations in 2019.  £7.99

Davey_street_names_book THE STREET NAMES OF LEWES:  

A revised edition of Leslie Davey’s 1961 work, updated and extended by Kim Clark.  £5.50

Davey_Inns_Book_revised THE INNS OF LEWES, PAST & PRESENT:  

First written by Leslie Davey over 40 years ago, it has been revised several times, most recently in 2019 and is the “go-to” reference book on the 120 public houses that have flourished in Lewes at various times. £5.99

Wells_skies book WHEN SKIES WERE ALWAYS BLUE – memories of a Lewes boyhood  by WF (Bill) Wells – 1909-1983. 

Rich recollections of the Sussex county town, edited by Joy Preston. Illustrated by the author’s own drawings. £6.99

Houghton_Look_at_Lewes book A LOOK AT LEWES:  

Drawings and fascinating historical details of the whole High Street, from St. Anne’s Church to Cliffe Bridge. By John Houghton.  A4 format. £1.50


New developer set to take control of North Street Quarter scheme in Lewes

After an open market competition, a landmark moment has been reached at which developer Human Nature has agreed terms to buy the North Street site in Lewes.

One of the founders of Human Nature, Joanna Yarrow, until recently Global Head of Sustainable and Healthy Living at IKEA in Sweden, was brought up in Lewes where her grandfather, Reg Yarrow, was Mayor on several occasions.

Local involvement in the Phoenix project goes even further as much of the funding to acquire the site has come from private local investors.

Information from:

Sussex Express article, 2 December 2020

Human Nature website, containing link to Human Nature Press Statement, 2 December 2020

Jonathan Smales of Human Nature
Jonathan Smales of Human Nature, image on Sussex Express website



Winners of the FoL Design a Nature Trail Competition

Congratulations to the three winners of the “Design a Nature Trail” Competition organised by Friends of Lewes!

Eliza Godsmark, age 8, submitted her winning entry of a Plasticine model of her family’s allotment, and two Year 7 pupils at Priory School sent in copies of their Nature workbooks recording the wildlife found in the school grounds.

They will each receive a prize of a £15 book token.

The competition was launched alongside the recent publication of the Town Nature Trail leaflet: designed by Lewes Urban Arboretum and Wildflower Lewes to celebrate the natural environment of Lewes. This is one of three leaflets providing guides to walks around Lewes which are suitable for following at any time of the year.

Download your copy of the leaflets

Lewes Design a Nature Trail Competition winners
Eliza and her Plasticine model of her family’s allotment, and a nature walk collage, and map, from two pupils at Priory School. Click on image to enlarge


Friends of Lewes plants 30 more mature trees, and awarded a new Elm for Lewes

This November members of the FoL Trees Committee made a fantastic start to the tree-planting season by planting thirty mature trees in Lewes!

27 of these trees were planted at Lewes Cemetery on Sunday 1st and Wednesday 4th November, and three more were planted on Mount Harry Road, and Prince Edwards Road on the 7th.

They were also successful in their application to the Tree Council for one of 30 Elms trees made available to celebrate thirty years of the Tree Wardens Scheme. The DED-resistant Elm, Ulmus “New Horizon” will be delivered in January, to be planted at Lewes Cemetery. This is the same sort of Elm as the four planted by FoL on St. Anne’s Hill, in collaboration with ESCC.

FoL tree planting, Lewes, November 2020
Click on image to enlarge

Full story on the Lewes Arboretum page



Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 3 September 2020

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 3 September 2020: 

SDNP/20/02107/HOUS: Creation of dormer to rear and rooflights to front. 16 Evelyn 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’.

SDNP/20/02774/HOUS: Replacement of existing wooden sash windows with uPVC replica wooden sash windows. 39 Morris Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the use of uPVC materials in the Conservation Area. Wooden sash windows should be used.

SDNP/20/02818/LDP: Hip to gable roof conversion with dormer to the rear. 3 Clare Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed box dormer which is excessively 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.

SDNP/20/03037/HOUS: Garden room gym and home office. 20 Malling Down.
Friends of Lewes comment that the garden room should be ancillary to the main dwelling and conditions should be imposed that ensure that it is not used as a separate dwelling.

SDNP/20/03301/HOUS: Single storey extension to existing porch including render of external walls. 1 Bull Lane.
Friends of Lewes have no objection in principle but consider the external walls to the porch should be finished in brick, not rendered. Any insulation required could be applied to the internal face of the walls.

SDNP/20/01791/HOUS: Erection of single storey rear extension and conversion of loft, including insertion of rear dormer and rooflights to front (AMENDED PLANS). 10 Churchill Road.
The Friends of Lewes objection to the previous submission has been acknowledged but the compromise now being put forward does no overcome the objection to the oversized box dormer, which needs to be reduced further to be visually acceptable.

SDNP/20/03427/CND: Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning approval SDNP/19/03808/FUL to amend the access. Saxonbury Juggs Road.
Friends of Lewes object to the demolition of the existing flint wall that has already taken place. The flint walls bordering Juggs Road are a key feature of the street scene and no justification has been provided for its removal. The existing vehicle access has been adequate historically and the flint wall should be reinstated.


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

SDNP/20/026000/FUL & 02940/LIS Suite 1, 23 High Street.   Convert ground floor suite to residential.
SDNP/20/02691/HOUS 22 The Avenue.   Replace 2 single glazed windows with double glazed.
SDNP/20/02818/LDP County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent.   3 antennas and ancillary development.
SDNP/20/02822/HOUS 5 Talbot Terrace.   Single storey rear & side extensions and rear roof dormer.
SDNP/20/03077/HOUS 5 Broomans Terrace, Broomans Lane.   Fenestration alterations change location of front door and install stove and flue.
SDNP/20/03117/HOUS 21 Toronto Terrace.   Loft conversion with rear dormer and front roof light.
SDNP/20/03133/HUS 3 Windover Crescent.   Single storey rear extension, two storey rear and side extension, demolish garage, new driveway surface, rear patio, new and replacement windows and doors.
SDNP/20/03475/HOUS 27 Newton Road.   Demolish side extension and replace with new two-storey side extension.   New single-storey rear extension.   Two rear dormers.
SDNP/20/03530/OHL Land at Juggs Road.   Restringing overhead lines.

Planning Application Approved

Friends of Lewes Planning Committee Report 6 August 2020

Representations made on planning applications following the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 6 August 2020: 

SDNP/20/02119/HOUS: Erection of studio in rear garden. 18 East Way.
Friends of Lewes have no objection in principle but comments that the site is on a steep slope and the visual impact of the studio is likely to be greater than that indicated by the drawings. A cross section drawing of the site should have been submitted with the application in accordance with SDNPA validation requirements.

SDNP/20/00497/FUL: New boundary fencing and ramp to area of site adjacent to Styles Field residential development. Lewes House Site Friars Walk.
Friends of Lewes comment that details showing the design of gates have not been submitted with the application and are required. The design of the fencing proposed is not in keeping with the period of Lewes House or appropriate in the Conservation Area. Alternatives, including railings, should be considered.

SDNP/20/01364/HOUS: Section 73A Retrospective application for hip to gable roof extension, rear dormer and front rooflights. 67 North Way.
Friends of Lewes strongly object to the excessive large dormer and hip to gable conversion which is contrary to the Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note on Dormer Windows. The hip to gable conversion unbalances the symmetry of the pair of semi-detached houses. The Society considers large dormer extensions backing onto open downland, as is the case here, should be refused as they risk damaging the landscape and the views from the South Downs looking towards Lewes. In addition, the Society is concerned that neither plans 427/03 and 427/04 show the new front entrance lobby, with a tiled monopitch roof, that has been added to the front elevation, with new entrance steps to the side. These do not appear on any of the application drawings or those from the previously consented application SDNP/17/02237/HOUS. Furthermore all lawn and shrubs have been removed from the front garden and the entire area paved over in materials that are visually detrimental to the wider street scene.

SDNP/20/02294/FUL: Conversion of storage building to create dwellinghouse with off road parking. 52 Southover High Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the change of use from a storage building to create a dwelling with off road parking. The Society notes than a location plan, existing and proposed site plans showing the context of development within the Anne of Cleves site and details of access to Southover High Street have not been submitted, contrary to SDNPA validation requirements. It considers the application cannot be deemed valid until these documents have been placed in the public domain and made available for public consultation.

Friends of Lewes objection is based on the following:

  • S72 (1) of the Listed Buildings and Conservation Area Act sets out the statutory duties with regard to how applications are dealt with in the Conservation Area. Special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. The Anne of Cleaves Grade II* Listed Building is a key building within the historic Conservation Area and the proposal, which includes providing a vehicle access to new car parking within its grounds, fails to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of it.
  • Historic England general advice about development in the Conservation Area says local planning authorities should as a policy always seek to enhance the character and appearance. The proposal would be detrimental to the Conservation Area, not enhance it.
  • The principles of the adopted Lewes Conservation Area Management Plan say that all works should be carried out with specific regard to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Any interaction should echo and reinforce those characteristics of the buildings, townscape and public realm of Lewes which make a positive contribution to the town and its local distinctiveness. The proposal fails to make a positive contribution and will significantly damage the setting and distinctiveness of the Grade II* listed building, which is an important tourist venue.
  • Strategic Policy SD12 of the South Downs Local Plan says development proposals will only be permitted where they conserve and enhance the historic environment, including through the safeguarding of heritage assets and their setting. The proposal to include car parking within the setting of Anne of Cleves House does not conserve and enhance the historic environment; it damages its setting and is contrary to this policy.
  • Paragraph 105 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires parking standards to take into account the accessibility of the development. The entrance to the site is in an area often crowded by pedestrians visiting Anne of Cleves House. The proposal demonstrates poor accessibility which would result in an increased risk to pedestrians and additional congestion on Southover High Street.

Friends of Lewes therefore consider the application should be refused.

SDNP/20/02442/FUL: Reinstatement works for part new boundary wall following demolition of remaining part wall to former demolished building following approval under application SDNP/19/01100/FUL. 6 Station Street.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the proposed railings. However, drawing MMA-360-02 shows that the southern pier of the new railings does not align with the end of the existing boundary wall. The offset from the remaining part of the boundary wall will look incongruous and leave an awkward ‘square’ in front of the existing pillar. This has little merit, either visually or historically. The Friends would prefer to see the new piers and railings extended in front of the boundary wall so that the new front facade is complete rather than stopping adrift of the existing boundary, with no sense of belonging and integration between the two.

SDNP/20/02474/LIS: Repointing of cellar arch with bricks to be replaced using bricks and mortar to match the existing, excavation of concrete around the coal chute with provision of concrete slab in the same position as the existing, to provide extra strength above the cellar arch. 20 Lansdown Place.
Friends of Lewes object to the removal of the cast iron coalhole cover from the street. The Society considers the cover could easily be reinstated into the finished pavement using brick or stone in order to preserve the existing street scene.

SDNP/20/02874/HOUS: Single storey rear extension. 37 St John Street.
Friends of Lewes object to the proposed GRP roof and consider materials appropriate to the Conservation Area such as lead or zinc should be used.

SDNP/20/02884/HOUS: Demolition of existing garage and erection of single storey side extension. 9 De Warrenne Road.
Friends of Lewes comments that it does not support the extensive GRP roof which is inappropriate in the Conservation Area and alternative materials such as zinc or lead should be considered. The Society also regards the proposed design to be clumsy and out of character with the area, as is the proposed use of composite cladding in the construction.

SDNP/20/02985/HOUS: Erection of a single storey ground floor extension to rear and new outbuilding to the side: 22 North Way.
Friends of Lewes have no objection to the rear extension. However it objects to the larch clad outbuilding to the side which will appear out of place and out of character with the surrounding area.


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

SDNP/20/01759HOUS & 01760/LIS 19 Cliffe High Street.   Replace window with French doors and construct balcony.
SDNP/20/01820/FUL & 01822/LIS Windmill Lodge Stables. Demolish four stables and erect single storey dwelling.
SDNP/20/02516/HOUS 66 Highdown Road.   Three single storey ground floor extensions.
SDNP/20/02527/LIS 73 High Street.   Reinforced concrete base and retaining wall at lower ground level, with buttressing brick wall between existing chimney and west wall.
SDNP/20/02535/HOUS 1 Montacute Road.   Remove conservatory, new porch, replace windows and balustrade to balconies new rooflights and dormers.
SDNP/20/02564/FUL Waitrose, Eastgate Street.   Replace plant refrigeration unit and install generator and motorcycle parking bay.
SDNP/20/02586/CND 3 Fisher Street.   Variation of condition 2 (Plans) relating to planning approval SDNP/19/05316/FUL to allow for modification of rear elevation.
SDNP/20/02734/HOUS 55 Priory Street.   Replace front window.
SDNP/20/02778/FUL Suite 2, 12 Albion Street.   Change use from B1 (office) to D1 (chiropody).
SDNP/20/02805/FUL Malling House, Church Lane, South Malling.   Antennas on existing telecommunications mast.
SDNP/20/02806/HOUS 2 Offham Road.   Demolish conservatory and build new flat roof ground floor extension.
SDNP/20/02814/HOUS 7 Mount Place.   Garden shed, two rear rooflights and change colour of doors to BS08E51 golden yellow.
SDNP/20/02822/HOUS 5 Talbot Terrace.   Resubmit application SDNP/14/05161/HOUS  single storey rear and side extensions and rear dormer.
SDNP/20/02843/HOUS 11 Ferrers Road.   Convert garage and single storey rear extension.
SDNP/20/02867/LIS 72-73 High Street. Masonry structural pier in basement to support chalk arch structure.
SDNP/20/02872/HOUS 85 Highdown Road.   Refurbish and re-clad side extension, enlarge front porch and single storey rear extension.
SDNP/20/02927/LIS 101 High Street.   Replace and rearrange bathroom site, repair and stabilise dormer beam and replace pine boards in hallway.
SDNP/20/03005/HOUS 9 Hill Road.   Rear extension and renovation.
SDNP/20/03017/NMA 3 St Andrew’s Place, Southover Road. Alteration to approved rear extension to allow creation of second bathroom.

Planning Application Approved


Lewes District Council Lottery

Thank you to all the people who are supporting Friends of Lewes through choosing us as their good cause in LDC Local Lottery.

Liquidambar on Valence Road, LewesThis year we are using the funds raised to support our tree planting projects in Lewes. With your support we are on track to raise £598 this year!

This is enough to plant and maintain three mature street trees, like this Liquidambar which we planted on Valence Road.

Find out more on our Lottery page