Lewes is fortunate in having many fine buildings and areas that are distinguished by their differing periods and styles of architecture, landscaping and history. Most of the historic area has been designated as a Conservation Area and the most significant individual buildings have been “Listed” as buildings of special architectural and historic interest. Whilst other parts of the town have not been selected for special designation, they are attractive and well cared for. Many areas were carefully planned with individual buildings following a common architectural style.
The aim of the designation of Conservation Areas, the Listing of individual buildings, and planning controls in general is to protect what is good and attractive about the buildings and areas in the town. It is not to turn Lewes into an open air museum. Nor is it to prevent people upgrading and making sensible changes to their homes to meet their current needs. However, as Lewes is a principal town within the South Downs National Park it is essential that future development conserves and enhances the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area.
In order to conserve and enhance the character of the built form of Lewes within the setting of the National Park, the Friends of Lewes have produced guidelines which set out key principles to encourage local planning authorities, property owners, developers and architects to follow, regarding the design of new structures such as dormer windows, and garden rooms.
- Retail to Residential: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, April 2021
- Dormer Windows: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, March 2017
- Garden Rooms: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, March 2017
- Shop Fronts in Lewes: Planning Advice Note, September 2016