Local planning matters and The Neighbourhood Plan

The Planning Authority for Lewes is the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), but for most everyday purposes they act through their agents, Lewes District Council.

Over 90% of ordinary applications are dealt-with by District officers using delegated authority, with more complex or contentious applications reviewed by committee.  The agreement between the two bodies includes criteria for applications which will be directly considered by the SDNPA.

For more information see

Lewes District Council –  or

South Downs National Park Authority –

Lewes Town Council is entitled to be notified of all planning applications within the parish, and to offer local comment on applications which must be given due consideration by the deciding authority, but it cannot actually “approve” or “reject” them.  Nonetheless our Planning Committee phrases comments in terms of technical planning criteria and may use phrases such as “strongly object” and propose that the District Council call the application before its own Committee for detailed assessment.

Our own Planning Committee usually meets every three weeks, and three weekly lists of local applications are considered at each meeting, although there may be more.

The Planning Committee usually meets at 7:00pm.  it has delegated authority to exercise all the powers of the Council related to planning matters including Highways; transport, and Tree Preservation Orders etc.

Our comments are usually sent to the District Council and SDNPA by Friday following a meeting, and are posted on their website shortly afterward.

We encourage prospective applicants to approach our committee early to discuss their plans and seek a view on their proposals.  Pre-application discussions with the District Council or SDNPA are encouraged for significant plans.

Members of the public have the right and are welcome to attend meetings of the Committee – representations on specific applications may be heard at the start of each meeting.  Correspondence or requests to address the Committee should, whenever possible, be notified to the Town Clerk at least 24 hours in advance.

Please ensure that you have familiarized yourself with the details of any applications on which you may wish to comment as we allow objectors three minutes each subject to an overall limit of nine minutes; applicants and supporters three minutes each subject to an overall limit of nine minutes

Lewes Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan for Lewes has been produced, based upon contributions of visitors to our exhibitions and workshops over the last three years and the work done by the community representatives who form our steering group.  Policies on themes such as transport and protection of the town’s heritage; potential sites for new homes and ideas for design, with supporting arguments, have been refined in light of YOUR comments following various periods of consultation etc.  We have also consulted with statutory bodies such as Lewes District Council; East Sussex County Council; South Downs National Park Authority; the Environment Agency; Natural England; Historic England and others

Thank you to all those who contributed – your feedback has informed the production of a Neighbourhood Plan that will help us to influence decisions on the development of Lewes up to 2033.

Our Plan has been assessed by an independent Examiner and his report was accepted on 17th January 2019 by the Planning Committee of the South Downs National Park Authority.  The committee were very complimentary about the particularly ‘Lewesian’ character of the Plan and commended the hard work and careful thought that has gone into it.

The Plan will now move forward to a public referendum which will be held on 7th March 2019, when voters will be asked to answer simply yes or no to the question of whether they want the Plan to be used by the Planning Authority in deciding applications within the parish.

Details are available on the South Downs National Park Authority website, which can be accessed by clicking this link: Lewes Neighbourhood Plan – South Downs National Park Authority

Please read the latest news on

Find Us

Lewes Town Council
Town Hall
East Sussex BN7 2QS
Tel: 01273 471469

Mon – Thu: 9am – 5pm
Fri: 9am – 4pm

Share This