PlanningLocal 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 – www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/ or
South Downs National Park Authority – www.southdowns.gov.uk/planning/
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 or SDNPA call the application before a 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 was adopted as policy (“made”), in April 2019, by the planning authority for Lewes – South Downs National Park Authority. The Plan is based upon contributions of visitors to our exhibitions and workshops over four years, and the work done by the community representatives who formed our steering group during that period. 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, were refined in light of YOUR comments following various periods of consultation etc. We 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 informed the production of a Neighbourhood Plan that will help us to influence decisions on the development of Lewes up to 2033.
Lewes Neighbourhood Plan – it’s a resounding “YES!”
When the statutory referendum votes on our Neighbourhood Plan were counted on 8th March 2019, the community had registered a very loud “Yes!” to the question:
“Do you want the South Downs National Park Authority to use the neighbourhood development plan for the Parish of Lewes to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
Just under 25% of the electorate (3276) had turned out to vote, for which we thank you, and the result was
YES = 2993 NO= 268 Spoiled papers 15
That means that 92% voted ‘Yes’ and only 8% voted ‘No’
Lewes Mayor (2018/19), Cllr Janet Baah, said at the time: “This is a fantastic result. The Plan started with a launch event in February 2013, so it has been a long and sometimes slow road, but this shows confidence in our belief that it has been one well worth travelling. If you voted ‘no’ – we hope that you will start to see the real benefit of the Plan as it must now be used as a statutory reference by developers; planning officers, and planning committees, before deciding planning applications in the parish. It also means that the town is entitled to a much greater share of Community Infrastructure Levy funds which can pay for a wide range of useful projects.”
To all those who helped us develop the Plan – Thank you!
If you are wondering what you missed – you can read all about the Plan on the South Downs National Park Authority website, which can be accessed by clicking this link: Lewes Neighbourhood Plan – South Downs National Park Authority
We also posted the history of the project on lewes4all.uk