Local people are up against it, as the planning officers have recommended approval. Perhaps they don’t understand the area as they are based in Midhurst – some 45 miles away!
Public consultation on this proposal ends tomorrow Thurs at 10am . You can send in a final 500 word comment by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 10am on 14 May 2020. More information on this closing stage is on the South downs National Park web site: click HERE
There is a planning application currently being considered by the South Downs National Park which will could add 84 heavy lorry (HGV type) journeys along this road EVERY DAY. If you are concerned please read on and write in as soon as possible. It is URGENT as we are fairly certain this matter will be decided this month., – in May 2020.
If this application goes through it will be a disaster for the C7!!
To view the application and comment online at a link direct to the case click HERE , to comment online or email email@example.com directly, and the SDNPA promise to record the representation as normal, and distribute to their members and planning staff. The SDNPA say ” This will ultimately help manage the flow of communications and give confidence that views will be viewable by SDNPA members in their consideration of this case and heard in a more timely manner”. Please put the case number at the top of your email
Proposed expansion at Iford Estate near Lewes in the South Downs National Park: major new ‘warehouse type’ development generating up to 84 heavy lorry journeys along the C7 each day!
Last year the National Park received an application for a major development in the lower Ouse valley south of Lewes at Iford. Residents in the Ouse valley, over the last 10 years, have had to contend with potentially illegal planning development, numerous planning issues and planning appeals. Now the valley faces one of the largest planning applications that one could conceive within the landscape of the South Downs National Park. There is a planning application for a major new ‘warehouse type’ development, generating up to 84 heavy lorry journeys per day along the C7. The site is at Iford.
This application is almost certainly to be considered in May 12020 so please would you write in ASAP. This is even more important as there will be NO Planning Committee meeting since the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) have delegated all decisions to the Director of Planning. This presents a problem as the recommendation by the planning officers is likely to be in favour of the development.
If this development goes ahead it will have a dramatic effect, not only on the landscape in the valley (as seen from the South Downs Way and locally in the area near Rodmell) but it will close off forever the possibility of the C7 becoming a safe and pleasant road for pedestrians, walkers, horse riders and cyclists to journey along or to cross. We all know the C7 is a ‘rat run’ for vehicles going to and fro to Newhaven and the coastal urban areas but at least it has a 7.5 ton weight restriction on it. If this application goes ahead it will blow out of the water the benefit of the weight restriction since most of the 84 lorries predicted to access the new development will involve, according to the ESCC Highway description, “the use of larger vehicles for transportation.” In other words, HGVs!
Sadly, there have been only 5 objections against this application including one from the South Downs Society. The application was received in August 2019 so it would have appeared on the planning lists towards the end of August. Perhaps this is why it wasn’t picked up by local parishes and residents.
This application raises many issues. Here are some of them:
The SDNPA Whole Estate Plan Team have written in favour of the application which, sadly, indicates that the development is in line for approval.
Sadly, ESCC Highways have raised no objection to the development focusing their attention on the benefits for a small section of a village road which goes past the farm owner”s house. This short road would be relieved of traffic because the new road feeds directly onto the C7. ESCC say the proposals involve the use of larger vehicles* for transportation – 84 daily trips! They acknowledge there will be approximately 11,270 vehicle movements from this complex annually. This makes a mockery of the 7.5 ton weight restriction on the whole of the C7. *HGV lorries??!
ESCC say that cyclists should be encouraged to use Egrets Ways and they recommended that the section of Egrets way that currently passes through land in the applicant’s control be upgraded and surfaced. Nice point, but this doesn’t take account of walkers and cyclists coming on/off or crossing the C7 in the villages of Northease, Rodmell, Southease, Iford (north), Swanborough, Kingston, Cranedown and at the very dangerous bend near the Swan pub in Lewes. This last location is particularly important as the chicane near the Swan pub is used by children & mothers on their route to and from school (from Cranedown and Kingston). All of this is quite apart from the fact that at various places along the C7 and at the Swan pub, walkers, hikers and cyclists cross to gain access to the South Downs Way.
With or without the completion of the Egrets Way, the ‘HGV type’ of traffic, whether it’s travelling north towards the Swan pub in Lewes or south to Newhaven will significantly add to the safety hazards along the road. There are 14 crossing points on the C7 which are used by bus users, walkers , residents , cyclists and occasionally by horse riders. See the list below. Surely the planning authority should heed the Government’s encouragement for people to get out walking and to cycle. If this application goes ahead it would seem that that this advice is being ignored. Roads are for everyone’s use and not just for heavy goods vehicles and other vehicular traffic.
Despite the word ‘consolidate’ being in the application title, the SDNPA do not intend to require the removal of the any existing farm buildings – thus leaving open the possibility of change of use to industrial/commercial use. This trend, to rent buildings for such uses, has been ‘common practice’ in Iford & Swanborough with or without planning permission. Such development will not only change villages but also bring even more traffic onto the C7.
Then there is the question – are such large buildings needed for a ‘farm’ of 1,416 hectares**?”. Especially when they are in addition to the many existing buildings in Swanborough & Iford. This new development will add 4,533 sq metres of industrial style warehouses to the 2,184 sq metres on new building given permission in 2012. It is estimated the total area of the 2012 permission together and this application comes to about 40,000 sq metres of buildings and concrete hardstanding. That’s about five and a half football pitches in size!
It seems inconceivable that a farm of this size would need an “agro-industrial centre” covering approximately 200 x 200 metres (40,000 square metres – nearly 10 acres!) as well as numerous existing buildings in Iford and Swanborough. It should be noted that not all the land is farmed as there are large areas of the Downs in the ownership of the farm which are Open Access Land and not farmed. The farm owns land at Iford and Swanborough and some land south of the Old Lewes Racecourse. It begs the questions:
(a) Why would such a farm generate 84 vehicle movements per day? (ESCC figures).
(b) What is being brought in and what is being taken out?
(c) Where are these vehicles going?
** The total acreage of the Iford Farm Estate. It is 1,416 hectares (3500 acres). Information submitted by the farm as part of an appeal heard on 10th March 2020. ref.APP/Y9507/C/18/3209964 concerning shooting on the Downs. The appeal was lost.
C7 Crossing places:
Pedestrians and children crossings at the Swan pub in Lewes
Pedestrians and children at the very narrow blind bend just before the Swan pub in Lewes
Pedestrians and children crossing from Cranedown to the Stanley Turner cricket and rugby ground, Lewes and to the bus stop
Walkers and hikers crossing at Spring Barn Farm
Cyclists crossing at the Spring Barn Farm cycle crossing
Residents crossing near the garden centre at the junction with Wellgreen Lane Kingston for the bus stop and garden centre
Cyclists and walkers crossing to and fro from the holiday lodges
Walkers crossing to the footpath at the bottom of Swanborough Drove to access the bus stop and public footpath
Walkers and residents crossing at Northease for the bus stop and footpath
Walkers crossing south of Northease to gain access to the public footpath
Residents and walkers crossing in Rodmell at the Abergavenny Arms between the northern and southern parts of the village and to the bus stop
Walkers, hikers and cyclists crossing the C7 at Southease (South Downs Way, national long distance route. Residents accessing the bus stop
Walkers and cyclists crossing from the end of the Egrets Way at Deans Farm to gain access to the bridleway to the south
Walkers crossing from the bridleway into Piddinghoe village and to access the bus stop
Mayfield Market Towns Ltd are still promoting their plans to build possibly 10,000 homes in the Sussex countryside near Henfield and a few miles away from the South Downs National Park. This proposal was rejected by the inspector when the Horsham District Council Local Plan was reviewed but the company are still pushing ahead.
The company are now inviting comments which is a positive move but is their plan sound? Why not let them know what you think? If you want to contact them and let them know your opinion about this development email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here to read the company’s letter of 24th July 2019
Both the South Downs National Park Local Plan and the Lewes District Council Local Plan Part 2 are in focus as 2018 closes:
The District Council have just approved their controversial in parts, Local Plan Part 2. Now it will be sent to the Secretary of State for examination. A planning Examiner will be appointed, who will hold public hearings later on in 2019. Residents will have an opportunity to submit evidence if they are opposed to the plan, either wholly or in part, and there will be an opportunity for the public to attend the Examiner’s public hearings.
The National Park are one stage ahead of the Lewes District Council as their plan is already being examined by the government, and there are currently public hearings taking place where those who wish to give evidence against the plan policies, either in part or wholly, will be able to submit their views. I asked the Government’s Examiner to ensure that there would be public hearings local to the Lewes area and not 45 miles away in Midhurst! He agreed with me. This local hearing will take place between the 11th and 12th of December. Click here for more information.
Here are my comments on the district council’s local plan, part two, and some further information on the National Park plan:
The Lewes Town Plan has been sent to the South Downs National Park for approval. Once approved the plan will become a legal planning document and planning applicants should take it into account. The planning authority WILL have to take it into account when deciding on planning applications. Check it out and make your comments by Monday 23 July 2018:
Lewes Town Council have prepared a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Lewes. Further details of the neighbourhood plan preparation are available at the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan webpage.
On 14 June 2018 I attended the National Park Planning Committee meeting, over in Midhurst, and spoke on 5 planning applications concerning (Click here to see the agenda/reports) the land and buildings at the Old Racecourse, Lewes. I voiced my concern on all 5 applications. I asked the SDNPA Planning Committee to refuse them all.
This is an update from Lewes District Councillor Vic Ient for residents in Kingston Ward. It concerns planning matters in the parish of St Ann Without at the Old Racecourse. This blog may also be of interest to people who live in Lewes. 4 out of the 5 applications were refused but there is long way to go in resolving the un-authorised erection of fencing, see the report below from Lewes Eye. Footpath and bridleway rights of way issues weren’t discussed as ESCC are the responsible authority for Rights of Way.
The main area of the racecourse falls within my ward, – the parish of St Ann Without. The reason I spoke on these applications is because the planning and enforcement situation have become very confused as has the footpath and bridleway issues. I opposed all 5 applications and if you click on the link below you will see me say why. You will hear me speak on the 1st item. To hear the others please just pull forward the timeline at the bottom of the screen to see each item once you have seen the first item:
Item 8: Application Nos: SDNP/18/00138/FUL
Proposal: Retention of crucifix (Approved)
Please click HERE and the recording should start at this item where I speak (at 00:43:27)
Item 9: SDNP/17/00340/HOUS
Proposal: Proposed erection of 5 loose box stables (Refused)
See my submission at: 01:10:25
Item 10: SDNP/17/05255/FUL
Proposal: Renewing existing and installing new fencing work with access gates
See my submission at: 01:36:30 (Refused)
Item 11: Application Nos: SDNP/17/02082/FUL
Proposal: (Retrospective) Retention of temporary erection of electric fencing using chestnut stakes (Refused)
See my submission at: 02:09:30
Item 12: Application Nos: SDNP/16/06136/FUL
Proposal: Construction of manege, fenced surround and shallow earth bank (Refused)
See my submission at: 02:26:00
Planning Committee June 2018 – Thu, 14th Jun 2018 – 10:00 am – South Downs National Park Authority Webcasts
Chris Smith of the Open Spaces Society has given an excellent report on the current situation following the SDNPA meeting on Thurs 14th June in his Lewes Eye blog. He has kindly allowed me to publish this summary:
LEWES RACECOURSE NEWS
By Chris Smith: The South Downs National Park planning committee has turned down a load of planning applications at Lewes Racecourse including plans for loads of fencing and a cinder road, much of it already in place.
The National Park also turned down plans for a manege (a surfaced training rectangle for horses)
The only thing that they agreed to was the retention of a crucifix that has been put up near the main track up to the racecourse.
Vic lent, the district council member for the area and Robert Cheesman of the Friends of Lewes spoke strongly against the applications being granted. The Open Spaces Society, the South Downs Society and many others submitted written objections.
But do not get too excited. Speakers for the applicants were able to allege that some or all of the application was existing fencing that had been authorised in the 1980s and 1990s and officers were unable to contradict them because they had not brought the relevant information with them. Expect new applications for fencing that is alleged to be “existing” and legally erected. If you can remember the area in the 1980s and 1990s and can say where the fences were, please get in touch. At email@example.com
But there is no reason why the road shown in the picture should not now be taken up.
You can see which applications were discussed here and by copying and pasting the application numbers and pasting them into the search box here. You can see the web cast of the meeting here
Chris Smith for the Lewes Eye
In most planning applications and enforcement cases, connected with the Old Racecourse, we have seen recently the land ownership is spread across 3 parishes, Hamsey, Lewes (Lewes Town Council) and St Ann Without. I believe that the local authority should consult all 3 parishes. This has not been the case to my knowledge. Hopefully in future planning applications the National Park and Lewes District council will ensure they notify all 3 parishes of future planning applications.
Recently the government came out with yet another wacky proposal on housing. I fully agree with the comments made by CPRE Sussex “maths behind the calculations is deeply flawed.” CPRE are warning that the Government proposals would have a devastating impact on the Sussex countryside if they are adopted by the government”. The government report is entitled “Planning for the right homes in the right places” if the government adopt the proposals the effect will be to force local councils to give planning permission for developers proposals to build up their ‘land banks’ in the countryside here in south-east. Forcing through planning permissions will further concrete over the countryside but it won’t address the problem of providing homes for those people on our council housing waiting list.
I believe there is a straightforward answer to providing much-needed affordable housing and that is to allow councils to build council houses again. It’s ironic that councils can borrow money to invest in commercial property but ever since the days of Margaret Thatcher councils have been prevented from borrowing money to provide housing!
“Hocus pocus” proposal is a formula for concreting rural Sussex
Have your say on the future of local planning in Lewes. The Lewes Neighbourhood Plan is out for public consultation! You can attend one of the public sessions and view the draft plan at the Lewes Town Hall on 25th May from 1.00pm until 10.00pm and on the 26th May from 9.30am until 1.00pm. There is also a slideshow presentation at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th May.
For more details go to: http://www.lewes4all.uk/ here you will also find a link to a questionnaire which you can answer whether or not you attend the public consultation sessions.
The deadline for responses is 5pm on Wednesday 21st June 2017
The calling of the general election has rather overshadowed this important local event which will affect Lewes and the nearby surrounding area. The Lewes Neighbourhood Plan, when approved, will become a legal planning document setting out the principles of how planning applications will be treated over the next 15 years or so; at least until 2030. It will sit alongside the Lewes District Plan, which has already been approved by the Secretary of State, and the South Downs National Park Plan which is due to come out for consultation in September 2017.
Here is my report back for Sept 2016. I hope you find this newsletter and my website useful. (Click here for previous reports). There are quite a few subjects covered so here is the index (just click on a title to go straight to the item)
The initial plan consultation started in Feb 2014, over 2 years ago. Last year there was a further public consultation. Since the end of Oct 2015 we haven’t had much news but now things are moving on. This report provides an update on the development of the plan together with some other information. Here is a summary of my report:
The importance of the ‘Sanford principle’ in protecting national parks, key statutory duties of national parks and the importance of planning enforcement.
I hope this information will help those wishing to protect the national park in dealing with planning applications and potential planning infringements. If national parks are important to you please read on……..