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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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……..