Tag Archives: South Downs

Lewes Old Racecourse planning issues

Dear Residents,

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.

Please also see (click to jump to these items):

Parish Boundaries

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

Planning Committee June 2018 – Thu, 14th Jun 2018 – 10:00 am – South Downs National Park Authority Webcasts
southdowns.public-i.tv
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

(picture-  courtesy of Chris Smith  “permission for this track and fencing, together with other fencing erected since the picture was taken has been refused”)

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 contact@leweseye.co.uk

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

PARISH BOUNDARIES

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.

Parish Boundaries

 

District Councillor Role in a Rural Area

IMAG1027In my ward there are 5 parishes and I work with them on local issues. Parishes have annual residents meetings. This not only provides an opportunity for a ‘report back’ but for residents to air their views and concerns. Last Saturday I was invited to give a talk at one of these parish meetings in the beautiful village of Southease. The village meeting was held in the lovely ancient church on the village green. The meeting started early so it was possible to see the village on a lovely sunny evening.

Kingston Ward
Kingston Ward

 

 

I was asked to talk about the role of the ward district councillor. This this gave me an opportunity to also report back on what’s been going on in local government locally. I have written up my talk and if you would like to read it please follow the link below. It has got  local updates and news – so I hope  you find it useful:

The role of the ward district councillor

It was a very pleasurable experience to attend the parish meeting in Southease. Clearly they are a very active parish and for such a small population they seem to do quite a lot. It was also a social occasion for people to get together and I enjoyed meeting catching up with residents.

Best Wishes

Vic

National Park Local Plan update

SDNP PlanYou may be wondering what has happened to the development of the South Downs National Park Local Plan. It is the most important planning document locally in Sussex within the park boundary.

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……..

Continue reading National Park Local Plan update

How easy is it to get around National Parks by bus?

123 BusOn the 23 Feb 2016 the Bus Minister Andrew Jones quietly announced there will be a Buses Bill in 2016.  At the moment it seems to be aimed at big cities and not rural counties & villages though the proposal talks about new partnerships and franchising for the whole of the UK. The Campaign for National Parks want to ensure that the Bill and any changes introduced as a result provide improved access to, from and around National Parks.

132 busIt would help strengthen their arguments if they could include some real examples of how buses, or the lack of them, have affected people’s journeys to and from National Parks, so please contact them directly. Email Ruth on ruthb@cnp.org.uk or ring on 020 7981 0890

 

 

Here is a copy of the Campaign for National Parks announcement:

How easy is it for you to get to, from and around National Parks by bus?

Continue reading How easy is it to get around National Parks by bus?

Shooting on the South Downs

What’s going on in your area behind the scenes!  Closing date for comments is Wednesday 24th Feb.

On the South Downs above the Ouse valley between Rodmell and Kingston and in Iford there have been many planning issues associated with game shooting and game bird breeding. The situation culminated recently with planning inspectors at two different ‘planning hearings’ giving permission for:

  1. An old farm building on the Downs to be used as a game shooting lodge and
  2. An area of a farm at Iford village being used for the intensive breeding of game birds.

shootBut the story is not yet over! Just recently the landowner associated with the shooting business has applied for a ‘lawful development certificate’ relating to a large area of the South Downs. See the map below. Effectively they are trying to establish that shooting has been going on in the area for over 10 years. In other words from approximately 2005 onwards.

The applicant has provided what they believe is sufficient evidence to prove that the Council must issue a lawful development certificate. Members of the public could support or oppose the application but not in the normal way. Anyone wishing to comment on the application would have to do so by providing a statement giving what they believe is their evidence of whether or not there has been shooting activity in the defined area. This application will not be dealt with like a normal planning application and it will not be sufficient to just simply say you are opposed or support the shooting activity for this or that reason. It will not be considered by a committee. The planning and legal officers of the Lewes District Council acting on behalf of the National Park will make the decision themselves. Members of the District Council can submit their own statement but they will not participate in the decision-making process.

If you would like to find out more about the application please follow the link below and enter the application number in the search box.

Application for a Lawful Development Certificate – shooting area on the South Downs

Visit: http://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/

Then, enter in the search box: SDNP/15/06385/LDE   –   You will then be taken to the actual application page.  NB: Here is some advice from the Planning Department on how to support or oppose the awarding of the certificate:

Any representations should be e-mailed to planning.south@lewes.gov.uk, or to Rachel.richardson@lewes.gov.uk.

As discussed, any representations should concentrate on whether shooting has taken place on the land for 10 years before 11/12/15 (the date of the application), rather than objecting on grounds relating to the alleged impact of the use.

The area defined on the application is within the parish of Iford and borders Rodmell and Rottingdean parishes as well as Woodingdean & Saltdean (part of the city of Brighton and Hove). It encompasses the Kingston Escarpment & Iford Hill SSSI. It stretches from the C7 road to the borders of Rottingdean and encompasses a number of areas of Public Open Access land as well is public bridleways and the South Downs Way.

So far the council have notified: Kingston, Iford, Rodmell, Southease & Piddinghoe parish councils

Map – click for a larger image or see it on the planning web site:

Map Shooting