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Planning application LW/10/0641 Southover High Str

On 6 Sep 2010 at 2:06pm Not a planner wrote:
This is for erection of a detached two storey house on 56 Southover High Street
I was looking at this planning application and see that the report from the planning department has a conclusion "This application is clearly contrary to both local and national policy...adverse impact on local distinctiveness of important local heritage assets ... inappropriate design, scale, height and form .. strong recommendation for refusal. It was in fact passed by committee last month. Anyone know if this happens often or anyone know how our councillors voted?
On 6 Sep 2010 at 2:21pm Down and Out wrote:
It happens, but not nearly as often as the Committee refuses something which has been recommended by officers for approval.
In my experience Joe Public tends to get very hot under the collar about the former, whilst wildly applauding the latter, which is pretty hypocritical really.
The minutes of the Committee should be available on line. I think they usually show voting numbers but maybe not who voted. As far as I'm aware, it depends what the local standing orders are.
On 6 Sep 2010 at 6:09pm Gloria mundi wrote:
Mon dieu, how did this one get through? The planning system is permissive: that is if you apply for permission to do something, you are entitled to be permitted to do it unless it contravenes established national or local policies. Often planners have to recommend something they don't like because they have no good reason to refuse it. Also, if the committee refuses permission where the planning staff have recommended it, their position at an appeal is weakened and with it the liability of the Council to meet all the costs. This is the other way ropund: the planners found 6 good reasons to reject the application and the members ignored the lot.
On 6 Sep 2010 at 6:29pm MC wrote:
Does the plot belong to a relation or friend of a member?
On 6 Sep 2010 at 10:29pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
So they are building on the garden ? I thought some law had recently been passed in this respect, discouraging this practice ?
On 6 Sep 2010 at 10:48pm Down and Out wrote:
So, has anybody actually looked at the plans and formed an opinion, or are you all just doing the Daily Mail outraged thing?
On 7 Sep 2010 at 8:42am QOTSA wrote:
The plans look awful. A square ugly monstrosity!
On 7 Sep 2010 at 10:20am Not a planner wrote:
I looked at the minutes and they just said it had been passed (I cannot see any discussion). Perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. I do want to know how the councillors voted. Down and out - No this is not a daily mail outraged thing, this is a question of why councillors have ignored very strong recommendations from their professional officers.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 10:38am Misery wrote:
The councillors were unavailable for comment as they are currently on a nice Free holiday in Jamaica courtesy of a friendly developer
On 7 Sep 2010 at 10:48am Pedant wrote:
Isn't this kind of thing stopping when Lewes is firmly in the South Downs National Park?
On 7 Sep 2010 at 11:02am Down and Out wrote:
@ Not A Planner. The whole point is that it is a democratic system in which members of the Planning Committee take advice but then still reach their own conclusions. If you want a system where they are obliged to follow officer's recommendations then there's not much point in having a Committee or councillors involved at all. The documents suggest that it is a very low-key proposal for a family house, barely visible from the public realm, in traditional materials, which is a private build rather than a development. Planning policy is a generic blunt instrument which is often unable to take the individual nuances of a proposal into account, and planning officers these days are massively unwilling to 'stick their head above the parapet' and recommend against policy.
I commend the Committee members for what looks like an entirely reasonable decision.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 11:17am Gloria mundi wrote:
@ Down and Out, I think the principal objection is to the development of a back garden in a sensitive part of the conservation area. Garden grabbing is now being oputlawed by the Government and this is a particularly poor example of it. I agree that the Committee should be able to make decisions against the advice of officers. I just think they were very wrong to do so on this one.
@Pedant, the planners didn't think the National Park was an issue in this case - not sure I understand why not - but there you go!
On 7 Sep 2010 at 11:34am Down and Out wrote:
@ Gloria Mundi
There were existing outbuildings on the site, and I'm not sure that the garden grabbing policy applies in such situations.
In any case applicable policy is that which is current on the date on which the application is registered, not when it is determined at Committee, and I would be surprised if this application had been made since the new policy was enacted.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 11:53am Down and Out wrote:
FWIFWW I've just checked PPS3 Annex B, and the garden grabbing policy does not apply in situations where there have previously been buildings.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 12:27pm jrsussex wrote:
Another planning madness from October. Landlords will be able to convert houses into flats for up to 6 persons without having to make an application for planning permission. The Coalition wants to ensure that landlords do not incur unnecessary planning application costs which may put the supply of rented homes at risk.
So the house noxt door to you could be converted into flats without you having any say on the matter.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 12:37pm George Doors wrote:
Suggest people look at the drawings, go to the site and understand the project before making assumptions.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:04pm king cnut wrote:
@jrsussex; converted flats means more council tax income. More cars, less space and so more parking fines, so its a win, win for council income!
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:09pm Stig of the dump wrote:
@ King Cnut. the council only get more income from parking fines if people park ILLEGALLY.
Not rocket science is it.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:28pm Down and Out wrote:
jrs - I wasn't aware of that, but the system is ass about face and then some! You need the council's permission to change the colour of your front door on your listed house, but you don't need permission to radically alter housing density with the associated issues of parking, refuse collection and provision of services etc. Daft.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:35pm MC wrote:
Which of course happens a lot more when a building that has a street frontage the slightly more that the length of two parked cars gets turned into six flats potentially housing 12 or more car owners. Look at central Hove for extreme examples of the effect on parking this has, i.e. huge amounts of double parking and all nearby verges & pavements blocked by parked cars.

If anyone has ever lived next to a Victorian house that has been turned into a multi-occupancy, attracting partying students and would-be DJS, they'll know what an awful decision this could be (although I am sure that there is more to it than has been written here).
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:42pm Not a planner wrote:
I have heard that allegedly the councillor who was most in favour of this was Jim Daly. Some were against.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 1:51pm Down and Out wrote:
@ JRS. I've just looked this up on Planning Portal and strongly suspect that you've been misinformed. There have been some minor clarifications of the definitions of dwellinghouses and HMOs following Appeal Court cases, but no changes to when permission is required.
Unless you can point to some other source?
On 7 Sep 2010 at 2:28pm Gloria munci wrote:
MC, I think you will find that a lot of things that don't need planning permission (like small extensions) do need it when they are in a conservation area or a national park.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 2:34pm Down and Out wrote:
@ Gloria Mundi
Pretty much the whole of Lewes town centre, excluding outlying estates, is already within Conservation Areas. The SDNP policy as published to date is to delegate local planning to existing local authorities. If you are expecting to see some sort of radical change to procedures, you won't.
On 7 Sep 2010 at 9:29pm jrsussex wrote:
Down and Out - Got it from a newspaper report, Hastings Observer 20.08.2010 page 31 - quote from a "leading councillor", presumably of Hastings Council. So I assume it is correct. That said it was in a newspaper, they wouldn't report anything inaccurate, would they?????
On 7 Sep 2010 at 11:43pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
I think it's behind this house for sale with Lewes estates.

On 8 Sep 2010 at 11:47am Not a planner wrote:
Yes to the left as you look at it.
On 8 Sep 2010 at 9:18pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
This is the same guy who was did the new (moth ridden) house in Pinwell Lane, supposedly for self and family, then sold it a couple of years later among much newspaper publicity. He spent much time lobbying committee members on this one. With the very poor history of the site, he did very well to get it through.
On 10 Sep 2010 at 9:32am Jen wrote:
The house for sale belongs to the developer.
On 10 Sep 2010 at 9:52am Not a planner wrote:
Really? Bit of a smell about this one.
On 10 Sep 2010 at 11:37am Brixtonbelle wrote:
Well I think that when people try t buy his house this will be put off when land searches reveal the development. Thats if they haven't been put off by the price anyway. I would be. In fact I already am!
On 12 Sep 2010 at 5:39pm make a pretty penny wrote:
The Developer has put the house on the market at the same price as it was advertised for in 2007 along with the orchard plot next door where he will build. One reason the LDC Planning Officers cited in their recommendation of refusal for development was: 'The proposed dwelling will clearly have a severe detrimental impact on residential amenities of number 57 in terms of an overbearing and over dominant development, undue enclosure of the existing amenity space and overshadowing, especially in the evenings. Considering the proximity of the development it is likely that residential amenities will also be impacted though noise and other environmental issues.'
So the new purchasers clearly are expected to not care about their garden or to mind putting up with all the inconvenience while the new place is erected next door. Just what any sane person wants to spend 600k on!
And good to see that our esteemed planning committee councillors have so energetically helped a developer's profit.

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