Lewes District Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD - Pre-Submission version


What is the Lewes District Local Plan?

1.1 The Lewes District Local Plan will form part of the approved development plan for the area and will comprise of two documents:

  • Local Plan Part 1: Joint Core Strategy 2010-2030
  • Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

1.2 The primary document is the Local Plan Part 1, which is a strategic level plan for the whole district. This sets out the long term vision and objectives of the Council and provides a strategic policy framework to guide development and change in the period to 2030. It identifies the spatial strategy for the district by allocating levels of housing growth to settlements within the district and it also contains a number of strategic, large-scale site allocations for development. The Local Plan Part 1 was adopted by Lewes District Council on 11 May 2016, and the South Downs National Park Authority on 23 June 2016 and now forms part of the statutory development plan for the area.

What is the Local Plan Part 2?

1.3 The Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policiescomprises the second of the Local Plan documents. It supports and seeks to deliver the strategic objectives and spatial strategy of the Local Plan Part 1 by:

  • allocating additional sites to meet development growth identified in Local Plan Part 1
  • setting out detailed (non-strategic) development management policies to guide development and change

1.4 Importantly, the Local Plan Part 2 will only apply to the area of Lewes district covered by the Lewes District Planning Authority (i.e. excluding the area within South Downs National Park). This is shown in Figure 1. The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is preparing its own local plan, which will when adopted supersede the Local Plan Part 1 for the area of Lewes District within the National Park. For further information, visit www.southdowns.gov.uk.


Figure 1 - Local Plan Part 2 Plan Area

Local Plan Part 2 Plan Area

What is the role of Neighbourhood Plans?

1.5 Neighbourhood plans were introduced in 2012 by the Localism Act. A fundamental principle of neighbourhood planning is that it is community-led, with the community establishing local planning policies for development and use of land within its neighbourhood. Neighbourhood plans enable local people to play a leading role in responding to the needs and priorities of the local community. A neighbourhood plan must be in general conformity with the relevant local plan and can promote more, but not less, development than the local plan.

1.6 In Lewes District, the appropriate bodies for producing neighbourhood plans are the Town and Parish Councils. They can set out specific planning policies for their areas and allocate sites for development, thereby supporting the strategic development needs identified in the Local Plan Part 1. A neighbourhood plan attains the same legal status as the Local Plan once it has been approved at a local referendum. At this point it comes into force as part of the statutory development plan and will be used to assess and determine planning applications within the designated neighbourhood area.

1.7 Within the area covered by the Local Plan Part 2, six neighbourhood plans have been 'made' (adopted) and six towns or parishes have been formally designated as neighbourhood areas for the purpose of preparing neighbourhood plans. These are illustrated in Figure 1. Where a town or parish council is developing a neighbourhood plan that will include site allocations for specific uses, the District Council is not proposing to allocate sites or identify site specific policies in the Local Plan Part 2.

1.8 Until neighbourhood plans for designated neighbourhood areas have been approved at referendum, the 'saved' policies in the Lewes District Local Plan 2003, that are specifically applicable to these designated areas, will continue to form part of the development plan for the area.

How is the Local Plan Part 2 prepared?


1.9 The process of preparing the Local Plan Part 2 is divided into a number of specific stages, which are identified in the timetable below:

Stages of the Local Plan Part 2 preparation



Issues & Options Topic Papers Winter 2013/14
Consultation Draft Plan Winter 2017/18
Pre-Submission Consultation Autumn 2018
Formal Submission to Secretary of State January 2019
Examination in PUblic Spring/Summer 2019
Adoption Autumn 2019





1.10  This document is the Pre-Submission Local Plan Part 2 and is being published for public representations under Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. It follows on from the Issues & Options Topic Papers and the Consultation Draft Plan published for public consultation in 2013 and 2017 respectively. Views expressed on these earlier consultation documents, together with engagement with key external stakeholders, have been important influences on the Pre-Submission Plan.

1.11 A background paper has been published that identifies the main issues raised during the consultation on the Issues & Options Topic Papers and how the views expressed influenced the Consultation Draft Plan[1]. A background paper has also been published that provides details of the consultation on the Consultation Draft Plan, a summary of the main issues raised by the representations received, and how the Council has addressed those issues in the Pre-Submission Plan[2] .

1.12 Once the Regulation 19 consultation is completed, an updated draft version of the Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State, who will then appoint an independent Planning Inspector to undertake an Examination in Public. During the examination process, the Planning Inspector will determine whether the Local Plan Part 2 has been prepared in accordance with the relevant legal requirements and meets the tests of 'soundness' set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). If necessary, the Council will ask the Inspector to recommend modifications to the Plan that would address any issues of soundness or procedural requirements that are identified during the examination.

1. LPP2 Topic Papers Summary of Representations available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk [back]
2. Consultation Draft LPP2 Summary of Representations available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk [back]

Duty to Co-operate

1.13 The NPPF requires local planning authorities to work collaboratively to address strategic priorities and development requirements across local boundaries. The District Council and the National Park Authority demonstrated how the 'Duty to Co-operate' requirements were met during the preparation of the Local Plan Part 1, adopted in 2016[3].

1.14 In terms of strategic issues, the District Council continues to actively participate in the East Sussex Strategic Planning Members Group and the West Sussex and Greater Brighton Strategic Planning Board. The aim of the Strategic Planning Board is to address the unmet housing need across this part of the region through commissioning work to assess the options for provision of housing and infrastructure at the sub regional strategic scale. This work is now fully scoped and agreed by the Board. Commissioning the individual studies is imminent, with outputs expected in 2019/2020. Outputs will, therefore, be timely for informing the 5-year review of the Local Plan Part 1 (by 2021).

1.15 The only significant cross-boundary issue that remains to be addressed through the preparation of the Local Plan Part 2 is planning to meet the accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople (see paras. 2.105- 2.109). A Statement of Common Ground[4] has been prepared between the SDNPA and Lewes District Council to identify and address the unmet need within the district, which has now been substantially reduced through the Pre-Submission Local Plan Part 2.

1.16 Since the adoption of the Local Plan Part 1 a further strategic cross-boundary issue materialised in relation to the Ashdown Forest. The issue concerns the combined effects of neighbouring Local Plans on air quality at the Forest. In response to this issue an extensive Working Group was established; membership includes the SDNPA, Lewes District Council, Wealden District Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Tandridge District Council, Crawley Borough Council, Sevenoaks District Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council (as the relevant Minerals and Waste Planning Authority), West Sussex County Council and Natural England. A Statement of Common Ground[5] has been prepared in support of this issue.

3. Update on the Duty to Cooperate Statement (October 2015) available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk [back]
4. 1st iteration available on the SDNPA Local Plan Examination webpage https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SCG08-Lewes.pdf [back]
5. 1st iteration available on the SDNPA Local Plan Examination webpage https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SDLP-14-Ashdown-Forest-SCG.pdf [back]

Evidence Base

1.17 The preparation of the Local Plan Part 2 has drawn on earlier evidence gathered during the Local Plan Part 1 process, in addition to further evidence-based assessments. As the policies and allocations contained in this document flow from the overarching development strategy and strategic policies of the Local Plan Part 1, they will have the same time horizon and largely the same evidence base. There are two notable updates to the Local Plan Part 1 evidence base: the 2018 Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and the Habitat Regulations Assessment Addendum 2018, relating specifically to the Plan's effects on air quality in relation to the Ashdown Forest[6].

6. These, and other, background documents are available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk [back]

Sustainability Appraisal

1.18 Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is a tool which is used to inform decision making by identifying from an early stage the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of plans and strategies. The process incorporates the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive. The Local Plan Part 2 has been developed and refined using SA to test options against a set of sustainability objectives to see how well they might achieve sustainable development and thereby inform choice. Where possible the scope of the SA has been updated to reflect the area of the district that the Local Plan Part 2 relates to. In order to ensure consistency, the same sustainability objectives have been used to inform both the preparation of the Local Plan Part 1 and Part 2. Information on the reasonable alternative options that have been considered and discounted in favour of the Local Plan Part 2 policies contained herein, are set out in the Local Plan Part 2 Sustainability Appraisal Report, which is published alongside this document.

Habitats Regulations Assessment

1.19 The local planning authority is required to ensure that the policies and proposals contained within its local plan will not have a Likely Significant Effect on Sites of European and International Importance (European Sites) such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) ,Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar sites (internationally important wetlands). A Likely Significant Effect must be established both in terms of the individual plan and of the plan in combination with other policies and proposals, such as the local plans of neighbouring authorities'. Where a Likely Significant Effect cannot be ruled out, an "Appropriate Assessment" is carried out under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, commonly known as the 'Habitat Regulations'. The Habitat Regulations Assessment published alongside this document[7] constitutes a number of individual reports and addendums that demonstrate that there will be no Likely Significant Effect on any of the protected areas as a result of implementing the Local Plan Part 1 or Part 2.

7. HRA documents are available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk [back]