Extension for flat-roofed Lewes bungalow approved

editorial image

Plans to upgrade a 1960s bungalow in Lewes have been given the go ahead by council planners.

On Wednesday (August 7), Lewes District Council planners approved an application seeking permission to add an extra storey to a flat-roofed bungalow in Park Road, Lewes.

Before making its decision, the committee heard from the applicant Jolyon Brewis, who is both the architect behind the proposals and (with his wife) the building’s owner.

Mr Brewis said: “We have tried very hard to respect the original concept and style of the building. 

“We love the house. We love modest, simple and modern design, so we have been really careful in coming up with our proposals for making changes to this.

“It is important to us that it functions well as a family house. It sits on quite a generous plot and has a lovely, mature garden. But there are aspects of the way the house was designed in the early 1960s that don’t work so well for a growing family.”

In light of this, Mr Brewis  said the proposals would include the installation of solar panels on the building’s roof, new timber cladding and improvements to its insulation in an effort to make it more eco-friendly than its current form. 

The committee also heard that an application had been put forward to Historic England seeking to get the building listed, but this had not been resolved at the time of the meeting.

The bungalow falls within the Lewes Conservation Area, the committee heard, but is considered to be out-of-place with the rest of the houses in Park Road, all of which are traditional two-storey Edwardian dwellings.

However, concerns about the impact on the conservation area where raised by a neighbour, whose representation was the sole objection to the scheme.

The neighbour also raised concerns over the design being ‘overdominant and affecting the character of the building’.

Despite this the proposals were broadly supported by committee members, including Lewes Priory councillor Imogen Makepeace (Green).

Addressing Mr Brewis, Cllr Makepeace said: “I think doing the work to upgrade the insulation is a really important part of what you have put in.

“I’m really pleased to hear you haven’t just stuck another box on to a draughty box. 

“I can see that it fits in with the style and will work well in the streetscape.”

Cllr Tom Jones (Ditchling and Westmeston, Con) also supported the scheme saying he ‘think it fits’ and did not detract from the surrounding street scene.

Acting committee chairman Steve Saunders (Newhaven North, Ind) was more guarded in his support however. 

He said: “In isolation it fits with the existing property. 

“I’m surprised it got planning permission at the time and if the South Downs National Park Authority had been in existence at the time it probably wouldn’t, I would argue.

“I must admit I am surprised there are not many objections and I am surprised the conservation officer has gone with it.

“But he has recommended it for approval and it has been recommended for approval by the officers here [and] I support what the other members have said about the upgrades you are going to make to the existing building.

“When it is built it is going to be even more out-of-keeping than it already is, but it is already out-of-keeping.”