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Amenity societies and community groups

In Lewisham, there are a number of local amenity societies and community groups which take a keen interest in the protection and management of the built environment.

Are groups consulted on planning applications? 

We welcome the view of amenity societies as part of the decision-making process. We will notify groups and amenity societies of planning applications in their geographic areas of interest via email. Groups and/or any individual can also register online to receive automatic updates of planning application in their street(s) of interest.

We will also refer developers to groups as part of their pre-application engagement.

Amenity societies in the planning process

We can formally recognise your group as an amenity society in the planning process. Your group must be formally constituted, and a copy of the constitution provided to us. 

Formally recognised Amenity Societies benefit from a process known as Chairs Briefing (also known as Chairs Review). This takes place when a formal objection is received. A Chairs briefing determines if a planning application will be referred to a Planning Committee for a decision, or determined by delegated powers. This is a meeting between Chairs of Planning Committee and Senior planning service staff and is not a public meeting. The outcome of Chairs Briefing/ Review is published to the online planning application case file.

These groups are formally recognised as amenity societies in Lewisham.

How can my group become a recognised amenity society?

Groups can make applications to the Planning Service to be considered an amenity society.

The following information should be submitted:

  1. Society name 
  2. Membership size
  3. Date of formation
  4. Copy of adopted constitution
  5. Written description of the heritage conservation/ planning/ built environment focus of the group, or the sub-committees’ activities and details of the work undertaken including outreach to the community
  6. Conservation area/ geographical area of interest
  7. Group contact email address (this should not be a personal email address) / website 

We have a template constitution which groups are able to use. 

Model constitution template

Lewisham amenity society application form

How can my group engage with the planning process?

We hold a Community Forum Meeting to discuss planning matters (not specific applications). This is a forum of our Amenity Societies and other Community Groups and the Planning Service whose purpose is to:

  • seek positive working relationships between the planning service and community groups
  • to update on changes to the planning system, policy work and Council strategies
  • to provide direct feedback to us
  • to discuss planning issues thematically

If you would like to be invited to the Community Forum, please email planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

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