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Small sites SPD

The Small Sites Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) adopted in October 2021 gives detailed design guidance on small sites development within the borough.

Lewisham, like all boroughs, is dealing with a housing crisis and a climate emergency. To help tackle these issues, we’ve completed a draft small sites design guidance, encouraging the delivery of more high-quality, sustainable homes across the borough.

In September 2020 we appointed Architects Ash Sakula and RCKA to work on a draft of the Small Sites SPD. They completed an initial consultation process with local agents, architects and developers and worked with LBL officers and councillors to produce the first draft of this design guidance.

View the Small Sites SPD.

What is the Small Sites SPD?

A supplementary planning document (SPD) provides advice and guidance on the implementation of policies and proposals contained in Lewisham’s Local Plan.

A small site is defined by the Greater London Authority (GLA) as under 0.25 hectares, approximately the equivalent in size to a third of a football pitch or the size of eight tennis courts. These plots of land could deliver the essential housing that the borough needs.

The GLA’s recently adopted London Plan (2021), has given Lewisham an annual target of 1,667 new homes of which 379 per annum are forecast from small sites. This requires nearly 4,000 homes to be delivered through small sites in the next 10 years.

This SPD gives proactive, detailed design guidance on small site development within the Lewisham Borough.

What does the SPD cover?

The SPD sits as part of a suite of documents including a Vision Document, Design Guide and Appendices.

Please see the following documents attached at the bottom of this page:

  • Small Sites Vision – Development Strategy Document. This document gives the background and approach to the SPD.
  • Small Sites Design Guide – Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This is the main document shown above which gives guidance on current adopted planning policies, and how to deliver new housing on small sites in the borough.
  • Small Sites Appendices – Additional and Supporting information. This document includes research and mapping work completed by the consultants
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Screening Report. A screening report was carried out by the Council and reviewed by the appropriate statutory consultees. The report concluded that a SEA is not required.

The Small Sites SPD is where the guidance sits and is split into three main sections:

  • Guidance - giving general, borough wide, planning advice related to small sites in Lewisham that all applicants should be aware of and adhere to.
  • Toolkits – Giving specific guidance on individual topics that could be related to most applications on small sites within the borough.
  • Site Types – Giving specific guidance on particular development types based on a character study of the borough.

The adopted Small Sites Supplementary Planning Document has been formatted on its on web page for easy online viewing at


Resident engagement

The decision was made at the council’s Mayor and Cabinet meeting on the 10th March 2021, to launch a consultation for the public to share their views on the proposed design guidance.

The consultation began on Friday 19 March, it invited those interested to view the draft SPD and associated documents via the council’s website and give any feedback or comment on the Small Sites SPD via Citizen Space. Further consultation took place on a dedicated Commonplace page explaining more about the documents.

The consultation closed on 7 June 2021.

We held online events throughout May to make sure we can hear from as many people as possible. The events information is posted below. Each event started with a

presentation from Council officers and then were open for questions from those attending.

Event 1 - Agents, architects, developers and construction professionals. This event was invite only. Watch the recorded session.

Event 2 - Amenity societies, conservation and community groups. This event is invite only. Watch the recorded session.

Event 3 - Virtual Town hall Open to the Public. This event was open to the public. Watch the recorded session.

The Consultant Team

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