Monthly Archives: April 2015

Meeting 14th April – History of London Road Station

London Rd Stn 1a

About 30 people were present to hear the talk by Jim Grozier and Elspeth Broady on the History of London Road Station.

London Road Station was built some time after the opening of the Brighton to Lewes line, probably to support the new suburban Kemp Town branch. This had several stations at close intervals; the line can still be followed in places to its terminus in the Freshfield Industrial Estate (Stevenson Road). It may have been built to block a proposal by a rival railway company to build a line from London to Kemp Town. Architecturally, the station is similar to some other local small stations. There was discussion of the former allotment area on the northwest side of the station, and how knowledge of local history was able to block attempts to build on it.

This is by far the largest number we have had so far. There were about 8 people who had come because they knew one of the speakers and several people from Ditchling RIse Area Residents Association (DRRA) were present. There was discussion about increasing liaison between the local residents’ associations. This could be by each group sending one person to the committee meetings of the other groups, and/or by having an annual meeting open to everyone. The railway bridge was discussed, and DRRA (or friends of London Road Station)  said there might be an opportunity to move the bike channels to a more useful position.

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Brighton at crisis point?

From The Argus – full story here – Please post any comments, all views are welcome.

 

NEGLECT of the city’s heritage and architecture has left Brighton and Hove at “crisis point”, the lead councillor for culture has said.

Coun Geoffrey Bowden told The Argus a lack of investment and “to be frank, wanton neglect” has left many of our heritage sites in a sorry state.

He added that the local authority needed to work closely with city businesses in the future to restore them to their former glory.

Decades of under investment and, to be frank, wanton neglect by successive administrations have taken us to crisis point.

“The Victorian infrastructure on our seafront is failing and the knock on effects are highly damaging to the life of the city.”

He added: “Our heritage sites are vital for the city. We simply cannot allow them to deteriorate and, in the new economic reality, partnership between the public and private sector remains our best hope to secure their future.”

From the Victorian seafront arches to the Regency splendour of Hove, the city’s heritage, particularly the world famous Royal Pavilion, has long been a huge draw for tourists.

The city council along with Brighton Dome and Festival, were awarded £5 million from the Heritage Lottery Funding last November and £5.8 million from the Arts Council in October to fund their masterplan for the Pavilion estate, which takes in the Pavilion as well as the gardens, Dome, Corn Exchange and other buildings.

It is hoped the plan will ensure the attraction remains one of biggest and best in the region for generations to come.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, said: “Heritage has a crucial role to play in the economic, artistic, cultural and social future of the city and all of its communities. Many people’s first experience of Brighton will be via its architecture – in particular the iconic Royal Pavilion Estate which is in many ways the symbol of the city, attracting over 1.2 million people a year and contributing many millions of pounds to the local economy.

“Its magnificence, its boldness of design and daring experimentation with form established Brighton’s reputation two centuries ago yet now that heritage is increasingly in need of preservation and the city’s cultural, creative and economic future depends on a plan that makes it possible for the estate to live up to its potential as a world class heritage and cultural destination.

“Just like those far-sighted aldermen in the 1850s who secured the magnificent Royal Pavilion Estate for Brighton, we need to think carefully about how its maintenance and operation can be sustained over the next 20, 30, 100 years and beyond.”

Coun Bowden added that working with local businesses is key to ensuring the future of our heritage.

He said: “Politicians across the political spectrum need to be working closely with those businesses” adding that only then can we “secure the future of the city’s cultural heartland”.

CITY SHOULD PUSH FOR UNESCO STATUS, SAYS EXPERT

BRIGHTON and Hove should bid for Unesco World Heritage Site status to ensure the future of what makes the city so special, a conservation expert had said.

Roger Amerena, founder of Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission, said he had approached the city council about applying once before and said he would approach them again after the election.

The Unesco World Heritage Site status was set up in the 1970s. The World Heritage Commission considers applications and designate sites, areas, buildings or even cities with the status, which provides added protection and access to funding.

Mr Amerena plans to apply to make the seafront from Sussex Square/Lewes Crescent to Courtenay Gate a World Heritage Site.

He said: “We approached the council a few years ago because they really have to be on board, but the officers were not happy about it. We are going to wait until after May, the elections, and then think about it again with a view to send everything off later in the year.

“It would be beneficial for a number of reasons. First of all it would increase holiday and visitor traffic to Brighton and Hove because people would come because of the status.

“You just have to look at places elsewhere in England like the Eden Project.

“But there is no seaside location at the moment with the status.

“Secondly it would lead to greater protection for our architecture and heritage and it would also enable us to access grants.”

Roger Hinton, chairman of the Regency Society, agreed that the seafront was one of the key heritage sites in the city.

He said: “It makes us different and makes our city centre unique in that it isn’t surrounded by suburbs.

“It’s a bit tatty and that gives the characteristic of the seafront but if it just gets more tatty then people won’t come. We must protect it.”

LAT mandated to object to Wetherspoons change of use planning application

London Road Area Local Action Team

At the meeting on Tuesday 14th April 2015 after careful debate it was unanimously agreed to object to the planning application for change of use BH2015/00676 on behalf of J.D.Wetherspoon.

They are applying for change of use to one of the large units of the former Coop. They want “Change of use of unit from retail (A1) to public house (A4).” – see Planning Website

The regeneration of London Road has proceeded on the basis of a healthy mix of economic activities including retail, food, arts, alcohol with food and so on. This has been enshrined in the London Road masterplan. When the – also controversial – planning application for the Co-op was finally agreed it specified “retail A1” for this particular space.

The views that were expressed at the meeting and subsequently indicate that people do not want to see London Road tipped towards an alcohol-led economy, where…

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Wetherspoons Planning Application BH2015/00676 – comments are open – please make use of the democratic right to object/support/comment

London Road Area Local Action Team

The planning application for Wetherspoons in London Road is live on the Council Website – Application number: BH2015/00676

The application is requesting change of use from retail (A1) to Public House (A4) occupying 659 square metres (see application form).

http://ww3.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1199915&action=showDetail&application_number=BH2015%2F00676

The comments box is clearly shown on the application with the option to (a) Object (b) Support (c) Comment

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Rose Hill Tavern back on sale

From The Argus

Regulars take part in an earlier protest to keep the Rose Hill Tavern open

Regulars take part in an earlier protest to keep the Rose Hill Tavern open

A PUB is up for sale again after plans to convert it into flats were rejected.

Campaigners could now have the chance to buy the Rose Hill Tavern and keep it as a pub after the latest development fell through.

Owner Joanne Harris, of Evenden Estates, told The Argus she was selling up after Brighton and Hove city councillors threw out her request to transform it into two three-bedroom flats.

She bought the pub, in Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton, from Enterprise Inns which closed it in May 2014 after branding the business unviable.

It means campaigners keen on protecting the building – like the Rose Hill Tavern Action Group – can register their interest to buy with the council. But it leaves the property open to be snapped up by other developers with fresh ideas for the site.

Ms Harris said she was frustrated with the council’s decision but had no issue if campaigners wanted to buy the property.

She said: “The councillors went against the officer’s recommendations on our application. I have decided to sell because our plans were rejected but I don’t believe that will affect the price.

“If the campaigners can raise the funds I don’t have a problem with it. But last time it was on the market no one was interested in it as a pub.

“If it was valued by the community it wouldn’t have been failing before as a pub.”

She said an agent for the sale had not yet been confirmed.

Action group member Richard James said: “It is very feasible to raise funds by the community and purchase it. The community has a right to bid but not a right to buy. It can be sold to whoever Evenden wants to sell to.”

He previously said the council decision showed how elected members cared for their community.

Others in favour of changing the use of the building argued ten pubs were in walking distance of the local. They claim new owners may not be able to make it a thriving venture.

More than 700 people signed a petition to save the pub.

History of Rose Hill and Round Hill

The Rose Hill Tavern, in Rose Hill, Brighton, is more than 100 years old. It opened in 1870 and has a distinctive design with stained-glass windows.

It is one of a handful of pubs in Brighton with a green tile frontage which represents United Ales and Stout.

The pub was the second property in Brighton and Hove, after Saltdean Lido, to be added to the council’s assets of community value list.

The pub sits in the inner suburban area of Brighton known as Round Hill.

Round Hill itself was developed mostly in the late 19th century and quickly became a desirable middle-class suburb.