09.03.18…..The Planning Awards 2018 event takes place in London on June 6th and the awards short-list has been announced.
U+I’s Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton Lewes Road Masterplan have been shortlisted in three of its several categories. They are: Planning Permission of the Year, Award for Partnership Working and Award for Regeneration. We will no doubt hear more about this.
07.02.18…..With news today that the Greater Brighton Economic Board, Network Rail, Coast to Capital, et al have agreement about investing to solve problems in the Brighton to London railway line comes disappointment that it is so far “up-country”. The need to address local branch deficiencies and absences that would make a big difference to future prospects are not noticed or even acknowledged by these people. Given the HUGE amount of housing capacity and economic contribution central Govt demands of Brighton and Hove, this matters for infrastructure and future sustainability of the city….bigly.
Currently, a new development is planned for the Bingo Hall site up on Edward Street/Eastern Road over in Brighton. Beneath the Freshfield Industrial Estate is a terminus from the long-extinct Kemptown railway station with tracks in a tunnel, used these days for legal archive storage. Having a railway station THERE once again would open up transport links to the centre of the city and the residential eastern areas and free up the roads a bit. Underground re-engineering for a shuttle stop seems like sensible foresight to me – housing can go on top of it instead of instead of!
Over here in Hove, an attempt is in the pipeline to put a few thousand new residents between both sides of the Hove Station rail lines and Old Shoreham Road. But the streets and road network cannot in any way sustain that hit. The existing planning consent (already renewed once) is not going to be used for the Sackville Trading Estate (more’s the pity cause the architecture is nice and the scale of the plans reasonable). Instead, now that Coal Pensions owns all the land down to the railway lines, a massive 600 flats plan is set to go to pre-planning advice shortly. A 188 flats plan for Ellen Street below the lines was refused ONLY because of affordable housing shortfall numbers (extra reasons for refusal were lost because the Chair took the vote prematurely making it illegal to then add to Conditions). The local access/egress cannot cope with EITHER of these plans or the others waiting in the wings.
At the 600 flats exhibition I attended some while ago I suggested to people there that a Hove Station extension of platforms over to Sackville Road with a passenger access point there was essential to allow all the proposed plans to be sustainable and to take pressure off the Goldstone Villas access point to the Hove Station ticket office, machines and platforms. Hove Station is already mostly automated so a ticket machine access point in Sackville Road is by no means unreasonable.
The plans in hand call for housing right down to trackside. This is a mistake. Extended platforms over to Sackville Road with shops and offices on the north trackside would benefit both the railways and the area if the hell-bent intention to cram a few thousand people into the small and access-poor DA6 Hove Station area goes forward to actual builds along with eventual restructuring of the area north of the station, fronting Old Shoreham Road.
Hove Station is not currently fit for purpose where future plans for filling up Hove with many, many thousands of new residents (London commuters) is concerned. From King Alfred to DA6 and beyond Hove is a target now for a massive influx of people – because Brighton is already too full up and Hove is seen as roomy enough to take it. Hove Station MUST be enlarged, extended to Sackville Road, etc. to TAKE the hit.
01.02.18…..Today Brighton & Hove News has been first up to announce that the application for £10m towards funding the affordable housing element of the Starr Trust/Crest Nicholson scheme has been not only successful, but increased to £15m. This grant is from the Housing Infrastructure Fund and is meant to defray costs of the affordable housing element (20%). The £8m BHCC is contributing is to defray costs of building the leisure centre. That makes £23m of public money so far agreed to and being thrown at the redevelopment. That is quite some blessing on its prospects. Time to admit, I put it to you, that this is not about getting a new leisure centre. It is about creating a revenue stream for Brighton & Hove City Council in the form of mountainous levels of council tax from a mountain of flats that will overwhelm the seafront, the Esplanade colony, Hove, and just visually roar its vastness over the nearby Listed buildings and genteel ambience.
The article from Frank le Duc hints at significant changes to the scale of the scheme as compared with the scheme that won the gig. Read what I wrote in 2016 after lunching with Rob Starr and his then PR Bill Murray. I was allowed to say just a few things and not provide photos. Though I took photos of a few details. Then the tallest element was 18 storeys, and planned to go in the far westernmost corner on the seafront, behind the leisure centre. Now, this news today suggests “up to 20 storeys”. And 560 flats is now “between 580 and 660 flats”.
Let nobody forget that the Karis planning consent in February 2007 set a precedent. I don’t suppose they’ll stop at 660 flats, do you? And they get £23m towards building costs. Joke’s on all you Londoners who have recently invested in your move to genteel Hove. It is now set fair for changes that will put a level of congestion and overactivity, competition for access to vital bits of infrastructure and strain on resources into the area to make you blench.
The scheme has NOTHING for visitors along the prom, facing the sea. We need something like a transplanted Pavilion Gardens sweep of dozens of tables with conservatory doors round it for winter to provide a place to wine, dine, take tea and watch the sea do its thing. Some still hanker after an Olympic size swimming pool and Olympic level events there (but where would parking go?).
Here is the announcement from the Brighton & Hove City Council.
29.1.18…..It beggars belief that Brighton & Hove City Council highways people so totally fail to understand seafront access and egress issues – including emergency access needs. They have suspended parking bays in Medina Terrace to FORCE ability to access by builders servicing the Medina House site. Parking bays on the Esplanade and beside Medina House are also suspended. Even so. There is already spillover into Sussex Road. How is this even safe and how will it impact ability of the public to access Marrocco and move through the seafront from King Alfred over to the esplanade beyond all this? It already looks unsafe, cluttered and will soon become a no-go prospect. Apparently vehicles in Medina Terrace were towed away today to enable all this …oops! Just one thing. Don’t blame the Gilmours. The people they pay to do this work are responsible.
Within the CMP that is currently undergoing endless revisions there are some names. Try Matt Richardson of SizeBreed whose company name is on it. 07887 635578 or Project Manager Noah Faiers 07872 456118 or Sean Cox 07872 455805. Out of hours 020 7036 9650 – These details are in the paperwork Appendix g!
NB: Until Conditions 11 and 12 are agreed and the CMP details are AGREED (they are not yet), it is not appropriate to suspend ANY bays for builder vehicle access until it IS AGREED. All those who got towed away today should bloody well sue BHCC for the cost and damages.
Residents need to pay attention to what is happening there and look at the as yet unagreed Construction Environment Management Plan within the planning register in this application’s documents section and put in suggestions for how best to make this work. Send objections and observations concerning discharge of Conditions 11/12 to email@example.com quoting BH2017/03160