Hove Park Threat

BHCC must choose between a Spanish/English School, its staff and proposed 650 pupils or 630 units of planned-for housing between Old Shoreham Rd and Hove Station
10 June 2013…..The Govt quango set up to grab council land for free schools, with or without local authority cooperation was quoted in the Argus last week as saying land between BHASVIC and Cardinal Newman (for Kings Faith School), would not now be sought because it is council land and because the site isn’t big enough.
If the BHASVIC field of a good 22 acres (or hectares, whichever it is) is too small to take a newbuild faith school then , the maximum of 2 acres (or hectares, whichever it is) available along the north-western edge of Hove Park, just south of the Engineerium, is even more obviously too cramped and unsuitable.
650 kids, their parents/carers, staff and teachers are a lot of new footfall and use to add to Hove Park and they WOULD use it. Why wouldn’t they? And they would park all around it, where they can.  How would their presence further impact on the adjacent Engineerium and City Park?
Parents are notorious for ruthlessly abusing streets around all our schools as they seek to drop off and pick up their kids. Why would they respect existing parking pressures around Hove Park? Or the fact that the Droveway is not a proper two-way road…but rather a paved twitten/lane and single lane only that is the sole access for both The Engineerium, Ciy Park, the park itself and the electrical sub-station on the edge of the gardeners depot (formerly used as a civic plantings nursery).


It is important to be aware of this Impact, already planned-for,  future impact on Hove Park which is encoded within the emerging City Plan:   BHCC is planning for 630 units of housing to be sited south of Hove park between Old Shoreham Road and Hove Station (identified-housing figure for City Plan area DA6).  This  will bring some 1500-plus new residents (and their children and dogs) to the southern edge of Hove Park to add to Park House (71 units of housing under construcion).
View Policy DA 6 here.

Indeed, Hove Park’s very proximity will be quoted by planners and developers alike as an allowable reason for undersizing flats/any houses and not providing much, if any, outdoor playspace or lawns, etc. around newbuilds.  They would have the park.  It is what was said about the 71 flats currently going up at Park House on the south-eastern corner of Hove Park.  It WILL be said again.  With sad outdoor provision there, the roar of Old Shoreham Road traffic something not to look forward to when thinking of using the balconies they are constructing.  They will go over to Hove Park.
BHCC must choose:  all that housing for the Area from Goldstone Retail Park down to Hove Station, or all those kids? Which is it to be; or do they have the resources to make constant expensive repairs, lawn patching and ramped-up maintenance work to deal with an couple of thousand new and guaranteed DAILY users of Hove Park? Parking for them, etc.?  How long would it take for this superb park to become a scruffy, neglected inner-city dirt yard – its’ present standard of flower beds, facilities and tree management gone – especially given the level of cuts the government continues to make to local authority grants.  And if the depot’s gardeners are moved to Stanmer Park, out of that depot area they currently use….the whole of Hove’s parks and gardens will suffer.
This country is on its uppers.  And BHCC won’t prioritise park maintenance when push comes to shove.
A school and new residential building on its borders, would destroy Hove Park for all the local residents now travelling to it, along with all the existing local residents living around it and who walk to it.  Hove Park is a major Hove amenity site serving a wide part of it.
The Hove Recreation Ground is controlled by the Rugby Club – on a long leasehold from BHCC. So THAT is not available for overspill use due to huge population and footfall increases being planned in, unless of course BHCC wishes to terminate this arrangement and kit it up as an overspill park to take the expected over-use they are currently planning-in. 
At present it is thought BHCC are supporting construction of this proposed Spanish free school on the edge of Hove Park on a really small site.  It rather invites the government and Kings School to revisit their wish to build a faith school on the 20 times larger BHASVIC field, doesn’t it?  

About saveHOVE

Concerned with planning, development and the conservation of historic Hove, we actively seek to prevent inappropriate, negligent and abusive redevelopments!
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