The latest Planning Application
30 December 2014…..On the 19th of November 2014, a new planning application was submitted. It got a reference number which showed online but the documentation required to even validate it did not materialise until the 16th of December. The fire was on the 20th and the application was finally registered and put out to public consultation on the 22nd of December. Quite why Ian Coomber, former West Area Manager for Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning dept, who is the agent for this application (through Stiles Harold Williams), was unable to provide everything required to get a swifter registration is a bit of a puzzle.
Regrettably, whilst residents and businesses in Victoria Terrace, Medina Terrace, Sussex Road, Victoria Cottages and etc were all lettered by BHCC, the two adjacent blocks of flats at Bath Court and Benham Court were not! This has happened before and a Benham Court resident has queried this with the planning officer. It is an outrageous ommission that makes no sense!
Within the planning application there is a structural report, and just look what it has to say about the interior roof supports! Sabotaged! With wood all over the building to chop out, why climb up to the trusses to take a bite out of Medina there? You could be forgiven for wondering if someone actually wanted the roof to fall in….hmmmm?
Casual readers here, as well as saveHOVE supporters otherwise, all know that we have pursued enforcement notices, and at the meeting with Enforcement a couple of years ago raised the question of whether Listed Building status could be obtained for this building. It abuts historic Sussex Road and Victoria Cottages which pre-date all else on the Esplanade and provides them with an appropriate end-stop. This strip up to the Kingsway and Victoria Terrace is an of-a-piece slice of Hove heritage which sits very tidily between the seafront blocks and Marrocco’s on the Kings Esplanade.
The proposed replacement building design is simple. It looks like it was inspired by the much admired, innovative, and respected, Brighton Housing Trust shipping container village for the homeless; indeed an apparent straight lift of their appearance. Imagine 8 long shipping containers stacked up and beside each other and clad in copper. Of all that…a separate article.
A new s215 Enforcement Notice
Listed status remains to be seen, but following reports to Enforcement from longstanding saveHOVE supporter, Nigel Furness, who is standing for UKIP in Central Ward next May, about hoardings strewn across the Esplanade and his demands for new action, there has been a visit to the site by Brighton & Hove City Council Enforcement officer Matthew Gest. He has informed Mr. Furness of the following steps taken on 30.12.14 by Brighton & Hove City Council Enforcement:
“I have today written to the property owners and their agents and asked that the building is weather proofed (boarding installed on the windows), that the roof is examined and repaired where necessary and that the boarding on the boundary of the site is repaired immediately.
Once this has been done I have then asked that, within three months, the building is repainted and the glazing replaced on the broken windows”.
The Petition seeking Compulsory Purchase by BHCC
When saveHOVE sought to achieve a Planning Brief for Medina House via a petition, the possibility of also asking for compulsory purchase at the same time was vetoed as asking too much at once. We got the Planning Brief (see article) but now we must revisit the possibility of taking Medina House away from an irresponsible owner of over 16 years standing. To this end both a paper petition and a matching council epetition have been raised (uploaded Christmas Eve). They will be presented to the Policy and Resources Committee on 19th March, 2015. Click the link below to sign the epetition.