28.6.18……On the 14th of June Cllrs on the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee heard new Council Leader, Cllr Dan Yates, begin the meeting by anouncing that the i360 item would not be taken – would be deferred. Here is The Agenda item from that meeting and here is webcast of Dan Yates’s announcement (3rd item Chairs Communications Click THERE).
The Tories already knew this but distributed a new amendment at the meeting, all the same, before it convened. They used the opportunity to flag it up and grandstand a bit about wanting the i360 decision THEN and not after a deferral. Go to the webcast link above which is to item 3 (Chairs Comms) to hear the heated exchange between the Chair and Cllr Janio! There is no webcast for item 10 on i360 as it was not heard.
There was a huge reaction from one Luke Johnson, owner of the West Pier, a man with a long history as not just a “serial entrepreneur” but also as a former Chairman of Channel 4 TV. He emailed Councillors to say the i360 is insolvent, should not be bailed out, but rather taken over by BHCC (who largely paid for it to be built, so may as well now repossess it!). He offered to run it with his pier.
A week of no invitation to talk and he went to the media. Here is the Argus coverage of his remarks. And here is the first and best one that went up from Brighton & Hove News
The meeting, deferred til today, at 4pm, Hove Town Hall is in public (partly). Here is The Agenda for it. Note most of the meeting is in Part Two which is NOT IN PUBLIC. Only the public part will be webcast. Ahead of it Brighton & Hove News have today again weighed in with a bit of explanation about the slight changes to the agenda.
I was called on by BBC Southeast for the June 14 moment and again yesterday for their local news bulletin. Sussex Radio was also broadcasting after the June 14th deferral on this and I was called on to provide a sound bite for that too. As well, both MP Caroline Lucas (defending the i360) and Jeremy Mustoe (Chair of the Brighton Society opposed to the neglect of other things to help it) debated a bit on the pros and cons.
29..18…..The planning applications (two) for a Hove nursery school chain to potentially take over the basement of Hove Library and the sliver of yard outside will go to Committee next Wednesday, 6th of June for decision, recommended by officers to Grant. BHCC already gave itself consent to strip out Listed radial shelving (see post below) – next week in fact. No waiting to see if the nursery gets the basement. Look at what is offered!
Don’t parents want their children to be able to PLAY outdoors? The application has the cheek to call this a garden. It is a yard. And now a comment online from Env. indicates only 4-8 children would be permitted to use this “learning space” at any one time. This is pretty painful salesmanship. The worst kind of spin and bull.
Use of this narrow sliver of space behind the bayed back wall of Hove Library insults children, insults the neighbours who have to listen to the squealing and crying, the shrieks and arguments and it promises to disrupt anyone using the computer room inside what will be left of this Grade 2 Listed Library interior or doing work with the books or simply seeking the solitude and quiet of browing the book stacks.
To add your voice to the growing chorus, look at the plans for BOTH applications by the Nursery company – one for this yard and one for use of the basement and alterations to the Listed back wall on the ground floor. Click here to access and comment separately on BOTH! It is already too late to comment on the Listed application that BHCC gave itself consent for (officer decision).
And come to the public meeting at Hove Library Thursday this week 6pm – 7:30 to meet the nursery people, the officers and cllrs who have no WILL to respect this building.
29.5.18…..Is there ANYTHING that any of us could ever do to get the Brightoncentric council to stop seeing Hove as a store cupboard it can raid to prop up sleazy old Brighton? Or, in this case, to stop seeing the exceptional Grade 2 Listed Hove Library and its spectacular interior (buried under dross) as a way to pay for the Brighton Jubilee Library’s PFI contract obligations? The Labour Administration’s current Machievellian schemings see the front of the ground floor as baby boogie in the Children’s area as usual, with a cafe on the other side of the frontage. At the back they will shortly rip out 3 more of the original 7 radial shelves that were ranged around the entire bayed back wall. To comply with DDA legislation, 2 were removed 2004/5 for a disabled loo and offices. Now they want MORE offices to replace book shelving so that a nursery school can have the basement and outside yard. Only a token 2 of the original 7 Listed shelves (freestanding and against the windowed wall) are to be retained….for now.
These vile people have already smugly given themselves Listed planning consent to destroy three of the remaining five radial shelves and most knew nothing about it. They refused to allow it to go to the planning committee for decision. Officers made the decision and it was legal. Immoral. Unethical. Sleazy. But legal. And just look at this cheeky banner outside the side entrance. Months before planning consent to use the basement FOR their wretched nursery school.
And from June 4th, the library is closed so they can demolish the Listed interior at will. THIS is what you are losing:
Note they call it Essential Maintenance….
On Thursday, a PUBLIC MEETING WITH COUNCILLORS AND OFFICERS is being held at Hove Library . People should turn up! And defend this building! Next week, even before they get the Planning Committee to rubber stamp the nursery applications, they will just demolish the interior. See the Hove Library post two down for details.
STOP THE NURSERY!
The two nursery school planning applications are still live but go to Planning Committee next Wednesday. Only 8 have objected to use of the basement for a nursery school and 40 piled into objecting but using the yard application number!!!! Mayhem from cars picking up & delivering children to the nursery, squealies and tears all day long from the children (it is what this age group DO!), a cafe application to come and baby boogie continuing in the children’s library. Quiet use of the library cannot continue if this happens.
THIS neglected application needs your URGENT attention and OBJECTION CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
29.5.18…..The Hebrew Synagogue in New Church Road has been working on plans to densify use of its present site to incorporate housing, social facilities, like a shul and a café, along with a new synagogue. Like all the churches they need to look to how they can secure the future of the synagogue, with a view to putting renewed life into this part of the Jewish community and its activities. It is being financed by the Bloom Foundation.
A first set of plans were shown to Planning Committee cllrs at the end of 2017 and to a VERY small number of local residents. Photos from the exhibition were passed to me then with great concern for what was proposed. In the new year, the grounds were cleared and trees were threatened just as the nesting season was starting but residents were very fast off the mark in getting BHCC onto it because of Tree Protection Orders on some of them. Robert Walker, from Parks and Gardens, immediately attached NEW (but temporary) TPO orders on even more of the trees there. Contacting the Argus resulted in an article about the tree threat. The original plans called for tree losses.
A couple of years ago, Westbourne Ward lost about 14 mature elm trees after Dutch Elm Disease was found. Sadly the source was traced to a badly stored woodpile at St. Christopher’s school on the corner of Westbourne Gardens (beside the synagogue site). The school was not made to pay or replace them, nor did it offer.
Some years before that, on the opposite side of New Church Road, when a site with NHS buildings on It was redeveloped, mature trees were cut down THERE too. It is, therefore, vital that the precious bank of trees on the synagogue site are retained. Happily, their revised plans do pledge to keep all those with a TPO on them.
I was unable to attend the exhibition which was held afternoon/evening last Thursday and again Friday morning till 2pm. Westbourne resident Paul Spirou, however, was kind enough to snap a few pictures of the model and flats which I can provide to you here so you are a bit informed along with details he emailed.
The plans have been revised downwards and forwards (to put it simply) in the wake of presentation to officers and planning committee members. There is reduced height and proximity threat to the retired enclave at Carmel House, but a terrace of houses with their gardens adjacent will bring an unaccustomed level of activity outside their windows. But would it be a problem, necessarily? Depends on how many children, how much use and loud voices are to be expected!
Where there are currently two freestanding Edwardian era houses (used for nursery school) at the front of the site with a line of trees between them, two huge, rather fiercely imposing blocks of flats are proposed. Looking at the context view provided by the model, it is clear that height precedents are set in New Church Road up to about 8 storeys.
The entire scheme seeks to provide 70-80 bedrooms across the double site in 45 flats and a terrace of houses across the back boundary with gardens facing Carmel House to the north (with just a single entrance point in New Church Road – which has to be a concern). Heights are from three up to about six storeys. There is basement parking provision too – 45 spaces. Access appears to be from the eastern boundary with egress down the western boundary.
Paul Spirou remains concerned, saying
“It’s still too big, too tall – is taller in every way and with a larger footprint in every dimension – and will potentially turn a quiet site into a noisy one. I understand its an attempt to revitalise a community but there’s no evidence to support the ‘build it and they will come’ approach….”
Perhaps they expect to attract Jewish incomers seeking to leave London who might like to live in a purpose-built Jewish community compound, complete with synagogue and a shul for the kids to learn Hebrew, etc. But are they creating a ghetto? And is that a good or a bad thing?
The developers plan to submit their application in the first two weeks of June and hope to begin on-site demolition in October (lasting 3-4 months). Their hope is to complete the redevelopment by September 2020 in time for religious festivals. This seems a long build time but reflects that a LOT of building is planned. Have a look at the gallery of photos below.