19.1.18…..Mostly people only concern themselves with the pre-consent or refusal part of the planning process. But most application consent come with a RAFT of Conditions which must be met either before construction can begin, while it is in progress, before occupancy….all sorts. Medina House is no exception and because of tight access, sorting out logistics is going to be quite a job for the contractors.
There are 19 Conditions attached to the consent which are now in the process of being discharged. Some will involve applications which require a public advertisement and responses. Residents interests are at the heart of them and responses are in their interest.
Condition 7 has been agreed – appointment of a Contractor. This was BH2017/03390
Conditions 11 & 12 – BH2017/03160 – have been the subject of a live application for quite some time and new documents continue to be uploaded along with responses from residents and internal consultees. Sadly, as evidenced by the formal internal consultee response online,the heritage team failed to notice that the CEMP (Construction & Environmental Management Plan) called for “total demolition of the site” without any reference whatsoever to retention and incorporation of the bespoke Royal Doulton tilework on the northeastern back wall section.
Sadly, too, the response from Neil Williams before Christmas, noting this, never found its way into the online list of responses! Having alerted me, I put in a response pointing out the absence of reference which also did not appear online within the documents list. So appeals to both the web master and the planning officer were made in order to get it UP. Happily, this was done and the officer, Liz Arnold, has been able to get an amended document from the applicants which make a passing reference (at least) to protection and retention of this back wall area of tilework which is to be retained and incorporated within the final newbuild house.
What remains missing, however, is HOW this is going to be effected. What restoration work, what kind of measures will be put in place. There is no detail. David Vincent has found a specialist online that dealt with Victorian tiles in a hospital under demolition and it is clear specialist conservation attention will be needed! Would Royal Doulton be able to help? Amy Smith, the architectural terracotta maker who did a University Fellowship paper on the Medina House tiles was one of the group of us who went to the first consultation with the architects and she provided her card to the architect for just this moment.
Responses to this application for discharge of Conditions 11 and 12 are still needed and should mention the need for enhanced detail on HOW this section of wall and tilework is to be preserved. The application remains live and in need of resident input concerning parking, access and egress for construction and supplies. Please LOOK at the CMP and don’t wail about problems afterwards. Local knowledge can help the developer to get it right to minimise the problems and misery!
Email any objections to email@example.com and avoid the online comments slit as responses there are sometimes disappearing into some black hole.
19.1.18…..The rumour mill has its stories on this one. But what are the observable facts about what is happening and to be expected?
By the end of 2017 a couple of significant moves had been made. The Starr Trust parted company with its PR for this project, Bill Murray. And it was not a happy parting by all accounts.
By the end of 2017 The Starr Trust and Crest Nicholson with Brighton & Hove City Council had approached a Government quango charged with providing cash for projects, and had applied for £10m for the developers, toward provision of the affordable housing element. Brighton & Hove City Council were already committed to providing £8m towards the redevelopment. £18m is an awfully big contribution towards getting a new leisure centre which would also get the developers the standard 21% profit margin on a minimum of 560 flats, offices, retail….
Why 21%? Apparently this is a standard figure which financiers of projects REQUIRE n order to providing funding.
The only place where any published information can be gleaned is in Agendas for the Tourism, Culture & Development Cttee – specifically, within the Major Projects Update item which appears in each mtg agenda. For the November meeting there was discussion about items in it (see Minutes for item 34).
For the January meeting….just…(item 46) contents noted.
The name of the funding quango changed at the end of last year. It is now the Housing Infrastructure Fund. And from “early next year” understood widely to have meant mid-January, the update now gives February (as did Cllr Warren Morgan in a brief mention within his totally Brightoncentric Opinion piece for Brighton & Hove News today). The rumour mill doubts that even February will fly for a decision on what has now become a glaringly obvious funding gap of consequence.
On the 22nd of August 2017 Cllr Robert Nemeth and saveHOVE’s Valerie Paynter were invited onto Latest TV’s ‘The Vote’ to discuss the King Alfred situation with host and former Green Cllr Geoffrey Bowden. Some of the issues and problems attached to redeveloping the King Alfred were aired. Here is the archived footage. Have a watch of it over 22 minutes.
Those of us who were around for the Karis King Alfred bid will be nodding knowingly now…. How many times was it they went back to Policy & Resources for consent to keep on increasing the number of flats, in order to make the figures add up? And did they? The District Valuer never gave it more than ‘borderline viable’.
4.11.17…..In the run-up to Christmas the police usually put out a public appeal about burglary and theft dangers, but I wonder if they will this year. They have begged the Government for help but instead their numbers are cut, resources witheld. So, folks, the onus is more and more on US, isn’t it.
George Street has changed quite profoundly since pedestrianisation. We’ve lost higher quality retail traders and gained coffee shops, boozers and betting shops. We also have a lot of charity shops.
I was in Woolworths (now Peacocks) one day, not long after pedestrianisation, and the manager was following me around in an agitated way. It freaked me out, so I confronted him! He relaxed and told me that since pedestrianisation, his shoplifting problem had increased by 25%. The why of that is worth serious consideration, because it is an ongoing problem in the area.
I have myself had two purse thefts from my handbag and right under my nose since George Street was pedestrianised and began to attract non-locals to the area…and not to come and buy things either.
On the 1st of November I had my purse stolen, out of my bag, which was itself under the seat of my walking aid! In George Street. My thief or thieves learned a lot about me from my purse contents – like that I have a transplant, what drugs I have to swallow, who my doctors are, where I bank & shop and that I am disabled and need taxis to get about. And they know what goes into my bank account too (I had just been there and got cash and a mini-statement). Wow. Quite a haul.
My only other purse theft (ever) was at Hove Library 12-15 years ago when I was using their computers. My bag was on the floor with my foot on it. And I remember the crazed look on a fellow’s face as he stood in the doorway leering at me. And I saw that same look a week or so later (different bag) when I was back in the library and he was suddenly beside me, leaning forward, staring openly at the bag sitting by the printer with me watching him. So I assumed he was my thief! He looked like he had a challenge in front of him that gave him a big kick. It was extraordinary. But he knew to leave this one and chuckled off.
“We lose a lot in here”
But back to George Street! I know where my purse got taken this week because it was the only opportunity. The British Heart Foundation charity shop is hard to get round with a walking aid. There is NO space between the crammed together island rails and there are NO lines of sight through it all. And when I went to pay for a book and CD and found I had no purse, the lady behind the counter at the British Heart Foundation Charity Shop told me she’d had her purse taken in Sainsbury and added “we lose a lot in here”. Clothes can be whipped off rails unseen in there and I think my purse was taken by an unseen hand sliding between the seat of my walking aid and the hanging bag under it. Piece of cake to do it unseen in that overstuffed shop.
My purse was inside my handbag which was inside the underseat bag. It took serious skill to take it. The walker is either in front of me or I am sat on it almost continually. A professional thief? If the zip on the handbag was open, it would have possible for them to just put a hand between the seat and underseat bag and whip it out, totally unseen. There seemed to be an uncommon number of people present at the time, rifling rails but looking at me which I noticed but did not think about. I was jostled as I reached to hand a pair of velvet trousers to an assistant to re-hang. Was that when it happened? The mind runs and re-runs and then thinks about how THEY think.
Busy shops, cash points and bank users
I had just been to the bank. We are often warned to be careful of thieves at cashpoints arn’t we? Well banks too!! Thieves won’t want to waste their time taking risks for near empty wallets and purses, do they! I am a dinosaur and more about cash than cards and it cost me all but about £20 of an entire week’s pension on this occasion. A friend says he never carries cash anymore, always uses a card. But I need to carry cash for my necessary taxis and never acquired a cards-for-everything mindset. I may have to rethink that. And not have a single purse for coins, notes, debit and loyalty cards, etc. Was I targetted and followed? Was there a gang of them?
But BACK to why George Street and the area ARE targetted.
There are a LOT of charity shops, run by volunteers, with no security tags or CCTV. Theft of goods from them is RIFE. Are they the magnet that brings thieves to the area? How many thieves ARE there? I once watched a man (glaze-eyed) take a shirt into the changing room of the previous Martlets shop in Blatchington Rd. It was a gorgeous linen thing I fancied trying on. I waited to see if he was going to have it. I did not notice him slip out of the changing room or shop (leaving the changing room curtain closed) – but he did so, and he took that shirt.
Tis the season, the police have long told us….not just for Christmas, but for thieves. You are warned. And so am I. I have struggled to feel well this week. Mourn the loss of my green leather purse with its brown leather tassle on the zipper….a ridiculous amount. But WHAT strategies can we possibly deploy to safeguard purses and wallets – apart from avoiding overstuffed insecure shops and crowded places……even online is a den of thieves now….
Thursday, 24th August saw Crest Nicholson host a day of meetings to seek preliminary feedback about their plans to redevelop land at Lyon Close in Hove, to provide over 150 flats. Since being chosen for King Alfred they have been having a nose around Hove and begun to look to develop in the city – not having done so before. They have just had Mile Oak refused….. Now comes this one!
The Lyon Close site is very private, tucked away behind Davigdor Road’s Montefiore Hospital and Hyde Housing’s offices-consented-for-redevelopment site. Lyon Close is part of the Peacock Industrial Estate east of Wickes and the new carpet shop that recently replaced Staples on Davigdor Road. South of the site are the Hyde Housing offices, due for redevelopment into flats and the Montefiore orthopaedic hospital, each fronting Davigdor Road.