Hove Park Gardens

This winter no. 19 Goldstone Crescent was bought by a builder who promptly divided the street-side garage from the house at the top of the long lawn – using lapped fencing.  At the same time, some or all of the privately owned bridleway/Hove Park Gardens access was, separately, thought also to have been bought – from David Garbutt. 
Very sadly, this builder then removed the fencing along Hove Park Gardens, built steps up to it from the garden of 19 along with a raised bed.  He parks behind this house, in Hove Park Gardens, blocking back access to no. 5 (Bethesda Residential Home) and compromising access to nos. 6 & 7 Hove Park Gardens.
Looking north to 6HPG trees before everthing visible here was chopped down!
No. 6 has now seemingly reacted to realisation they have no rights over use of Hove Park Gardens access by chopping down all the trees across their frontage.  No doubt this is to free up access to the freehold land they DO control.  It is a tragic outcome.  And probably illegal as consent is required to cut down trees (refused in nesting season) and to create parking spaces.
Looking south to 6 HPG (left) & the new 10 HPG after the felling and pollarding at no. 6!
Will no. 5 also seek to unblock back access?  Will yet more trees and hedging in this exceptional wildlife corridor soon be removed?  Hove Park Gardens is not an adopted road controlled by the council.  In 1986 David Garbutt bought it from the Stanford estate in order to turn 21 Goldstone Crescent into 9 HPG and to demolish the garage on the Goldstone Crescent frontage (same as 19) in order to build a new 21 Goldstone Crescent.  This is what developers DO, how ambitious schemers make money, often at the expense of the environment and local amenity. 
What was done at 21 worked.  What is proposed at 19 does not.
When the Park House problem with Hyde Housing kicked off, residents in Old Shoreham Road discovered who owned Hove Park Gardens  (including the rough carpark area beside Park House).  Further investigation by saveHOVE revealed that Hyde submitted its first 2 applications without owning the carpark area, in free use by local residents and park visitors  for decades.  Mr. Garbutt has since sold this area to Hyde Housing, severing it from Hove Park Gardens per se. 
Redevelopment at Park House will remove public access to this car park unless someone is willing to do the legal to prove public right of way exists here as well as over the bridleway.
In a meeting a couple of years ago, Mr. Garbutt told saveHOVE he was willing to sell Hove Park Gardens to its existing residents “if they get their act together and make me an offer” as they are/were his friends.  They did not listen to saveHOVE advice to protect their interests and do it!  Both they and the precious green space that is Hove Park Gardens are now paying the price with over-use of what is little more than a shared private laneway, within the very ancient bridleway area.
19 Goldstone Crescent’s house is now no. 10 Hove Park Gardens.  There is no formal consultation process required in order to renumber, as ownership of Hove Park Gardens is private.  The Council just logs it!
In the past week, a saveHOVE observer has seen the new no. 10 Hove Park Gardens (backed onto Hove Park Gardens) being viewed from within the lane by a posse of people holding Auction House paperwork and since learned that Parsons Son & Basley will be auctioning this house on 19th April 2012 with, apparently, encouraging comments that extensions can be put on it, subject to planning consent. 
We await news of what plans the owner has for that Goldstone Crescent garaged frontage, where it is thought he intends to put two houses.  Perhaps whoever buys 19 Goldstone Crescent house (now no. 10 Hove Park Gardens) will want to get in on the demolition derby round there, get on the bandwagon, demolish it and also put up a block of flats.  Now there’s a threat to conjure with…… 
One weeps for rustic Hove Park Gardens, teeming with birdsong and wildlife and for the future of the homes within it.
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