Hove Station Area
This comprises the area from Hove Station over to Sackville Road and from Ellen Street up to Old Shoreham Road for the purposes of this site listing. It is also an area under consideration for inclusion by the newly formed Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum within and for an area yet to be finally bordered. The Forum, created under the Localism Act, will eventually produce a Neighbourhood Plan to sit below the City Plan as something which should be taken into consideration during any planning application process affecting it.
The Listed Buildings
1. Hove Station is Grade 2 Listed. Please click here to view the English Heritage Listing details. Please note that the Listed ticket office within the northern exit point into Hove Park Villas was removed by the railway company a few years ago and relocated elsewhere.
The original Cliftonville Station building of 1865 lies to the east of the presently used, 1879, building, along Station approach; and the area in front of it is used by a hand carwashing company. Sadly the horses’ drinking trough has been infilled in recent years and the lettering along its street frontage removed with a circular sander. Why? It looks bloody awful. And it lies within the curtilege of the Listed area. It is a criminal offence to damage listed property.
2. The Ralli Hall, built in 1913, to the memory of Stephen Ralli by his wife, is Grade 2 Listed. This dual aspect community hall sits within Station Approach opposite the original Cliftonville Station building to the north and along Denmark Villas to the west. It is a very gently harmonious and lovely building. Please click here to view the English Heritage Listing details for it.
3. Grade 2* St. Barnabas Church on the western side of Sackville Road, south of the railway, opposite Clarendon Road is an imposing sight. Flint covered. The Church organ fund – like that of many other churches – is helped along by fetes, but also musical and other events. Please click here to view the English Heritage Listing details for it.
1960’s ‘slum clearance’to the aborted MATSIM proposals of 2012
New-broomism in the post-war years saw Britain embrace notions of ‘slum clearance’ and tower block building that has some degree of shock value today. Areas were razed to the ground that today would be restored or even Listed. A Hove Borough Council planning policy document from 1957 earmarked quite a lot of central Hove from the Esplanade up to Hove Station and over to The Drive for replacement with towerblocks. Conway Street had some amazing buildings in it that today would surely not have been allowed to go. They can be viewed within the James Gray photographic collection on the Regency Society website.
For the purposes of this Hove Station Area entry, only one area will be noted: The entire Clarendon Road (northside) frontage from Sackville Road over to Ethel Street and up to the south side of Conway Street fell within a scheme known as the Conway Street redevelopment. The School in Ellen Street survived until the 1970’s but nothing else did. First up was the Clarendon & Ellen Estate of 10-storey blocks the length of Clarendon Road. Over time, hideous, cheap office blocks and semi-industrial sheds went up in the ‘island’ area where the school had been and along both sides of Fonthill Road. The Cliftonville Inn by Hove Station had a basement back entrance ‘frontage’ serving the residents in that catchment area. It is now boarded over. The area is not considered a safe place to walk at night – around the wire-fenced semi-industrial landscape that replaced homes and streetlife. The Decon Laboratories building behind Conway Court was erected much later.
The entire ‘island’ area either side of Fonthill Road, between Conway and Ellen Streets is now owned by MATSIM with all but The Agora building scheduled to be demolished and redeveloped (eventually). Some bits of the north side of Conway Street are also owned by MATSIM. The deal with the bus company and The Argus which would have seen the bus company move to a redeveloped Argus site in Hollingdean fell through and the 2012 proposed ‘Hove Centre’ redevelopment for the entire area south of the rail lines to the back of the Clarendon & Ellen Estate was abandoned before even becoming a planning application.
Areas of significance currently seeking/needing redevelopment north of the railway lines.
The Sackville Trading Estate, along with all the land directly south of it, bordered by the railway lines, old and current, and over to Fonthill Road – all owned by Coal Pensions.
A derelict factory in Newtown Road which is thought to have significant contamination issues to contend with due to its former use. Developer Colin Brace is one of the owners of that. And BHCC considered but declined the chance to buy both it and the car dealership beside it for a school redevelopment – on cost grounds. Kings Free School was made aware of it too in case the Coalition Govt’s EFA would like to buy it for them. They won’t.
Not seeking development, but noteworthy, is the decommissioned St. Agnes Church on Newtown Road, currently in use as a gym. Please note it is NOT currently a listed building, as some believe and there are no current plans/rumblings suggesting redevelopment of it…..yet.
Newtown Road on the western side and swinging down southwards on the south side are protected for employment use only in the emerging City Plan. A number of shed-style buildings along the south side of Newtown Road, built at roughly the same time as the Sackville Trading Estate in the 1980’s, some of whose leaseholds will be or have already expired, are not thought to be part of any current redevelopment thinking, but their future is not assured. Tisserand Aromatherapy is among them and theirs is an assembly and packing station. There is also terraced housing.
Old Shoreham Road.The Goldstone Retail Park is there, ruining everything (in townscape, planning and best use terms). It should NEVER have been given planning consent, should NEVER have been built fronting Old Shoreham Road with that massive car park in front of it, blighting views from Hove Park opposite. The eastern side of Newtown Road is blighted by its doorless, blank, slab wall down the whole length of one side of Newtown Road down to the car dealership, as is the whole west side of Goldstone Lane on its other side. it presents ugly, depressing, dead space to residents in the line of housing opposite. It is an example of extremely ill-judged use of land which should be included in every university course in the country training future planning officers. it is a screaming example of What Not To Do. It was agreed under the old Hove Borough Council and replaced the historic Goldstone Football Grounds. There are rumblings that this could see redevelopment but nothing is out in the open saying so.
Areas of significance seeking/needing redevelopment south of the railway lines
Conway Street, northside.
The Brighton & Hove Bus Company occupies much of the length of Conway Street from Hove Station westwards and on both sides of Fonthill Road where there is alo a builder’s yard one or to other firms and a strip of terraced housing. They would like to move to a better location that is better suited to current and future needs. Other premises to the west of them, up to, but not including, the builders’ yard, are owned by MATSIM and form part of their wider (eventual) redevelopment holding.
Conway Street, southside and Ellen Street, northside.
The Decon Laboratories site has expired planning consent for redevelopment, is owned by its Pension Board. It sits between Conway Court to the south and Conway Street terraced housing to the north. West of it are the backs on Sackville Road properties and Conway Place. Their consent was flawed and the attempt to renew it was withdrawn.
The rickety office and light industrial buildings either side of Fonthill Road between Conway Street and Ellen Street are all now owned by MATSIM, except for the bus parking area. The Agora is not to be demolished or redeveloped. Custom Pharmaceuticals is a significant employer within one section of this ‘island’ of sites and its lease is coming to an end. Will they be forced to relocate? When? They need to know where they stand, as others do. And they don’t. Artists in some of the accommodation along there seek security too.
Peripheral, perimeter interests
Honeycroft Nursery, The Children’s Centre, a clinic, a community centre and offices are all to be found beneath and to the side of the Conway Court area around the Clarendon Road/Sackville Road corner. The Salvation Army Citadel fronts both Conway Street and Sackville Road and has been rethinking its own best use of premises. A charity shop and drop-in centre is to be sunk into one of the Sackville Road walls.
Along the backs of Goldstone Villas properties – in Ethel Street – an interesting line of business premises has been created over the last 10 years – all with a private (awkward) walkway access by the line of car parking available in Ethel Street. One can see how something lovely and interesting could eventually be designed in but only if the line of car parking could be displaced to another site.
Residents on the Clarendon & Ellen Estate have suffered considerably from vehicle emissions back there – in particular from idling buses, parked up along Ethel Street. There was also an issue concerning dust from activities at Custom Pharmaceutical some years ago. And in very recent times, the terrace residents in Conway Street have struggled to cope with encroaching business activities moving into the areas behind them. The offices/semi-industrial uses, juxtaposed with strictly residential, has not been entirely comfortable but residents like the general quiet of it, the lack of parking issues and are somewhat hostile to proposed intensification of use by MATSIM if/when it redevelops.