Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Circus Street scheme approved

The planning committee today approved the Public-Private Partnership scheme by Cathedral (Brighton) Ltd, the University of Brighton and the city council, to transform the one–hectare site off Circus Street.

The former municipal fruit and veg market would become a mixed-use scheme and innovation quarter, expected to create 400 jobs and inject £200m into the city’s economy over the next 10 years.

Permission includes 142 new homes, 20 per cent affordable.

New teaching and research facilities would be created for the University of Brighton, including a new library. Pressure would be taken off the city’s family homes by the inclusion of 450 units of student accommodation.

Alongside will be a new dance studio for South East Dance, expected to attract 70,000 visitors and users a year.

Workspaces would be aimed at start-up businesses, artists and larger companies. A modern office building, including over 3,000 sqm of flexible space would help growing creative and digital businesses remain and flourish in the city.

The scheme includes restaurants or shops at ground floor level, around a new public square. Cathedral are promising 'green' walls, 'green' roofs, 78 new trees and allotments for food growing - producing over 200kg of food per year for residents.

Developers have also agreed to pay £250,000 to improve local transport and recreation provision and to use at least 20 per cent local labour for construction.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

I Charleston Brighton

This is jolly and makes Brighton (& a little bit of Hove) look wonderful.

Saltdean Lido Gala Ball

Saltdean Lido - update.

The Lido now
Since last December, when the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (SLCIC) were awarded a 60 year lease, they have commissioned numerous surveys and studies of the Lido. These revealed that the state of the building and pool are in a far worse state than previously thought. Now the likely cost of full restoration is in the region of £10 million, more than double first estimates. The SLCIC is still confident of raising this amount but are prepared for it to take longer.

Initial grant applications for £2M and £500,000 have been submitted to two funds and in October an application for £4.8 million will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. SLCIC have also approached a number of corporations to see if they would be interested in getting involved.

This work is very time-consuming and, going forward, the hope is to employ a professional fund-raiser. To this end regular fund-raising events continue unabated with a car-boot sale on the lido car-park on 27th September and a Gala Ball at the Grand Hotel on 4th October.

The HLF has emphasised that the restored Lido must be self-financing. Revised plans for generating the required income stream are being shared with the Council this month and a public exhibition of the latest plans will be held in December.

Next year a Community Share Option will be launched to enable  supporters to buy into the Lido heritage and so help to secure its future. A similar scheme has been successful in helping to restore burnt-out Hasting's Pier.

The old plant room

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Missing windows

202 Western Road
It is difficult to understand what is achieved by blanking out a window in this fashion that couldn't be equally well achieved with an internal blind or shutter. This would leave the window and frame exposed to view and so continue playing its part in the visual rhythm of the fenestration.

The Imperial Arcade building, designed in the 1920's by Brighton architects Clayton & Black, is an iconic and conspicuous example of the Art Deco in the very centre of the City. The only planning application submitted for this address in the last 15 years related to a new fascia and projecting sign. It seems strange that such transient alterations require planning approval yet the blanking out of windows, which affects the fundamental aesthetic integrity of the design, apparently does not.

The risk is that over the years the cumulative effect of small random changes to a building will so degrade the original design concept that it becomes easy to dismiss it as unworthy of preserving.