Friday, 29 August 2014

49 Tongdean Avenue

Existing Front Elevation

Google Street view
This property lies within the Tongdean Conservation Area (CA) developed mainly in the 1920s and 30s. The CA character statement refers to the architectural variations on inter-war vernacular revival, the Tudorbethan styles and the examples of mock Georgian, Spanish villa and the antebellum style of the Southern United States. Architectural detailing is said to reflect the work of well known architects of the late 19th century, such as Charles Voysey and Richard Norman Shaw. 

However any impression of uncoordinated development is avoided because of the generous spacing of the buildings in relation to each other and the unifying effect of the trees and greenery. The element of surprise resulting from seeing one architectural style after another is part of the character of the CA. To preserve this character the CA needs careful preservation and maintenance and in this respect the incremental loss over time of original architectural features and materials would be harmful.

No. 49 is particularly distinguished by the gablets in a red-tiled roof, a two-storey entrance porch extension surmounted with an eyebrow window, a brick round-arched doorway and the curving brick walls to the driveway.

Planning application BH2014/02534 (see below) proposes elimination of all these distinguishing features in favour of black slates, a 3-storey glazed extension, and a rendered front boundary wall with steel and glazed inset panels.

Proposed elevation

The modern pre-occupation with large areas of glazing has its place in modern buildings designed from the ground up but used in this way, in these surroundings, results in an uncomfortable (to say the least) chimaera of a building.

If the term "Tongdean Conservation Area" means anything it must surely deny to the applicant the kind of alterations proposed.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Hippodrome application - a clarification

Following some incorrect news reports, Brighton & Hove City Council has clarified the fact the planning application to convert the Hippodrome theatre into a multi-screen cinema and restaurants has not been called in by the government.

The council’s head of planning and public protection Martin Randall explained:  “Following the Planning Committee meeting on July 16, the council as planning authority was procedurally required to refer the application to the government.  The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will notify us of their decision on whether to ‘call in’ the application or allow planning permission to be granted in line with the planning committee’s decision.  No such decision by the DCLG has been received to date and as such the planning permission has not been issued.”

The council has been given no deadline or timeline for a DCLG decision.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Public Enquiry for the Hippodrome

Brighton & Hove News reported today that Cabinet minister Eric Pickles will decide whether the Hippodrome in Brighton can become an eight-screen cinema and restaurant complex.

He has called in the plans and will make his decision after a public inquiry.

Mr Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, was asked to intervene by the Theatres Trust, the Victorian Society and Our Brighton Hippodrome among others.

See also - Hippodrome restoration plans approved.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Patcham Village - then & now

  The main London Road before the village bypass was built in 1926.
2014. Taken from the traffic island in the middle of the A23
In the old photo the wall on the left is that of the Black Lion, originally a private house. The wall on the right is that of Patcham Place, demolished when the bypass was built. The house advertising the Old Ship Hotel Garage is on the corner of 'The Square'. On the other corner, since the old photo was taken, a  double-fronted shop has been added.

7 Ship Street Gardens - update

Plans for the redevelopment of 7, 7a, 7b, Ship Street Gardens have resurfaced in application BH2014/02485.
As can be seen from the above artist's impression some attempt has been made to soften the somewhat forbidding flint wall by surmounting it with railings through which a climbing plant can ramble. The proposed one to two storey office building behind has graduated sloping roofs that will allow maximum light into the twitten and is L-shaped around a small courtyard. 

The overall design looks attractive and the courtyard, it is suggested, will be densely planted around its edges to form a small green oasis. Unfortunately neither the building or the courtyard will be visible to the passers-by. Yet as the property isn't residential the needs for privacy need not be so stringent as that of similarly sited gardens along the twitten. The solid wooden gate should be replaced with a wrought iron one.
Proposed plan