The single most important feature that characterises the Carlton Hill Conservation Area is the flint or cobble walling. During the 19th century farmers on the outskirts of Brighton operated a profitable winter industry of collecting flints from their fields and carting them into the expanding town. Flint walls as well as adding distinctive character to an area are valuable historic memorials to a past industry.
Near the centre of the photograph can be seen one such wall forming one side of a modern garage workshop at 70a Carlton Hill. The wall visually links with those on the opposite side of Carlton Hill thus giving a sense of coherence to the area.
Planning application BH2011/03221 calls for the demolition of this wall and garage and replacement with a block of 23 flats up to 6 storeys high. In the heritage statement accompanying the application the garage is dismissed as "an almost entirely modern utilitarian building of little architectural or historical interest". This may be true but hardly justifies the conclusion that "the removal of the existing building and . . the proposed development would enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area or at the very least leave it unharmed." Even leaving aside the merits or demerits of the proposed development, the loss of this flint wall can surely do nothing but degrade the conservation area.
|Closer-up of the wall from the applicant's Heritage Statement|