Monday, 28 January 2013

Mini-riot at the Level.

By an eyewitness . . . .

I was walking the dogs around The Level perimeter on Friday evening when I reached a point near where the new 56 seater cafe is to be built, directly opposite the Bat 'n Ball. As I approached a mass brawl broke out involving about 20 Bat 'n Ball patrons. Two policemen already on the scene were in the thick of it, but hopelessly outnumbered, one of the poor chaps’s took a direct smash in the face before he went down under a pile of kicking and yelling bodies. It must have taken police back-up only about 5 mins to arrive and the next thing, the place was swarming with police, and Oxford St was cordoned off. It took a good further 15 mins for the police to get things under control during which time more of them had taken a beating. Meanwhile, small splinter groups of well-oiled, angry punters broke off from the main fracas, with some heading up Ditchling Rd, while others went toward London Rd.

Trouble must have started again in London Rd, because at one point, about 20 policemen with a couple of dogs all went charging off in that direction. As word spread round about the incident, more and more excitable teens started gathering to watch what was going on - some of them trying to get as close as possible to all the action... and there were some ugly scenes that no parent in their right mind would want their children to witness.

It is worrying that this type of incident is occurring only yards from the site of the new cafe and state-of-the-art skatepark both scheduled to stay open until 10pm.
~ Jackie Brown.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Carlton Hill wall - update

The latest applications BH2012/04086 & 7 for development of the old garage site on the Carlton Hill/Mighell Street corner still calls for the demolition of the old flint wall but this time rebuilding a modern version as shown above in the views below.
Photo-impression looking west down Carlton Hill
Photo-impression looking east up Carlton Hill
The architect appears to have completely missed the point. The point being that the whole rationale for retaining the present wall is based on its age, the evidence of the craftsman's hand, its mass, and the way its profile defies the gradient. The proposal by the applicant to replace it with a modern version of precast blocks into which flints have been haphazardly  embedded, a wall with brick quoins  which tamely follows the gradient of the hill and of a style  which can be seen on any suburban street, is quite pointless.

The old wall.
The Carlton Hill CA Character Statement recognises the visual and historic importance of the original wall to the streetscape. The statement describes the wall as imposing, and properly calls for its retention and restoration as part of any development of the site behind. Rebuilding in a modern style with modern techniques hardly fits this description.

See also:-

Funding secured for new Level skatepark

Visualisation from south-west corner

The final funding for the new skate park at The Level is now in place - thanks to a £150,000 Olympic legacy grant from ‘Inspired Facilities’ funding which is part of the £135 million 'Places People Play' legacy programme. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark - celebrating the link to the Games.

The skate park is being developed as part of the Level Restoration Project but has been funded separately through a combination of council funding, developer contributions and grants, including £50,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust.

The skate park is being designed and built by Freestyle Skateparks. The company has been working closely with the Brighton & Hove Skateparks Association  to develop an exciting and innovative design which will suit skaters of all ages and abilities.

The facility will be constructed from polished concrete and sunk into the ground to the north of the Rose Walk. The sunken nature of the skate park will retain the open character of the northern part of The Level and keep its historic layout. Lighting seating, bins, cycle racks and signs will also be installed and a landscaped boundary with insect friendly and drought tolerant planting will be created.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

New Caterer for Brighton & Hove's top attractions


Royal Pavilion tearoom
The City Council has announced that the tea rooms and cafés at the Royal Pavilion, Hove Museum, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Brighton Dome are to be run by Peyton & Byrne -  run by renowned restaurateur Oliver Peyton (above)

Peyton & Byrne have strong connections to Brighton & Hove and are family owned and operated. The family moved to Brighton in 1979 and ran a hip-hop club called The Can before expanding into other areas. They have grown over the last 10 years and now provide catering at well-known institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts, the National Gallery, the British Library and Kew Gardens, as well as running bakeries in Heals and St Pancras in London.

The Royal Pavilion & Museums and Brighton Dome & Festival invited submissions from a selection of companies – including social enterprises – wishing to tender for commercial catering and hospitality services at the multiple sites across the organisations.  The criteria encompassed experience, capability, sustainability and the fact that services needed to be in keeping with the cultural and heritage sites which both parties operate.

Peyton & Byrne will also enhance both organisations’ approach to sustainability by using seasonal produce and local suppliers to reduce food miles and through procedures to manage waste, minimise packaging and reduce energy consumption

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the economic development and culture committee said: “We’ve been working in partnership with Brighton Dome & Festival to secure joint catering and hospitality services that will mean our residents and visitors can enjoy events, together with good food and drink, at these venues for years to come. It will also put our catering operation on a much sounder footing, as individually we don’t have the investment potential, but together we’ll have the capacity to do much more.

“Our existing staff, who do a fantastic job in the existing café and tea rooms, will also have the opportunity to join the new venture with all their rights protected and have access to much better career opportunities.”

Peyton Events will be sole event caterer across both sites, catering all events including conferences corporate events, weddings and private hires.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Lanes traffic proposals


A Public Inquiry will be held into a proposed traffic scheme to reduce traffic in and around The Lanes area of the city this spring. The scheme was approved in principle by the council’s transport committee last October.

The proposals, which were advertised in December, call for a section of Ship Street to be pedestrianised between Duke Street and North Street from 11am, and along East Street between 11am and 7pm daily. Prince Albert Street will also be permanently closed to traffic between Middle Street and Bartholomews.

The proposals aim to reduce unnecessary traffic and improve the area for pedestrians and businesses. Previous research for similar schemes in city centre locations has shown retailers and restaurants reporting an improvement in business and a more engaging environment.
Nottingham Old Market & King Street pedestrianised. Buses & taxis only. 
A number of objections* were received with regard to the prohibition of traffic in the city. The transport committee is meeting its statutory obligation by recommending a Public Inquiry into the scheme to ensure independent advice is taken on the balance between the benefits of the proposals and the interests of the objectors.

Council Leader,Jason Kitcat, said: "While we are committed to following necessary due process, I'm disappointed by the delay and extra expense that will be incurred as result of these objections. The vast majority of the public supported these proposals in the consultation process; the plans are similar to restrictions seen in historic city centres around the world. Given the support for the proposals from the public and traders we had hoped to have them in place by this summer season. We hope to have the inquiry process start as soon as possible but the money spent on it could have been better spent improving the area."

Anyone with an interest has the right to make their case at the Inquiry.

*8 Traffic Orders were advertised in total.   3 objections were received from local residents, 3 from local businesses, and 62 from the taxi trade.

See also: Old Town traffic

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Patcham flood alert update.

According to a Council leaflet, circulated to properties in Patcham Village today, the ground water level is still rising, although now at a slower rate than several days ago.

The Council remains concerned that flooding can still occur. The first signs will be water in the basements of buildings along the Old London Road and at the bottom of Church Hill.

Using sandbags to combat rising ground water is not effective, and may actually trap water and make the situation worse. Council engineers have identified a few locations where sandbags can be used to some effect and will deploy them if necessary.

Patcham flood alert