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.


  1. I suggest someone tells the owners two things.

    First, their design will reduce both the existing and potential value of their house and other houses in the vicinity having broken up the inter war styling.

    Second, congratulate them on their interesting take on the phallus.

    That should shatter their plans.

    Barry Coidan

  2. Who ARE all these people with their 1980's 'Dynasty' mindset? This plan is creepy at best and hopefully has no chance of being acceptable to the planners. Your argument is well made here.


  3. Regrettably the application was approved on 3 November.


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