Monday, 29 September 2014

Old Town traffic plan - another step

East Street
A scheme to pedestrianise East Street could soon go ahead after the council met a government inspector’s calls for a safe alternative route for vehicles.

In October 2012, the city council approved a plan to remove traffic from three key locations in the Old Town, including East Street.  However at a subsequent public inquiry a government inspector said the effects of the scheme on Little East Street should be looked at in more detail.  

Traders in Little East Street had voiced concerns about the impact of passing traffic on the ambience – particularly for people eating or drinking outside.  They also cited congestion, delivery problems and safety of pedestrians.

As a result the council has now amended the scheme, with features like speed humps and safety railings.  To ease deliveries, a new loading bay and passing points will be created.  An independent safety audit has since said the plan is now categorised as ‘low risk’.  It concluded pedestrians would be safe because of low vehicle speeds involved – typically 12mph at the north end and 5mph at the seafront end.  Analysis has concluded that even the very largest vehicles could move safely though the street.

On congestion, a council report says there would be roughly one extra vehicle a minute through the area between 11am and 7pm and no increase outside those times.  Lorries would be banned from the entire Old Town area between 11am and midnight.

If a final go-ahead is given by councillors, it is expected East Street will be pedestrianised by the end of November, with no access for vehicles between 11am and 7pm daily.

Under the Old Town plan, Ship Street has already been closed to vehicles at the junction with North Street.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The East Cliff - then & now

Bathing machines had disappeared from beaches by 1914 and for some years before that were used as stationary bathing boxes. The photo above shows them still being rolled into the water.


The world-famous seafront, which includes many listed buildings, remains substantially intact. And those buildings that have been added since, notably the Van Alen, sensitively respect their surroundings. 

The map  shows the boundaries of the East Cliff conservation area for which The Kingscliffe Society is the registered amenity group.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Hippodrome cinemas plan to go ahead.

From Stage News:-

"Brighton Hippodrome campaigners have lost their battle to see the building restored as a live venue after the government decided not to intervene over plans to convert the space into a cinema complex.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has decided it will not use its powers to call in the local authority-approved plans – which could have seen a public inquiry launched into whether the conversion should go ahead.

A DCLG spokesman said: “This is a matter for Brighton and Hove City Council. Only a very few planning applications are ‘called in’ each year, as this involves the planning decision being taken away from the local council and community.”

Complete article

Preceding posts:-
The Hippodrome application - a clarification
Public enquiry for the Hippodrome

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.

The downside is that, by granting approval, the council appears to have downgraded their tall-buildings policy.

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. 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Arch Support

2 to 16 Wellington Road. 
Possibly the oldest surviving houses in Portslade-by-Sea.

The view from across the Basin reveals that the secret of their cliff-balancing trick is an elegant brick-arched colonnade.

It sometimes seems that the Victorian builders could solve any structural or architectural problem with a pile of bricks and a skilled brick-layer.

Another view from c.1910

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Sussex Revealed in Art

The online fine art collection of the Royal Pavilion & Museums contains over a thousand images covering a wide range of subjects; i.e. portraits, still life, cartoons, landscapes etc. and in the latter category, excluding the City of Brighton & Hove, there are 55 views of Sussex, or probably Sussex, locations.

These views can be seen at:-

( A permanent link will be posted under 'Pages' in the RH column.)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Salt Daisy Lake - then & now

Aldrington Basin and Salt Daisy Lake. Watercolour by Brook Harrison. 
 Hove Lagoon

Brighton & Hove Revealed in Art

The online fine art collection of the Royal Pavilion & Museums contains over a thousand images covering a wide range of subjects; i.e. portraits, still life, cartoons, landscapes etc. and in the latter category there are 147 views of local topographical or historical interest.

These views can be seen at:-

( A permanent link can be found under 'Pages' in the RH column.)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Upper Russell Street

 A painting from the RPM fine art collection. The artist's viewpoint is in what was Upper Russell Street and is now under the Churchill Square multi-storey car park. Russell Square can be seen in the distance and on the left is the entrance to Cannon Street which, further south, turned east into Russell Street. Just beyond Cannon Street was a twitten, Cannon Lane, which, further south, turned east into Cannon Street.
In 1958 the shop on the near corner was Sleight's, a bootmaker, and across Cannon St. was  Creamice Ltd. ice cream manufacturers.

I remember the area as having a quiet seedy charm which the artist has captured brilliantly.