Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Fate of Mannock House hangs in balance.

The Crimean War building (left) & Mannock House seen from south end of the development site
First proposals for the site prepared by the U+I regeneration company for the University of Brighton and BHCC.
Early plans show the Crimean War building retained and Mannock House replaced by a student housing block.

On the other hand:-

Extract from the 2011 Planning Brief for the site.
The Planning Brief states:
  • Both the "Crimean War" and Mannock buildings are undesignated (but potential) heritage assets, the qualities of which should be fully assessed and their retention considered in development proposals.
  • Should the retention of either one or both of these buildings constitute a major physical or financial constraint to realising the development objectives of this brief, maximum advantage should be taken to optimise the potential to create strong routes and linkages through the site and the wider development area covered by the brief.
In fact the block proposed for the Mannock footprint will account for less than 15% of the total student housing on the site so its omission could hardly be described as constituting a major constraint on the development.

It is also difficult to see how the loss of the Mannock and its replacement by another can be described as optimising "strong routes and linkages through the site."

Mannock House
The Crimean War building
The Crimean building continues in useful occupation; Mannock House is an elegant building of high-quality traditional construction and should be treated likewise. The preservation of the two buildings would provide an on-going evocative link to the site's military history. The creation of a small public open space in the angle between the two buildings would constitute a small 'pay-forward' to posterity.

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