Tuesday, 31 January 2017

BA i360 landscaping

Construction of the council-funded landscaping scheme has begun either side of BAi360. The design of the area east of i360 will have a West Pier theme and feature salvaged pier columns. The site will be taking shape over the next few months and is due to be completed in the spring. 

Protecting Parks & Open Spaces

One of the annual invasions of Preston Park
From April this year new powers to deal with specific anti-social behaviour will start to be enforced in the following 12 parks and open spaces:-
  • The seafront including the A259 from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon.
  • The Greenway (adjacent to New England Quarter) 
  • Hollingbury Park 
  • Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land (Woodingdean) 
  • Preston Park 
  • Rottingdean Recreation Ground 
  • Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park 
  • St Helen's Park 
  • Stanmer Park 
  • Surrenden Field 
  • Waterhall 
  • Wild Park
These Public Space Protections Orders (PSPOs) were approved in July 2106 following a public consultation earlier in the year. The PSPOs remain in force for a maximum of three years.

The PSPOs cover anti-social activities in the areas including people living in vehicles and tents, driving on the grass, defecating, lighting fires and fly-tipping.

Where they apply, the PSPOs impose prohibitions on:
  • Occupying any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure
  • Driving any vehicle on grass
  • Littering or fly tipping
  • Lighting or maintaining a fire
  • Defecating or urinating
On request by an authorised officer, police officer or PCSO, anyone challenged needs to:

  • remove any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure within 12 hours
  • dispose of items as directed
  • permit a council, police or fire officer to extinguish a fire
  • provide a name, address and date of birth when required to do so by a council or police officer

Breaching a Public Space Protection Order is a criminal offence. and may result in a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or prosecution and, on conviction, a fine of up to £1,000.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Council statement on the sale of downland

Poynings from Dyke Hill

The proposed sale of three council-owned Downland sites to support the Stanmer Park restoration project does not put Downland around the city at risk. The sites represent less than one per cent of the total estate and all are protected by the highest level of statutory protection, irrespective of ownership.

We developed a vision for this land in the 2006 Downland Initiative, (now the City Downland Estate Policy), which was the first formal policy to recognise the importance of the Downland estate.

Consideration of environment and social value is very much part of the council’s vision for the estate. It aims to reconnect the people of Brighton & Hove to the Downland through better education, improved access and a sense of connection to the land.

Sales of two sites at Poynings and Plumpton Hill will raise £360,000, half of which will be invested into restoring the city’s biggest park at Stanmer and the other half will go towards the council’s capital investment and budget strategy contributing to service delivery. The third piece of land has been sold.

Fourteen surplus farm cottages were approved for sale by committee in July 2016. The proceeds from this will support the redevelopment of the traditional agricultural buildings at Home Farm.

The city council (and before that the Brighton Corporation) has extensive experience of managing Downland, built up over many decades. The local authority bought Downland in the late 19th century.

Find out more about the council’s involvement and current proposals for the Downland estate .

A virtual tour of the Hannington's Lane development

Hannington Lane & Puget's Lane given Council go-ahead

Monday, 16 January 2017

Restoration of the Corn Exchange & Studio Theatre

BHCC has appointed R. Durtnell & Sons Ltd. as the contractor for the major refurbishment of the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre. This is Phase 1 of 3 aimed at restoration & refurbishment of the whole Pavilion Estate and work will start early next month

R. Durtnell & Sons Ltd was founded in 1591 and is the UK’s oldest construction company having been grown by successive generations of the Durtnell family.  They have a proven track record in delivering a number of high-profile heritage restorations and cultural projects including Dulwich Picture Gallery, Turner Contemporary in Margate, and Brighton College’s music school. The firm is based in Westerham, Kent.

The transformation of the Corn Exchange, formerly the Prince Regent’s Riding house, will reveal and restore stunning and previously hidden heritage features as well as providing extra seating and an impressive new viewing gallery.  Major improvements to the Studio Theatre, once a supper room, will include balcony seating, a new artists’ creation space and a cafĂ© opening onto a plaza at street level.

The majority of funds towards the £21m phase one costs have already been secured from a range of sources, including major contributions from National Lottery players via Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as commitments from a number of charitable trusts and individual donors, council capital funding and a public works loan secured by the council on behalf of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival. Fundraising will continue throughout the build.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Free Sunday at the Royal Pavilion

Free entry day at the Royal Pavilion seemed to be very popular this year notwithstanding the weather. At 2.30pm the queue for entry stretched out of the Indian Gate, along Pavilion Buildings and up North Street.

By joining the Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation you get free entry all the year round and the ability to view the Pavilion at leisure and under less crowded conditions.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust

Next week councillors at Brighton & Hove City Council’s policy, resources and growth committee will decide on whether to establish a trust from April 2018, together with a 25 year funding agreement, to be reviewed every five years. It would mean management of all the city’s museums transferring into the charitable organisation with ownership of the buildings and the city’s collections staying with the council.

The trust would include the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Hove Museum & Art Gallery, the Booth Museum of Natural History and Preston Manor.

If agreed, the council would create an interim board of trustees, to include councillors. Staff working for the service would transfer to the new trust once it is established. The taxable benefits of trusts - a tried and tested model for museum services - include gift aid on admissions, business rate relief and cultural exemption on income. The trust model came out as the most financially sustainable long-term for the service, with a surplus of around £250,000 projected by 2022/23. The council will support the new trust in its first three years of business to allow it time to develop new sources of income.

Due to central government budget reductions which are affecting all council services, the city’s museums, including the Royal Pavilion, could face having their council funds reduced from £1.145million in 2016/17 to £753,000 in 2019/20. In addition, a building condition survey in 2015 identified a need for £1m a year for repairs and maintenance. Many of the buildings are heritage listed. A trust would have more scope than the council to raise funds to support the maintenance budget.

Brighton & Hove's museums service is one of only 23 in the country to be part of Arts Council England's Major Partner Museum Programme. It is also the lead organisation for museums development in the sector across the South East, supporting 300 museums. The city’s five museums hold World Art, Natural History and Decorative Art collections which are nationally designated and internationally significant, as well as other collections, including archaeology, fashion, fine art and local history.

The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is also part of the ambitious Royal Pavilion Estate heritage project to reinvigorate and reconnect the buildings and landscape of the Estate and improve the centrepiece of Brighton & Hove’s cultural quarter. Phase one works involve a major refurbishment of the nationally-important Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange.

'Boris bikes' for Brighton

BHCC has awarded a three year contract to run the city’s new bike share scheme to UK owned operator Hourbike. Hourbike, who operate sharing schemes in other cities including Liverpool, Oxford and Reading, was selected as the preferred bidder after a tender process which attracted a total of four proposals. The company will be responsible for managing and maintaining the service, similar to the so called ‘Boris bikes’ in London, as well as supplying the bikes and associated equipment.

Based on Hourbike’s initial projections, the scheme is expected to bring new revenue to the council of between £20,000 and £25,000 a year.

The sharing scheme should be up and running by June 2017, with up to 430 new Social Bicycles (“SoBi”) smartbikes available for residents and visitors to hire from hubs and docking stations at 50 locations across the city.

The scheme will offer a range of tariffs to suit both regular and occasional users. Hire costs will start from £2 per trip or £8 per day with users having the option to pay as they go on a 3p per minute tariff (minimum £2 charge) or purchase an annual membership at £72, which includes 30 minutes free use every day.

Popular sites including the seafront and Brighton Station have been suggested as potential hubs with the scheme also operating along the A27 corridor, heading out to the university campus sites at Falmer.

The Patcham Protest - update

Previous post:- The Patcham Protest

The Council's planning committee this afternoon unanimously turned down McCarthy and Stone's application for a large development of 44 flats for the frail elderly in Old London Road in Patcham. No Councillor spoke in favour of the development.

The developer has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and a public hearing is provisionally scheduled for June.

Move to save the Thurlow, (The Jury's Out)

(Waiting on the Planning Department.)

See also: "The Thurlow Arms".

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Free entry to the Royal Pavilion

To celebrate the purchase of the Royal Pavilion by the town of Brighton in 1850, admission charges are waived one day a year.

This year the free day will be on Sunday 15th January.

The Pavilion will be open from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

Brighton Museum will also be free entry for all.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Big Lemon Bus have BIG plans.

See:- Solar Bus Project.

Saltdean Lido restoration

A short film illustrating the impressive work carried out last year.

RSCH Outpatient services on the move.

First outpatient services have moved into the new extension, The Hanbury. Rheumatology and Physiotherapy outpatients services have moved to floors 5 and 6 of the new facility, which is at the front of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.  Nuclear Medicine and the Radiopharmacy services will move into the lower floors of the Hanbury Extension early in 2017. These moves complete the clinical decant programme for Stage 1 of the 3Ts Redevelopment and clears the way for the construction of the Stage 1 Building.

The Hanbury Extension is a modular building and will stay in place for five years whilst the first of the 3Ts Redevelopment’s permanent buildings is constructed. A second new modular building, the Courtyard Extension, is already open. It is home to the three wards that moved as part of the preparations for the redevelopment.

Both temporary buildings offer a far better care environment than was available in the services’ original locations.