Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Oxford Street car park is closed

Oxford Street car park is closed to the general public until mid-April due to construction work nearby. 10 spaces are being kept open for doctors who work at Oxford Street Medical Centre only. These spaces are not open to the public and will be enforced.

This car park is close to the London Road shopping area and The Level. There are disabled bays here and Blue Badge holders can park free of charge provided that their badge is displayed correctly.

The Marina - not all about housing . . .

Seemingly a long way from home the "Hebridean Explorer" has found it worthwhile to use Brighton Boatyard for some winter maintenance.

Locking through to the inner harbour 
Passing under the raised roadway, workboat assisted.

Entering the 60 tonne boat-lift

Boat-lift operator on station

Starting the lift

Moving off

Toads Hole Valley grinds on

View from the NW. A27 to the left.

From the end of this month, people and organisations from across the city have a chance to have their say on the draft planning guidance (draft SPD) being prepared for the privately-owned Toads Hole Valley development site. This document has been shaped by an earlier round of consultation with stakeholders (known as the Issues and Options stage) undertaken in March-May 2016.
When adopted by the council this SPD will be used as a guide in determining future planning applications for the 37 ha site. This will help to ensure the successful delivery of City Plan proposals which include a minimum of 700 homes, 25,000 square metres of employment space and a new school.
Consultation is from 27 February to 10 April. A staffed exhibition in Hangleton Community Centre (10am-1pm) and St. Peter’s Church, West Blatchington (1.30pm-4.30pm) is on Saturday 18 March.

Responses will also be able to be made through an online form on the BHCC consultation portal; by email to, or by writing to Planning Policy, Projects and Heritage Team (THV SPD), BHCC, Hove Town Hall, BN3 3BQ.

As well as homes and employment, the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) guidance looks at how policy requirements for community, play and sport facilities, and areas for food growing can be incorporated into the development. An environmental assessment is out for consultation at the same time.

The final version of the SPD  will be presented to councillors at the council’s Economic Development & Culture Committee in the spring.

View of the site looking east from the nature reserve.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Planning Officers to the rescue!

39 Grand Parade (Swift Sports)
Planning application BH2016/02448 to demolish this fantastic little building and replace it with 4 stories of glass-fronted blandness has been rejected by council planning officers.  They have instead approved application BH2016/06207 which essentially provides similar accommodation to the first but without significantly altering the street view.

The successful proposal
No thanks to the Conservation Advisory Group or other pundits who all opted for architectural cleansing.

The alternative proposal - four stories of bland

Architects - Sam Willoughby, Brighton

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

William Clarke park upgrade

The William Clark Park (aka 'The Patch') was established between Hartington Road and Elm Grove on the route of the old Kemptown branch line. At the south end can still be seen the blocked-up mouth of a tunnel. This tunnel emerges into the small industrial estate between Freshfield Road and Sunderland Road that was the Kemptown goods yard.

William 'Nobby' Clarke was a Brighton Mayor in the 1970s. He campaigned to turn the site of the old Kemp Town railway into a recreation ground for the benefit of local children & residents in the Elm Grove & Lewes Rd areas.

Railings failings

When so much money has been spent and so much of the seafront in the i360 area restored to a high standard, it seems a shame to settle for railings fabricated from apparent scaffolding poles. Especially as they are adjacent to the restored West Pier entrance kiosks.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Foiling flytippers

Typical flytipping at Braypool Lane
CCTV cameras captured six separate incidents of flytipping in one night which has enabled the council to send the offenders fixed penalty notices totalling more than £600. Flytipping is a criminal offence and if caught, people can expect a fixed penalty of £300. Failure to pay can lead to prosecution, a criminal record and an unlimited fine.

The flytippers were all dumping trade waste. The kinds of things being tipped included builders’ and plumbing waste and other packaging.

Businesses have to make their own arrangements for waste disposal and those discovered using council bins will receive a fine of £110.00 and could face prosecution.

The council is not releasing details of the locations until the deterrent has had the desired effect as offenders may move on to other sites in the city.

They can't say they weren't warned: Flytippers beware

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Hanningtons Lane by the architects

The Morgan Carn Partnership  presents an attractive visualisation of their proposals for a major face-lift of the Lanes.
(Pity "Lanes" has been spelt wrong)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Seafront mathematics

Twenty-four of the original cast- iron columns removed from the West Pier have been transported to a foundry for professional treatment and will be re-used as part of the new landscaping scheme on the east side of the BAi360. The design and arrangement of the columns is inspired by the 'Golden Spiral' which is used to achieve balance and harmony in architecture, art and design.

The historic columns are beautiful but functional artefacts which originally supported the lavishly decorative  structure above, and new cast-iron column surrounds have been designed to suggest the relationship between functional and decorative.
Historic aspects are also reflected by the inclusion of two carefully chosen quotes from "Walking on Water" — a history of the West Pier by Fred Gray, and lead to the central plaque that puts Eugenius Birch, designer of the West Pier, at the very heart of the spiral.

The Golden Spiral, otherwise known as the Fibonacci spiral (after the Italian mathematician) is a curve that increases constantly in size without changing its basic shape. This is demonstrated by using squares which also increase in size using the Fibonacci scale, i.e. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 where each number is the sum of the 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 where each number is the sum of the preceding two.

The French architect, Le Corbusier used the Fibonacci series of numbers in his system of proportion "Le Modulor" and the system is frequently observed in nature, for example, within shells, the cochlea of the human ear, and even spiral galaxies. It can also be seen in the formation of hurricanes, the shape of certain spider webs and the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower.

See also: BA i360 landscaping

Bell bollards

Bell bollard at Hove Lagoon
What else could they be called! Quite a few have been appearing around the city's streets in recent years. They were first introduced in 1985 and have since become a standard for the protection of property and pedestrian safety. They are designed to deflect vehicle tyres. The wheel mounts the lower part of the bollard and is deflected by its increasing slope. Such bollards are effective against heavy goods vehicles that may damage or destroy conventional bollards or other types of street furniture. They weigh about 3cwt.

It is somewhat surprising that in Brighton & Hove they all appear to be second-hand. A coat of bright paint would cheer up the streets and help prevent inattentive pedestrians tripping over them in the dark. Strangely they don't seem to have attracted the attention of graffiti artists. Perhaps they haven't noticed them.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Brighton Society - new website launched

In honour of the continuing work of Selma Montford and the Brighton Society, a local benefactor is providing a new web platform valued at £1,800, developed at no charge.

The new web platform is smart phone ready, comprising all the areas of the work of the society, presented in a state of the art visual interpretation which will be the best in Brighton (and Hove actually) for any amenity society in the city.

The web platform will go fully live at 5:00pm on Friday 10 February. From next week, the web platform will be developed and maintained on a weekly basis on behalf of the Brighton Society at no charge.

The Hanningtons Estate - work begins

The main Hanningtons site
Redevco, the European retail real estate investment manager, starts work on the redevelopment of the former Hanningtons department store in Brighton today (Monday 6th February). The 1.3 acre site is being redeveloped into an exciting new retail and leisure destination and will be completed by mid 2018.

Redevco acquired the majority of the site in 2015 and an adjacent mixed-use property at the end of last year, taking the total amount invested in Brighton to £72 million.

Andrew Foulds, Portfolio Director at Redevco comments, “We are creating a new Lane, a new entrance to the historic Lanes from North Street and are redeveloping existing buildings on North Street, to provide exciting new spaces for shops, restaurants and cafes. The vision is to blend a visually unique and engaging scheme into the existing network of narrow alleyways, lanes, eclectic boutiques, restaurants and cafes/bars that already make Brighton so popular."

“We also have an opportunity to invest substantially in the quality of the buildings on North Street and our Masterplan approach should provide a catalyst for the whole area.”

The design incorporates local materials and will reveal the historic Puget’s Cottage, currently hidden behind the Timpsons shop front on North Street, for the first time in 140 years.

Westridge Construction has been appointed as main contractor and architect Morgan Carn Partnership has created a pioneering and unique scheme, which blends the history and character of the Lanes, with the needs of modern retailers.

Construction work will initially focus on the rear of the scheme, enabling existing retailers to continue trading with minimum disruption.

The site of Hanningtons Lane where work has begun
Access from Meeting House Lane now prohibited

Saltdean Lido restoration - update

Restoration of Saltdean Lido could be boosted with a commitment of up to £700,000 of council funding which would be used to replace the public library within the building.

A report on the proposal is going to the next meeting of Brighton & Hove City Council’s policy, resources and growth committee meeting on February 9.  It says the money would be secured by borrowing and included in the council budget for 2018/19.

Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (SLCIC), which was selected by the council and the preferred bidder for the site in 2013, estimates the cost of a full restoration of the Lido complex is now around £12m.

In January 2015 the CIC won a £2.3m grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.  This is being used to restore the main pool and children’s pool, provide water heating and landscape outdoor areas. Around £170,000 that the council secured from the firm which turned Saltdean’s former Grand Ocean Hotel into flats has also gone into the works.

It means the pools are expected to reopen this summer.

A further grant of £576,000 was won by the CIC from the Heritage Lottery Fund in February 2015.  This has been used to work up detailed plans for a £4.2m Lottery bid towards restoring the main Grade 2-star listed building, dating from 1937.  A result is expected in March.

The project would require demolition of an extension housing Saltdean Library. An amount of up to £700,000 would pay for a temporary facility to ensure library services were uninterrupted, as well as an extension providing permanent library facilities.

The committee is also being recommended in the report to grant the CIC a 60 year lease on the entire Lido building and grounds, subject to various conditions being met. Further sources of funding would then need to be found.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Rampion wind farm progress

From Hove seafront
Installation of the 116 monopole foundations was completed last November. On a clear day the northernmost ones can be seen with the naked eye. Sixty interconnecting cables were also laid, followed in December by two 16km long export cables. Installation of the remaining 62 cables and the turbines is planned to start this spring.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Brighton & Hove bike-sharing

See also: Boris bikes for Brighton

Key projects get funding

£17.6M of Local Growth Fund Round 3 is to be invested in the Brighton area over the coming year, to drive two key projects forward.

These projects are:
  • Sussex Bio-Innovation Centre - delivering a new £99m Life Sciences building at the University of Sussex’s Falmer campus. This building will provide dedicated teaching space, modern laboratory equipment, technical support and inspiring collaboration spaces for academics, researchers and clinicians from different disciplines to share knowledge and create innovative partnerships - £5.5million
  • Brighton Waterfront, Black Rock Site Development – delivering a new world class conference and multi-use venue at the Black Rock Site, alongside a major expansion of the city’s retail offer through an extension of Churchill Square shopping centre - £12.1M.
These sums are part of the £48.73M total of Local Growth Fund Round 3 which is to be invested in a number of projects across the Greater Brighton City Region over the coming year.  As well as the City of Brighton & Hove the Greater Brighton City Region comprises Adur and Lewes, Worthing & Burgess Hill.

The funds are being administered by the Government by Coast To Capital, the Local Economic Partnership covering the City Region. The Greater Brighton Economic Board is now working closely with Coast To Capital on a phased release of funds into these transformative projects.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

"Not Dead Enough"

Peter James discusses his new play coming to the Theatre Royal next week.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Relocation of the Shelter Hall kiosk begins

The East Street Bastion
Work began today (Wednesday, 1 February) to relocate the Shelter Hall kiosk to the East Street Bastion. Prior to the installation, we carried out extensive consultations with residents, affected groups and the emergency services both as part of the planning application and separately.

The work has full planning approval and a highways licence.

Care has been taken to make sure the kiosk will be positioned in a way that means emergency access is not obstructed. The area has been assessed by transport planners. They took into consideration the turning circles of vehicles going onto the lower promenade.

The area around the kiosk will still be available and the East Street bastion will still provide a large parking area for emergency services’ co-ordination and operation within this location of the upper promenade during emergencies.

All emergency services have access to keys so they can get onto the lower promenade when gates are locked.