THE CIRCUS STREET SITE IS OWNED BY THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL ARE TRYING TO GET FAR TOO MUCH DEVELOPMENT ON TO THIS 1.8 HECTARE SITE. THEY ARE BEING MUCH TOO GREEDY.
The scheme includes 486 student flats (increased from 400). Private and social housing flats, with sub-standard space standards. This could amount to 900 people resident on the site (if fully occupied). THESE WILL BE THE NEW CIRCUS STREET SLUMS.
The 3,000sq m of ugly brick 14 storey start-up offices, should be housed instead in the empty Amex building on Edward Street. There is no need to build any more offices on this site and what is more it is not a designated Tall Buildings Area (anything over 6 storeys). The Council are driving a coach and horses through its own Tall Buildings Policy. This would be an example to other developers on other sites, that the Tall buildings Policy is there to be ignored.
The scheme also includes a new 4,500sq m University of Brighton library, a dance studio, 1,200sq m of shops and a public square (a sunless corridor). Will the precious well lit north facing studios in the existing Faculty of Art building be adversely affected by this development?
The architect for the plans are London based Shedkm who won the competition for the scheme. The developer claimed that the architects “answered the brief because they captured the spirit of Brighton”.
The black weatherboarded structures imitate the Hastings net huts, there are no black weatherboarded buildings in Brighton. The architects claim to have found one black weatherboarded building in Brighton – the Black Lion Public House in Black Lion Street in the Old Town, but it is hung with grey slates not black weatherboarding.
At least the architects have followed the grain of the old street pattern (unlike the City College plans) but the Council have just required too much development on that street plan.
The developer, the Cathedral Group, are submitting a temporary application for a pop up market for the creative industries in the redundant wholesale fruit and vegetable market. They claim that it will not delay the final scheme. There is therefore plenty of time for a rethink of this new slum scheme.
THE COUNCIL WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO GIVE PLANNING PERMISSION FOR ITS OWN SCHEME ON ITS OWN SITE. THE COUNCIL WILL BE JUDGE AND JURY ON ITS OWN CASE.