Minutes: August 2017

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THE BRIGHTON SOCIETY
Minutes of the Committee Meeting on Tuesday 15 August 2017 at 10 Clermont Road at 8.00 pm

Present: Jeremy Mustoe (Chairman) Corinne Attwood, Valerie Bolton, Sandy Crowhurst, Malcolm Dawes, Robert Edwards, Ninka Willcock. Selma Montford, President, was also present.

1 Apologies for Absence: Delia Ives, Lyn-Lynch White, Allan Grainger

2 Minutes of the Meeting on 15 August: Approved and signed by the Chairman

3 Matters Arising:
3.1 Updating Achievements since 2011: In hand. SM will email all newsletters for the past 5 years to Simon Montgomery, for inclusion on the website. RE had provided a copy of a missing set of minutes.

3.2 Church Street/Portland Street: Duncan Campbell has not been in touch.

3.3 Preston Road Board School: Planning permission has been granted, and it looks promising although 5 of the 25 proposed flats are below minimum space regulations; their high ceilings were considered to compensate.

4 CAG

4.1 Planning Applications:

Lansdowne Place Hotel: Application to increase size of penthouse. This was worse than the original plan for the size of the penthouse, which the CAG had opposed, so refusal was recommended.

Marlborough House: Application for retrospective permission for outer rendering. Nick Tyson’s research had shown how this should have been done. The original outer facing, which is well documented, had been ignored and silicon based paint has been used which will be hard to remove. Refusal recommended.

Ice Rink at Royal Pavilion: Application for renewal of permission for the next 6 years. It was considered that the ice rink is tacky, a better design is needed, alternative sites should be investigated, and having views of the Pavilion obscured for up to 3 months of the year was unacceptable. Refusal recommended.

Royal Sussex Hospital: A new short term emergency observation facility has been proposed, with some extra funding. Ghastly alien design in a scheme which already has far too much diversity. Refusal recommended.

Montpelier Villas: Application for Grade II building to have its basement stripped out to be living area and an “orangery”. Recommended refusal, loss of original layout and parts of the fabric.

4.2 Administration and Structure: The last meeting had gone well albeit without the Regency Society or Hove Civic being represented. CA has resigned as representative of Clifton & Montpelier in protest at what they have done, but has been replaced. A possible representative for the RIBA had been present. The meeting had been chaired by Jim Gowans who will not take the position permanently, so will alternate with Robert Amerena. JM has stood down as CAG representative to the Planning Committee to avoid further complications. Following a meeting with Roger Hinton, Liz Hobden had written to Jim Gowans about the status of the CAG, and he has replied but it is not known in what terms.

There is a serious problem in the Planning Department as there are now hardly any officers working in conservation, and they are not adequately supervised, making the CAG even more important. New CAG representatives are required, Brighton based, with expertise to replace what has been lost. Following the demise of the Preston & Patcham Society, yet another representative has been lost.

5 Website, archives etc: It was agreed to wait until the position is clearer before suggesting Simon Montgomery puts anything about the problems in the CAG up on line. VB will send him the AGM minutes although officially they are in draft form until approved at the next AGM. VB will remind SM about sending him all the old newsletters. NW will send him some background information about the Preston Road School, one of the Simpson schools with which we have been so successfully involved.

6 Membership drive: NW will hand out membership forms at Heritage events she attends, and JM will check whether Sarah Tobias can do so too, and liaise with LLW over getting leaflets to her.

7 Gift Aid: No news in the absence of LLW.

8 Preston & Patcham Society: Although its final meeting had been very well attended, there was only one volunteer for the committee and the Society has had to be wound up. They have decided to donate their remaining funds to the BSoc, for which we are extremely grateful. VB will write to thank them once the cheque has been received. All their members have been sent BSoc membership forms.

9 Moshimo: The necessary leases have been agreed, and as far as is known the project is now free to proceed.

10 Grafitti and Murals: Excellent letter in the Argus prepared by AG and MD but unfortunately all references to the BSoc had been edited out, as were the photographs submitted.

MD wrote to the Enforcement Officer about the murals on the listed bus shelter but had had no reply. They should have had planning permission, but are stated to be only temporary, although the period of time involved varies.

11 Madeira Terraces: It was agreed not to participate in the crowd funding appeal made in the Argus by Warren Morgan as it was not clear how the money would be spent.

MD has now summarised all the reports that have been obtained, going back to 1977 and Nick Tyson hopes to start a website appealing for specialist advice on how to proceed, with alternative proposals as the Council now has no-one with appropriate expertise. MD estimates that fees of at least £150,000 have been spent on reports, and as much again on the pointless fencing off of the arches. The Victorian Society has a specialist engineer who may be able to help, and the Council themselves employ a specialist in connection with the Royal Pavilion. MD will continue to liaise with Nick Tyson.

12 Stanmer Park Stables: Mike Holland withdrew his application for retrospective planning permission at the last minute, and has stated that he will restore the stables.

13 Crest Nicholson e-mail: VB will reply saying we note what they say, and will be interested in participating in meetings about the development in due course. They need to be watched as Brighton must now be seen as an easy touch for developers to get out of their “affordable” housing commitments. These are in any event meaningless as even 80% of market rent is still not affordable.

14 Circus Street: Work appears to have started in earnest, but the library will not be built.

15 Preston Road parking: Deferred in the absence of DI

16 List of Sites with Planning Permission still Undeveloped: This needs to be kept in the public eye and included in newsletters. Warren Morgan is to meet with Soho House about work on the Aquarium site. Other sites to watch are the old AmEx site and the Big Lemon yard by the gasworks.

17 Developers avoiding Affordable Housing: See 13 above.

18 RIBA Brighton Heritage Open Doors: Sarah Tobias has with some difficulty set up the visit to St Wilfrid’s with Hyde Housing. The whole programme is up on line under Brighton Heritage Open Days.

19 Sea Front Clutter: It was agreed that the photos circulated by DI showed yet another very unfortunate result of uncontrolled clutter accumulating on the beach.

20 BSoc Affiliations: RE is in touch with the Georgian Society about our status with them, and will report in due course. VB will check the situation with the Victorian Society.

21 Any Other Business:

21.1 Civic Voice Trustee Elections: VB has received documentation with details of 4 candidates for 3 vacancies. None of the candidates is known to us, and it was agreed not to participate.

22.2 South Downs National Park: VB had been cold called by a marketing organisation on behalf of the SDNP saying she had been picked at random and would she be interested in taking part in a consultation type of group. She had said yes, and will report in fuller detail in due course.

NEXT MEETINGS

Tuesday 12 September at 4 The Village Barn
Tuesday 21 November

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