THE BRIGHTON SOCIETY
Minutes of the Committee Meeting on Tuesday 11 July 2017 at 41 Kensington Place at 8.00 pm
Present: Corinne Attwood, Valerie Bolton, Sandy Crowhurst, Malcolm Dawes, Robert Edwards, Allan Grainger, Lyn Lynch-White, Jeremy Mustoe, Ninka Willcock. Selma Montford, President, was also present.
2 Election of Officers for 2017-18:
Chairman: Jeremy Mustoe, proposed by Valerie Bolton, seconded by Lyn Lynch-White
Secretary: Valerie Bolton, proposed by Jeremy Mustoe, seconded by Sandy Crowhurst
Treasurer: Lyn Lynch-White, proposed by Ninka Willcock, seconded by Malcolm Dawes
All were elected unanimously, and Jeremy Mustoe took the chair.
3 Minutes of the Meeting on 13 June: Approved and signed by the Chairman
4 Matters Arising
4.1 Updating Achievements since 2011: In hand. SM will email all newsletters for the past 5 years to Simon Montgomery, for inclusion on the website.
4.2 Preston Barracks & The Lectern: Our letter of comments has been picked up by The Argus and quoted, showing that they are monitoring our website. We missed the exhibition/consultation for The Lectern, but no planning application has yet been lodged. The planning application for the huge Barracks scheme is proceeding: B&Q is being demolished and other buildings on that part of the site have already gone.
4.3 Preston Road Board School: NW will check the current situation. (Note: see her recent email).
5 AGM Post Mortem: There had been a good attendance, and it had gone well. Points arising were:
5.1 Venue: Brighthelm, although accessible, is now too expensive. Agreed to check out the Quaker Meeting House, St Michael’s and St. Nicholas’ churches.
5.2 Church Street/Portland Street: This had been raised by a member, who suggested forming a working group to press for the development of this long derelict site. JM has already been involved in such a group with the member concerned, and believed that it had been decided that the known owners of the site, Hargreaves, should be contacted directly to ask what their intentions are. It has been established that the Council cannot compulsorily purchase the site. JM is willing to take part in one more meeting of the existing group, and will minute it, but beyond that it should be left to North Laine to deal with.
5.3 Hippodrome: No definite news, but rumours abound.
5.4 King Alfred: There is nothing to be done here at present. A member had suggested that it should be renovated and left as it is, but this ignored the Council’s urgent need for housing.
Sackville Hotel: Ideally, it should be reduced by one storey, but viewed from the continuum of buildings along Kingsway it is not seriously out of line; approval recommended.
Hoarding at Marlborough House: The major advertising element has gone!
Peter Pan Adventure Golf: The proposed development is 16m high, almost as high as the Madeira wall. It may be turning into a fun fair, but the main problem is that it is a cluttered mess and far too high. It could be a good low level development, enhancing the present good children’s playground. Refusal recommended.
Disabled telephone kiosk, East Street: Metal and glass structure wholly inappropriate to the Old Town CA. Recommended refusal. The company concerned wants to install 8, all in CAs, and are able to do so on only 56 days’ notice.
George Street/Circus Street/Grand Parade: Three applications in this historic area. All need heritage investigation before any alterations are considered. Recommended refusal.
JM’s role on the CAG: Members had been made aware of the controversy following JM’s attendance at the Planning Committee as the CAG representative on the Ellen Street planning application. Roger Hinton had stated that he felt JM had misrepresented the CAG’s position, and should apologise. At the following CAG meeting, on a vote, it had been decided that RH should not write to the Chair of the Planning Committee to apologise for what JM had said. RH, who had already resigned from the BSoc, then resigned as Chair of the CAG, which was regretted by many. Steps will now be taken to look at how the CAG representative should conduct him/herself at Planning Committee meetings.
7 Website, twitter, facebook: JM is in touch with Simon Montgomery over content in general, and the site is going well. The local interest newspaper should be appearing soon.
8 Membership drive: The previous distribution list was revised, and is attached. SM was given 100 leaflets for members of the Preston & Old Patcham Association, which has been dissolved. Other possible recipients were members of the Sackville Tower Campaign and Dyke Road residents. Brighton Past website organises events, and leaflets should be available at them. PLEASE THINK OF MORE LOCATIONS!
9 Gift Aid: LLW has had 28 completed forms returned. Please do yours now! Keep under review.
10 Affordable Housing: No further action at present
11 Moshimo: Leases have to be negotiated before this can proceed. SM has written to the Argus, and will draft a letter for JM to send too.
12 Marina: The case brought alleging that the tower block hotel would obstruct shipping has been lost.
13 Valley Gardens: Continues to be in the news, but no further developments.
14 Grafitti and Murals: DI had circulated a newspaper article about Brighton showing many examples. It had not condemned them. It was noted that one of the bus stops beside the Royal Pavilion has been whitewashed ready for the application of a geometric mural in bright colours,” to bring the area to life”. This may be one of the listed bus shelters – MD and AG will liaise over writing to the Council and the Argus at once, commenting on this “tattooing” of the city.
15 Madeira Terraces: Nick Tyson has succeeded in obtaining all reports on the Terraces commissioned by the Council for the past 6/7 years, comprising some 2000+ pages, and MD is one of those currently reading them. It is becoming clear when mistakes began to be made, due to the Council no longer having appropriate expertise in house, and therefore not knowing how to commission reports from appropriate people or to assess the results. In 2011 comparatively minor repairs were suggested, but then inappropriate tests were applied by newly qualified engineers not competent to deal with heritage structures, and extreme safety measures were stated to be necessary. The Regency Society may commission its own report, a process in which MD would be involved. The terraces now look derelict, so it is easy to suppose they are dangerous when they are not. A specialist expert’s report is required.
16 List of Sites with Planning Permission still Undeveloped: Carry forward to next meeting.
17 School Road Hove: Has not been to CAG – it may not be in a CA
18 RIBA Brighton Heritage Open Doors: JM, NW and DI had visited St Wilfrids in Elm Grove at the invitation of Hyde Housing to view the murals which Hyde Housing wish to make more widely available to the public. Sarah Tobias had visited too and will take part in the Open Doors event. The murals are large, and of high quality. Sarah Tobias has written a piece promoting Open Doors, and JM, perhaps in conjunction with NW and ST, will write a longer piece, for the website.
19 Brunswick Fair: In hand. MD will deliver his photos by the end of this month; LLW will do captions. SM will look out leaflets etc. to sell.
20 Affiliation to Other Societies: The Georgian Group has been reformulated; RE will check whether they will still offer us free membership. SM still receives material from the Victorian Society. The point was originally that we would co-ordinate in publicising each other’s events etc. but this has petered out.
21 St Wilfrid’s Church Mural: See Item 18 above.
22 Any Other Business:
22.1 Invitation to Litter Event circulated by SM: Leave to individuals to go if they choose.
22.2 Chapel at the Royal Sussex: It was planned to retain it. RE still attends liaison meetings, and will keep a watch on it.
Tuesday 15 August at 10 Clermont Road (apologies LLW)
Tuesday 12 September at 4 The Village Barn