SOCIETY FOUNDED AS TOWN FACES THREE NEW MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
We helped to save Brighton station and the Parochial Offices, and opposed the demolition of 700 houses for the construction of an elevated road through North Laine.
Jubilee Library: The Brighton Society was represented on the Jubilee library consultative group. Our opposition to previous unsuitable library schemes paved the way for the present library on the Jubilee site.
Endeavour site: against a 16 story block of flats in Preston Road. We organised a public meeting jointly with the Preston & Old Patcham Society. Thousands of leaflets were delivered in the area and the meeting space was full to capacity. We believe that as a result of enormous opposition, from both the public and all political parties, the developer, Karis, withdrew the application. Undistinguished social housing flats have now been built on the site.
Black Rock: we have looked at many planning applications for this site, which remains derelict, over the years. The most recent sheme was for a skating rink, arena and some substandard ‘affordable’ housing. We doubted whether the City’s transport system would be able to cope with 12,000 people leaving the arena after a big event. The so-called rapid transport system, more accurately buses running on partially dedicated bus lanes, will only cater for 10% of this number. We much preferred a previous hotel proposal for the site, which would have generated less traffic. There are no current planning applications for this site at present.
Bird Cage Bandstand: The bandstand has been restored in 2009, a wonderful result to which we contributed with 30 years of campaigning.
North Road tower: We supported the North Laine Community Association in opposing this tower, known as the Banana Building, by printing more than a thousand leaflets which were distributed by the NLCA in North Laine.The developer subsequently withdrew his application and the original building on the site was restored, exactly what both societies had wanted.
King Alfred: The Brighton Society joined saveHOVE and the Regency Society in opposition to the whole scheme which we believed could only result in a gross overdevelopment of the site, a result of the Council seeking to obtain a new sports centre cost free, as well the requirement for 37% social housing. We opposed the gimmicky towers, the ill-designed tower blocks, mean public spaces and sub-standard flats. As funding for the scheme was withdrawn as a result of the credit crunch this inappropriate scheme has fortunately been abandoned. We hope that a more suitable scheme with a higher standard sports centre. a more sympathetic design and better planning will be submitted in the future.
Marina: Planning permission has been granted for the Brunswick scheme on the outer harbour, consisting of a well-designed 40 storey tower with a series of 15 storey blocks, providing 900 flats, 40% of them social housing. Explore Living submitted a scheme for the inner harbour which would add a 28-storey tower, 4 more towers – all be taller than the cliff-top, adding 1,293 flats to the 853 previously approved.
With the consequent Marina population explosion, and the 200,000 Marina visitors a year expected by Brunswick, the Marina’s infrastructure – including the old concrete ramps linking it to the seafront, and the creaking medical, emergency, transport and educational services – would be unable to cope.
We have supported saveBrighton’s campaign to oppose this inappropriate development, more like an inner city social housing scheme. A public inquiry into the refusal of this proposal is taking place in November 2009.
Brighton Station site: Development of this site is nearly complete. The appeal into proposal to build a 42 storey Beetham Tower, which would have dominated and overshadowed the listed grade II Brighton Station and make the listed grade I St Bartholomew’s church look small scale, was dismissed by the Secretary of State. The Brighton Society supported the Council at the public inquiry into the refusal to allow this outrageous scheme, which was successful.
Patcham Court Farm: The proposal to make this site a 900 space Park & Ride site and a supermarket have been scrapped. Alternative uses are being sought, The Brighton Society favours low rise housing.