The Weekly Review 8
In the Headlines
Berkeley Gasworks Proposal: something for the little people.
Residents will now have another chance to have their say on the new plans proposed for the Gasworks development. The formal re-consultation period will be until 11 January 2023. The council will still consider all comments they receive until the Planning Committee decide on the application.
Here are the proposed changes to this ugly, unimaginative and compacted development:
In summary, the key changes to the proposed development include
- 226 affordable homes (40%) in partnership with a Registered Provider with Homes England funding including 115 for affordable rent and 111 shared ownership.
- Design changes to the proposed buildings at the northern end of the site and Boundary Road where heights have been reduced and the architectural character has been revisited.
- The amount of built floorspace has reduced whilst more efficient use of building forms has resulted in a slight increase in the number of homes by eight apartments and four townhouses.
- The number of homes has also increased, adding eight apartments and four townhouses to bring the new proposed total to 565 homes.
- The heights of the blocks on the northern end of the site and Boundary Road have been reduced, and more parking spaces have been added.
This is also from Berkeley’s revised proposal: Regency-inspired seafront architecture and the townhouses have been retained. It must be a joke?
Click on this link below for more detailed explanation of the changes in 2022
Click on this link for the planning application received by the council on Wednesday 24 November 2021
Responses from the local councillors in this area.
Councillor Nancy Platts welcomed the commitment to providing affordable homes.
She said: “I’m pleased that the voice of local people and their representatives have been listened to, in particular that there are now 40 percent of affordable homes in line with council policy.
“I look forward to having the time to review the planning application in more detail.”
Councillor Bridget Fishleigh, who covers the Marina to Rottingdean, says that the council is on the verge of a wasted opportunity.
She said: “In a meeting I had with Berkeley Homes I said I wanted to see a footbridge from Roedean over Marina Way so that bikes and people had easy access to the site from the east.
“It’s highly predictable but disappointing not to see that in the plans.
“Brighton and Hove City Council own two plots of land which adjoin the gasworks site to the north and south.
“Berkeley Homes wanted to buy them to include them within the development but they couldn’t get a sensible answer from the council.
“I’ve asked on numerous occasions what the plan is and there doesn’t seem to be one.
“It’ll be very strange for this development to go ahead without including these plots because the council as part of its negotiations could ask for additional council-owned homes to be built there.
“The plot to the south includes the access bridge from the A259 on Marina Way.
“They’re missing an opportunity for a pedestrian walkway into the city and also for more homes.
“I’ve submitted a question on this to ask on 15 December at a meeting of all 54 councillors.”
The Berkeley Group is working with the National Grid to regenerate brownfield sites across the south of England. This is a powerful group that have the resources to plough their way through rough ground to success. Do the little people really matter to them? Clearly profit is their motive; that’s why they give with one hand (40% affordable units) and take with the other hand (Increased number of units).
Concerns over remediating the toxicity of the land, formerly used as gas storage and exchange, have not been addressed in the revised plans. This will be disappointing to the Gasworks coalition which has challenged amongst other things the scale and design of this proposed development. A consultation with the UK Health Security Agency in January pointed out that “no details have been provided” on the proposed remediation strategy and construction proposals.
On the design of this proposal Berkeley states: “The refined design retains the areas of the masterplan which have been received well by key stakeholders.” But the statement that takes the biscuit is: “We have also looked in further detail at how the proposed development can take more opportunities to integrate public art and be enlivened with more colour at the ground floor level.” Well, when you have a dull generic design then you have to add a splash of mural colour.
Locally elected councillors on the Planning Committee will make a decision on the planning application. It is not expected before Spring 2023.
The Brighton Society supports house building that is sympathetic to the surrounding established community. This proposal is not. It is important to note that even if you have objected before, you MUST do so again unless all your objections have been satisfactorily dealt with.
Partly Sourced from Brighton and Hove News
Listed Bus Shelters – What’s wrong with this planning application?
Enter BH2022/03383 into Planning – Simple Search on the Brighton & Hove City Council’s Planning Register and you will get the following summary:
BH2022/03383 | Refurbishment and change of use to flexible spaces of 2no bus shelters including security shutters. Extension of 1no bus shelter to facilitate change of use to coffee kiosk (Sui generis) with accessible WC. | Bus Shelters D, E and F Near the Royal Pavilion Old Steine Brighton BN1 1EH.
This isn’t very clear for those who are unsure of the designated numbering system. So, to be clear, these are the Pavilion bus shelters that have as a backdrop the Royal Pavilion. The council want to refurbish them. One will be converted into a coffee kiosk.
What’s missing from this summary is that the three shelters are Grade 2 listed. What also is concerning in the summary is the phrase “sui generis”. The Government Planning Portal defines “sui generis” as a Latin term which, in this context, means ‘in a class of its own’. This term may not seem important but it might allow for bus shelter 1 to be unsympathetically changed and modified out of proportion to the other two. Yet, in the document: Design and Access Statement, Three Bus Shelters, Old Steine, Brighton, Proposed Refurbishment including creation of Café Kiosk it states in section 5 under: Scale. The proposed alterations will match the style and scale of the existing structure. This however is not the case for Bus Shelter 1 (the coffee kiosk)
Furthermore, in section 6: Layout. The layout of two of the existing bus shelters will essentially remain unaltered. The layout of the (the sentence ends here) Why?
In Section 8. Appearance. It states:
The appearance of two of the bus shelters will stay essentially the same,
but repaired and provided with new windows – to match existing –
robust paint finish and discreet shutters to protect them from vandalism
when not in use.
The southern-most shelter will be increased in size by retaining the
existing structure and mirroring its ‘streamline moderne’ style i.e. Doubling the floor area. It will in fact increase in height, however, the council do not show the increased height from the original bus shelter 1 on the proposed plan and elevations of the additional added on shelter. Is this obfuscation or just sloppy draftsmanship? This should be rectified immediately.
The Argus showed the floor plan of the existing shelter with a second shelter added onto the existing southern -most shelter in a recent article.
We welcome the refurbishment of these shelters however, for many years the Brighton Society have been photographing, filming and reporting the attacks from graffiti criminals on these bus shelters. We now see that the refurbished shelters will have anti-graffiti paint. The grade 2 listed buildings could have been protected by a coat of anti-graffiti paint years ago. Heritage matters, but clearly not to some in charge of the city. Let’s hope this time these beautiful structures will be cared for.
Partly Sourced from The Argus
Tweets of the Week
It’s the same old song: Why fill in a FOI form when the council must have this information and were willing to share the previous stats with the public in their Graffiti Reduction Strategy. See in PDF below.
Film of the Week
The higher the building the lower the morals – Noel Coward