March 2017

Sir Simon Jenkins, journalist, broadcaster and author, former editor of the Times and the London Evening Standard and campaigner for historic buildings is our current President. On 8 March he entertained a full Music Room at the Royal Pavilion at our Antony Dale lecture for 2017 on bringing old houses back to life. ...continue reading "Bringing the Music Room to life for an evening"

reflections on a 70 year relationship between the Royal Pavilion and the Regency Society

Brighton and Hove City Council has decided to set up a new Cultural Trust to run the Brighton Pavilion and Museums. The Council will continue to own the Pavilion and Museums but is setting up the Trust to manage it.

February 2017

The main reason is to create new funding avenues: a trust will be able to raise money in ways the Council cannot. Work on setting up the Trust is starting now with the appointment of a temporary board which will include councillors. A transition year to the permanent new Trust will begin in April next year. In April 2019 the transition will be complete and a new board will take over. All existing staff will be transferred in on their current terms and conditions. ...continue reading "A new future for the Royal Pavilion"

December 2016 update

We've written before about the Hyde Housing Association and its proposals for the site of the former Sackville Hotel. We've objected to a previous proposal for a 17 storey tower on this site. 

Hyde Housing is now preparing to submit a new planning application for the site and they presented their revised proposals at a public exhibition at the end of November.  They have appointed a new team of architects – HGP Architects from Fareham – and have conducted a number of consultative workshops with local residents.          ...continue reading "Hyde Housing and the Sackville Hotel site"

November 2016

The Brighton Old Town Conservation Area includes the medieval fishing town area bounded by North Street, West Street, East Street and the seafront.

The Old Town Conservation Area was first designated in 1973 and extended in 1977. Somewhat surprisingly a Character Statement for the area has never been produced by the council. The Old Town was recently included on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Their reasons include vacant historic landmark buildings, the weight of traffic on Kings Road (which creates a barrier to the seafront) and poorly designed shop fronts. ...continue reading "Old Town Conservation Area Character Statement"

November 2016

The University of Brighton Moulsecoomb campus along the Lewes Road presently lacks a visible sense of place, scattered as it is across a nearly pedestrian-impenetrable road with random buildings that have little relationship to one another. Planning intentions aim to transform the area. Committee members were invited to a presentation to learn more.

...continue reading "Preston Barracks Proposed Improvements"

2016

Derelict since 1988, 9-storey Anston House has been named “the ugliest building in Sussex” and has been subject to 8 different planning applications in recent years.  

Now its site together with vacant land alonside on Preston Road is the subject of a new proposal by First Base and Hyde Housing, designed by Conran and Partners and Nicholas Dexter Studio. It would contain 229 affordable homes, workspace for 283 jobs in new worspaces and public space. The proposed building is of varying height up to 15 storeys.

Unlike a previous plan rejected in 2013, this proposal's highest elements are set back from the boundary of the site.  

The committee is keen to see a successful outcome for this blighted site and will be discussing this proposal in August 2016. 

 You can see the plans by clicking here and entering the application no  BH2016/02499. 

2016

The Council has recently announced a new proposal for Madeira Terraces including self contained serviced glass fronted units within the terraces so that the spaces can be leased or rented as cafes, shops and other businesses. It hopes to completely replace the existing ironwork. The project is likely to cost £20 to £30 million, for which the Council will seek grants and loans. We welcome the principle of these proposals but await further detail to allay concerns about the replacement of the existing ironwork. Similar structures have suffered serious problems with damp penetration. We would also like to know more about the way the new structure will relate socially to the sea-front.  

...continue reading "A new vision for Madeira Terraces?"

2016

The 1888 Shelter Hall, originally constructed to allow the public to shelter from the rain, needs to be rebuilt in order to prevent Kings Road from collapsing. Directly beneath the junction of West Street and Kings Road, it is holding up one of the busiest junctions in the City (36,000 vehicles pass through it each day). It is badly corroded and currently held up by internal props. A government grant is in place for its complete replacement, enabling improvements to the road junction at the same time. The intention is to rebuild the Shelter Hall nearer the sea to allow these to take place. 

The plans include a new retaining wall with foundations several metres below the beach and a remodelled lower promenade. A new mezzanine floor is to be included along with a rotunda above. The scheme also includes new public toilets and a new walkway to the beach. 

The society welcomes the development.  We suggest some public seating around the new building on the upper level and a public lift between the upper and lower promenades. We also suggest that the decorative mouldings on the southern façade of the existing building should be re-used on the new building, or facsimiles created if that is not feasible.