We are protesting about the latest damage to Marlborough House, one of our most important heritage assets.

As members know, Marlborough House is the second most important building in Brighton and Hove. The current Pevsner guide calls it Brighton’s 'finest late C18 house'.  Its construction in 1786 to a design by Robert Adam predates all of Brighton's Regency Squares, Crescents and Terraces. Adam intended the original to look as if it were faced with Portland Stone. This was to achieve a classical effect and is typical of Adam. Adam's style has had huge influence on building design throughout Europe and beyond ever since. It must have been a magnificent and striking sight at a time when central Brighton had few distinctive buildings. ...continue reading "Marlborough House – it is time for decisive action from the Council"

After much careful thought the trustees of the Regency Society have decided to withdraw the society from Brighton and Hove City Council Conservation Advisory Group (CAG).

This is not a decision which has been taken lightly or easily: we have been associated with CAG since it was established and several society trustees have chaired it at various times.

The move is prompted by a recent incident when CAG’s representative on the Planning Committee seriously misrepresented the CAG’s agreed views about a major development.

CAG has provided the society with an important channel through which to pursue its primary objective of protecting and improving our city’s built environment. We will of course continue to pursue this objective through other means. We'll be reporting on this in due course as new arrangements develop.

Read our full account here. If you would like to express a view on this or any other issue the committee would be very pleased to hear from you. Please use the 'contact us' box on this site or send an email to Roger Hinton.

The illustration above shows an artist's impression of the plan for the development at Ellen Street which was the subject of misrepresentation at the Planning Committee. You can read more about the Regency Society's original response to this scheme here.

 

(The image above, prepared by David Fisher, shows the 1973 OS map (black) overlaid on an 1877 map (sepia).This shows the earlier square on the site, and access from twittens to North-West, South and South-East which still exist.)

April 2017

The Regency Society is critical of current proposals to alter Brighton Square as outlined in planning applications BH2017/00762, 00768 & 00797, namely to reclad the facades of the existing shops and associated housing, to amalgamate nos 12-16 Brighton Square to form a single restaurant space, to install an enclosed dining area in the square under a canopy and to raise and thus obscure the existing fountain sculpture.

...continue reading "Brighton Square"

Nick Tyson explains why we should all be worried at the scandalous state of this unique heritage asset, and why the Council and Historic England must intervene

April 2017

Marlborough House in the Old Steine in Brighton is often referred to as the second most important historic property in the city, after the Royal Pavilion. Built in the 1760s for Sam Shergold, the keeper of the local 'Castle Inn', the House was purchased in the 1780s by William Gerard Hamilton MP and shortly after this became the subject of architectural improvements by the renowned Scottish architect, Robert Adam.

...continue reading "More damage to Marlborough House"

April 2017

We’ve written before about the Council’s plan to create a new conference and events centre at Black Rock. They intend it to replace the Brighton Centre. We are aware that this has the potential to make major changes in our city and we are keen to know how this is progressing.

...continue reading "The latest (or lack of it) on the Waterfront Project"

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"

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.