The Planning Forum, attended by members of the Regency Society and Hove Civic Society hovecivicsociety.org meets monthly to discuss planning applications which the Forum considers significant. Each society may form its own view on the applications and decides what action, if any, to take, although we generally try to respond jointly.
These are the applications we have commented =on following the December 2023 meeting.
Mucking about with a mews
BH2023/02607 4 Kemp Town Place
The Regency Society and the Hove Civic Society object to this application for ‘alterations to front elevation incorporating double doors to replace sash window, access ramp and replacement front door. Internal alterations to ground floor layout’.
No 4 is one of a group of similar but not identical Grade II listed properties forming both sides of the former mews within the Kemp Town Conservation Area. The proposed external alterations and the intrusive access ramp would adversely affect the significance not just of No 4 but of the whole group. They would be detrimental to the setting of the other buildings in the group, as well as to the character of the Conservation Area.
There would be no public benefit commensurate to the substantial harm done to this listed building. The claimed benefit that the proposal would 'improve wheelchair access to and circulation within the property' is negated by the absence of a wheelchair-accessible WC within the property, now or proposed.
Not glad about the cladding
BH2023/02027 64 Edward Street
The Regency Society and the Hove Civic Society object to this application for the ‘Redevelopment of Youth Centre to provide shared exhibition, performance and workshop spaces, along with a skate park, climbing wall and sports hall’.
It is our view that the choice of external cladding is inappropriate. The description of the primary wall cladding on the drawings is ‘fluted gold perforated panels’. This is a totally unacceptable choice for a building on the edge of the East Cliff Conservation Area and which terminates the view up Devonshire Place.
Not quite to the point
BH2023/02349 Enterprise Point and Melbourne Street
The Regency Society and the Hove Civic Society object to this application for the ‘demolition of the existing buildings and erection of a new development of four to seven storey buildings’.
It is our view that the following issues need to be addressed:
- there is not enough soft landscape
- the buildings are too close together
- there are minimal open spaces
- some of the accommodation units will have low levels of sunlight
At least two floors too much
BH2023/02311 145-151 Kingsway, Hove BN3 4GR
Hove Civic Society and Regency Society jointly object to this proposal.
• The height and bulk of the design are excessive in the context of the streetscape. The effect of the development would be an overwhelming presence in the streetscape between Hove Street to the east and Princes Crescent to the west.
• The height would dominate the neighbouring buildings on either side of the site: an appropriate maximum height should be lower than the height of Viceroy Lodge to the east.
• The heaviness of the proposed front elevation would also dominate the whole frontage between Hove Street and Princes Crescent: a more sympathetic design approach is needed.
• These shortcomings are particularly important given that the site sits within a conservation area. Whatever the criticisms about some of the existing buildings in this particular section of Kingsway, it cannot credibly be argued that the development (as now proposed) would improve the conservation area (compared with the present buildings). The scheme would actually harm the character and appearance of the conservation area. And there is of course a statutory presumption against granting permission for a development in these circumstances.
We are very disappointed that the proposed scheme falls short of attention to the quality landscaping that might be expected, and to improvement of the public realm. This is all the more disappointing given the major efforts currently being made by the Council to improve the landscaping and amenity of the ‘Kingsway to the Sea’ linear park, to the south of Kingsway.
See also our comments on the Royal Pavilion Gardens.
Images are from the planning applications. Click on the application numbers to open from the Brighton & Hove City Council planning portal in a new tab
Posted 6 January 2024