The Planning Forum, attended by members of the Regency Society and Hove Civic Society committees, meets monthly to discuss planning applications which the Forum considers significant.
Each society forms its own view on the applications and decides what action, if any, to take.
In our latest meeting we considered the following issue:
Protecting a gem from the 1930s
An application has been submitted for a penthouse on top of Regent House in Princes Place in central Brighton.
The building was designed in 1933 by John Leopold Denman, architect of many of Brighton’s finest buildings from that period. Denman was also a significant figure in the history of the Regency Society.
It sits in a prominent position on the south side of the Royal Pavilion gardens, behind the Chapel Royal. It is in a neo-Georgian style with irregularly placed Crittall windows and patterned brickwork. Though not listed, it is a fine building of its period and deserves protection.
The proposal would involve adding an extra floor to create a rooftop penthouse, below a mansard with a balcony / terrace around.
The society has objected. Although the new structure would be set back, it will be highly visible from the Royal Pavilion gardens. The large windows are out of sympathy with those below and the glass balustrade above the parapet will further detract from the building’s original design.
Filling a gap in Oriental Place
Oriental Place is one of the most important surviving set-pieces of Regency Brighton.
It was built in 1825 by Amon Henry Wilds as part of a grandiose scheme to create a glass conservatory, the Athenaeum, on the site of what is now Sillwood House. It consists of two opposing rows of houses each composed as symmetrical palace fronts.
Sadly, this unique piece of townscape has been allowed to fall into disrepair and the facades have been spoiled by unsightly alterations and additions, including external downpipes.
The present application for 33 Oriental Place proposes to add an additional attic floor under a mansard roof. We have not objected since the addition will be similar to those on both neighbouring properties.
We welcome the proposal by the applicant to reinstate the first-floor balconies. However, we have urged the planners to persuade them to carry out repairs to the whole façade and to remove later additions such as the unsightly left hand down pipe and the valance boards to the upper windows.
A gateway to Hove
An application has been made to erect two car wash canopies in front of the grade II listed building, which is located immediately east of the current Hove Station. It was built in 1865 and was known as Cliftonville station. The list entry describes it as “Tuscan villa style” and draws attention to its similarity to the station building at Portslade.
In 1879 the station name was changed to “West Brighton” and the current station building was constructed immediately to the west, it is also listed grade II. The station was renamed again in 1895 to its present name, “Hove”.
The original Cliftonville building still forms part of Hove station. The proposed canopies would obscure views of it and are unsympathetic to its design. They would therefore detract from the special character of the Hove Station Conservation Area which derives principally from the relationship between the station and the surrounding late Victorian buildings.
Hove station is a major entry point for people visiting Hove. The existence of a car wash immediately outside creates entirely the wrong impression. Ideally, we would like to see the business re-located. We have objected to this application which would further degrade the area.
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