Frozen in time: view of the ice rink site from Queen Square
THE DEVELOPERS of the old ice rink site have appealed against the planning committee’s refusal to grant planning permission for a block of flats.
Plans to build a six-storey block of flats and offices on the site of the old ice rink in Queen Square were thrown into disarray after the planning committee rejected the latest planning application at its meeting in October, against the recommendation of officers.
The appeal is the latest twist in the tortuous tale of attempts to develop this site.
The ice rink closed in 2003 and the site is owned by the council. It was sold to Stonehurst Estates subject to planning permission.
THE owners of this beautiful 1860 house in Clifton Road bought it in a rather sad state around six years years ago when it was seen as the ugly duckling of the terrace, writes Gabi Tubbs.
This was the second house in the Brighton area that Jayne and Simeon Adams have tackled, albeit their first experience with a grade II-listed property.
Initially they weren’t terribly daunted by the prospect as it looked a fairly small job on the surface. Their optimism soon changed when it was revealed that a lot of the previous work had been bodged.
As luck would have it, Jayne and Simeon found a brilliant builder. Jayne found Mark Draper when he was working on restoring a house with a ‘mock Tudor’ façade in Clifton Hill—a previously shortlisted contender for an MCHA conservation award.
The Alex: restored to rude health
FOR more than four years one of the conservation area’s most distinctive buildings has been shrouded in scaffolding. Now the scaffolding is coming down revealing the imposing facade of the Alex’s main building, one of the most striking features of the conservation area. The building is now being converted into luxury flats. The new owners are due to start moving in early in the new year.
The old Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital finally closed its doors in 2007. For more than two years the future of the building hung in the balance. Initially the developers wanted to clear the whole site. This meant demolishing the much-loved main hospital building, which dates from 1880 and was designed by the noted local architect Thomas Lainson.
But the MCHA fought tenaciously to save the building, persuading the planning committee to reject the demolition plans—against the recommendation of the planning officers, who were happy to see the building demolished. Continue reading
St Nick’s: our Christmas Party venue
THIS year’s Christmas party was held on Tuesday 2 December at St Nicholas Church. About 40 people attended the party, which made a small profit for the association.
The venue also gave members a chance to inspect the recent restoration work on the church. Sussex Historic Churches Trust, awarded a grant of £5,000 towards the cost of refurbishing the fleche and repairing the tower roof.
The see-through bin
THE city’s unloved and poorly maintained communal bins will be replaced or refurbished in a programme following pressure from the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Association. The chair of the environment committee, Pete West, told the committee on 7th October, that the replacement programme will begin in April next year.
The pledge to replace the bins represents a significant victory for the MCHA. Cityclean, the council’s rubbish department, had no intention of replacing any of the communal bins for at least a couple of years.
In June the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Association’s survey revealed that the communal bins in our area were in a deplorable state. The survey found that 70 per cent of the bins in our area were defective, with two topless bins and one see-through bin. One of the topless bins has subsquently had an amateurish repair job. Although the MCHA survey only covered the 50 bins in our area other parts of the city clearly had similar problems. Continue reading
Broken down bin
AROUND 70 per cent of the communal rubbish bins on our streets are defective, according to a survey recently carried out by the MCHA. The scale of the defects is such that most bins are easily accessible to rats and gulls and the lack of containment for the rubbish produces an overpowering stench in hot weather.
As a result of the survey several councillors have told the MCHA that they intend to ask searching questions about the state of the bins at the next environment committee meeting, which is on 7th October. If you have any stories about the state of your local bin do drop us an email and we will pass on your concern to interested councillors.
The survey covered the 50 bins in the MCHA area and was carried out over three days in late June. After a small scale trial of bins in 2004, Cityclean, the council’s rubbish department, replaced doorstep rubbish collections in 2009 with communal bins. Continue reading
Mind the gap
AS THE thermometer soars and summer at last starts to kick in one of the coolest places to be in Brighton is not lying stretched out on the beach—but chilling out in one of our glorious Regency houses.
In winter, period houses can be draughty, hard to keep warm and the heating bills make the council tax bill look like small change. But in summer they come into their own and are far less likely to need air conditioning than modern houses. This is an important advantage, because it takes twice as much energy to cool a room by one degree as it does to warm the room by one degree.
All the design features of Brighton’s period houses—those fireplaces, the draughty sash windows and those thick walls—that make the houses so hard to heat in winter, make them a really cool place to be in the middle of a heatwave. Continue reading
This year’s annual general meeting was held on Thursday 29th May at 7:00 pm. Chairman Jim Gowans was re-elected unopposed, as were the other officers of the association. There is a full list of the current committee members here. Two places on the committee are vacant.
The meeting approved also the annual report and accounts for 2013-14.
Members who were unable to attend the annual general meeting will have received their copy of the annual report with the July issue of our newsletter, which was distributed to members in the middle of July. Our annual report and accounts can also be found here: Annual Report 2013-14.
After the formal proceedings were over Geoffrey Mead gave an illustrated talk about Sussex Literary Landscapes. The July newsletter will include a report of his talk.
Take a walk round our lovely conservation area with local expert Geoffrey Mead, of the University of Sussex. As part of the Brighton fringe festival Dr Mead is conducting a number of tours around the area in May and June.
Dr Mead is a well-respected local tour guide and an acknowledged authority on the local architecture. The tours take an hour and a half and will take in all the main features of the area, as well as some lesser known items.
The tours start at St Nicholas Church at 2pm on 17th, 24th and 31st May. In June there are tours on 1st, 7th and 8th June. The cost is £7. For details of the next tour see our coming soon page.
Letting standards slip
ALTHOUGH the conservation area has been board-free since the end of 2012 the odd estate agent still occasionally puts up an illegal board.
This board, in Montpelier Terrace, was photographed in February. The MCHA reported it to the council and the board was removed within a week.
Estate agents’ boards were banned on residential properties in almost all of the city’s central conservation areas in September 2010. However legacy boards–those that had been put up before September 2010 could remain. This created a messy changeover.