Archive for the ‘7 Environment’ Category

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, a non-profit organisation helping people learn how to cook, eat a healthy diet, grow their own food and waste less food, recently opened its brand new accessible and purpose-built Community Kitchen in Community Base on Queens Road. (more…)


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Surrey Street

Whilst the loss of a retail unit at No.23 might be regretted in a location so near to Brighton station, the proposal to convert this redundant shop to a studio flat is to be welcomed because it would greatly improve the appearance of this part of the West Hill conservation area. According to the Council’s West Hill character statement, Surrey Street was laid out (as a thoroughfare) between 1836 and 1841. The two storey houses on each side of the street are unlisted but probably date from the 1840s, and with their bow fronts and roofs hidden behind parapets and accentuated by moulded cornices, they give the terraces a strong architectural character. (more…)

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The Madeira Terraces in Kemp Town were built in 1890 as a tourist attraction by Brighton Borough Council.  Sadly, 130 years later they have become unsafe and have been closed off.  During an annual inspection big cracks were noticed in the Terraces. A survey was later carried out, which revealed that the cracks were due to the structure being built without expansion joints, and also that the girders that make up the walkway were all corroded. The estimated cost of restoration was £24m. (more…)

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Now that we’ve all woken up to the plastic problem, here are some tips on what to do with the plastic that you can’t avoid. Recycling is easy to say [although never easy to type – Ed] but what and where you can actually recycle is a bit of a minefield. (more…)

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As part of WHCA’s local history talks, on Tuesday 22 May at West Hill Hall, we present David Porter’s fascinating talk about his home. (more…)

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                                                          Unitarian Church

Last month there was a charming site-specific performance at the Unitarian Church in New Road. ‘The Prince and the Pillars’ told the story of how the church came to be built in 1820. (more…)

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West Hill Watch

Jim Gowan’s West Hill Watch

Bedsits or family house?

An application to convert a family house in Clifton Street into a house in multiple accommodation (HMO) has been made to the City Council. In the St Peter’s and North Laine ward (within which the West Hill conservation area is situated)  planning permission and an HMO licence are required where a property of more than one storey is let to three or more people who do not form a single household. In order to support mixed and balanced communities across the city new applications for HMOs will not be permitted where more than 10% of dwellings within a 50 metre radius are already licensed HMOs. From the information supplied here it seems this restriction does not apply. Local residents are often not happy when family houses become HMOs, as it can change the character of a neighbourhood when families move out and (usually) groups of students move in. Some parts of the city have become saturated with HMOs and it is likely that the West Hill area will be under increasing pressure as a consequence of having, at present, relatively few HMOs.

Another Licence for Rented Homes

The Council wants to impose a licensing scheme on all private landlords in 12 wards of the city. The licence would cost up to £600 per property and apply even if the property is let to a family or individual. So this is a different licence to the HMO licence referred to above. The Council has said that this is not merely a money-making scheme and simply aims to raise standards. It recognises that a number of landlords already deliver good quality, well-managed homes, but says it could not exempt them from the scheme. It must be hoped that this scheme does not lead to fewer family homes and to more holiday lets and ‘party houses’ as the latter will remain unlicensed.

Green Giant Slain

A proposal to fix a huge advertising sign on a building facing the Grade 2* listed Brighton Station has been refused by planning officers after it was severely criticised by the Council’s Conservation Advisory Group as being too big and too ugly and inappropriate for the conservation area. The green lettering, measuring some five and a half metres across and four metres in height was described as “dot matrix type font-dots are a vignette of different shades of green”.



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