Jim Gowans, WHCA’s rep on the Conservation Advisory Group, assesses local developments…
More telecommunication boxes measuring 1.6 meters high and 1.2 meters wide are being plonked on pavements in our area, notably in West Hill Road at the side of 23 Buckingham Road. There are already four old-type boxes within a few yards of that which is proposed, together with a parking meter and various parking signs. In the last few weeks the City Council has installed galvanised bars into pavements alongside motorcycle parking bays. Owners of expensive motorbikes can now chain them up. So much for the Council’s policy of encouraging walking and cycling! Meanwhile the elm tree on the pavement near the Seven Dials Roundabout is to be cut down as part of the improvement scheme. We can’t have a tree cluttering the pavement can we?
Seven Dials Roundabout
Over 150 people attended a rather bad tempered meeting in St Luke’ Church, Old Shoreham Road on December 17. There appeared to be relatively few from the West Hill area but many of those from north of the Dials expressed their serious concerns about the traffic congestion and ‘rat-running’ that is likely to be a consequence of a scheme which the traffic planner had described in an earlier meeting as designed to “throttle” traffic and encourage motor traffic to find alternative routes. Having let the cat out of the bag in this way, attempts were made to catch it and put it back. It is now claimed that traffic flows across the roundabout will not be significantly impeded. The proposal that went to the Transport Committee on the 15 January now leaves Bath Street as one-way and Vernon Terrace as two-way.
Queens Head Public House
The building of five flats above the pub in Queen’s Road near the station continues and when finished should be a great improvement to the north façade of the building, apart from creating much needed housing. The new windows will match the existing ornate timber sash designs on the east elevation whilst the mansard roof will be slate.
Estate agents’ boards
Since September 2010 it has been an offence to place these boards outside residential properties in this and a number of other conservation areas in the city. This has greatly improved the appearance of our streets, whilst local agents have easily adapted to other ways of marketing.
Unfortunately signs have been popping up recently in contravention of the regulation and it must be hoped that the Council will continue to take enforcement seriously.