Jim Gowans, WHCA’s rep on the Conservation Advisory Group, assesses local developments…
Buckingham Lodge, Buckingham Place
Neighbours have been dismayed to see that work has now begun on the construction of an additional storey to this uninspiring 70s block of flats, which is adjacent to the West Hill Hall in Compton Avenue. Despite local opposition, permission to build six one bedroom flats on top of the existing three storey block (which contains 18 two bedroom flats) was granted in 2008 and renewed last year. A planning inspector had previously noted that the existing building was “prominent”, “uncharacteristic of the majority of buildings in the conservation area” and “visually intrusive”. These were hardly reasons, it would seem, for adding a further floor on top! The height of the new building will now exceed that of the buildings on either side and be above the existing trees.
Next to Brighton Station
On a brighter note, it can be reported that the application to build a three storey cycle storage facility with repair workshop, cycle shop, changing rooms and café in Mangalore Way (a road owned by Network Rail), has been welcomed by the Conservation Advisory Group and is likely to be granted permission. The building’s design, especially the colour and texture of the materials, can only improve the existing unappealing space between the station and Trafalgar House.
Derwent Lodge, Buckingham Road
The Conservation Advisory Group recommended refusal, however, of an application to create an additional floor to an existing top floor flat. It cited the visual impact on views from St Nicholas’s Church garden.