Jim Gowans, WHCA’s rep on the Conservation Advisory Group, assesses local developments….
As more and more permissions are granted in the West Hill Conservation Area for existing garages to be converted into dwellings and as the City Council announces the reduction of on-street parking to make way for re-cycling bins let us hope that front gardens either here or in the outer neighbourhoods of Brighton are not to be further sacrificed by being made into hard standings for vehicles as pressure to find car parking spaces increases. A recent application concerns Clifton Street where two one bedroom flats are proposed to replace the lower ground floor parking lot.
It must be further regretted that locally based painters, decorators, electricians, window cleaners, plumbers and carpenters are being forced to move their business away from the conservation area for want of garage and storage space for their tools of trade. Traders can now park their vans on residents’ bays which may help them to some extent, but it is of course reducing car spaces for non-commercial vehicles and is hardly a substitute for secure garaging.
31-35 BATH STREET
There are further delays in the construction of five residential and three live-work units. The developers have submitted details of the proposed works which are not in accordance with the approved drawings! In the context of what has been said above it will be interesting to see how the so-called live work units are used once occupied. The type of work based in these units will be somewhat restricted: the live work units offer no car parking or easy access. It is difficult to imagine a decorator, for example, taking ladders through the narrow glazed doors which open immediately onto the pavement and the busy one-way road which is Bath Street!
Work continues at Buckingham Lodge where the additional storey, which was granted permission some years ago, will add six one-bedroom flats. There developers propose to render the brick work of the existing building in a colour to match the facades of houses nearby.