West Hill Watch

Jim Gowans’ West Hill Watch…

Explosions at 26a West Hill Road

Explosions were heard from the former Pickett Garage site on Good Friday and an emergency team from UK Power Networks was called out to deal with exposed electricity cables. According to UK PN the cables had not been correctly capped off when demolition took place a few months ago. The seriousness of the situation was compounded by the site developer’s failure to properly secure the site after demolition was carried out without the authority of the City Council. Over 140 nearby homes were without electricity for several hours.

Bodged Repairs

The Seven Dials roundabout has so far cost almost £1million. How much more will it cost to have broken kerb stones replaced rather than repositioned with tarmac holding them together? The newly fitted bell shaped steel bollards are not level and the pavement on Dyke Road south of the roundabout is still sinking and breaking up without any attempt at repair. Meanwhile, despite assurances given by the Highways Department two years ago that tarmac around the elm tree would be cut back and given a more appropriate colour nothing has happened.

Too-upHouses in Multiple Occupation

An application to convert a family dwelling into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) has been made in Buckingham Street. It is not well known that St Peter’s and North Laine is one of just five wards in the City where additional rules on smaller HMOs have been in place since 2012. A landlord who lets a house or maisonette consisting of two or more storeys, with three or more occupiers from two or more households sharing facilities has to apply for a licence; failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Local List of Heritage Assets

The West Hill Baptist Church in West Hill Road has been recommended for inclusion in this local list. Local Listing is different to statutory listing. It does not provide further legislative controls and does not affect when planning permission is required. However, when planning permission is required (such as in a conservation area), the ‘special interest’ of a locally listed asset will be taken into account. The church is described as a good example of a non-conformist chapel which sits well within the terraced streetscape and is largely intact.

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