In the June/July edition of The Whistler, one of the reports in Jim Gowans’ regular West Hill Watch column highlighted a planning application for 1 Clifton Street. We reproduce that here, a letter from the owner and a reply from Jim.
1 Clifton Street
An application to return this rather dilapidated property to its original design is generally to be welcomed. The black painted window frames and garage door have been an unattractive feature, whilst the tiled roof projecting over the ground floor is an inappropriate alteration which will disappear once the bay windows have been restored. The proportions of the windows in the proposed plans were, however, considered incorrect by the Conservation Advisory Group and it must be hoped that once this detail has been addressed the restoration will be completed. Cast iron balustrades inspired by the original designs are also proposed and will add to the attractiveness of the street scene.
I am writing in response to your article in The Whistler June/July 2016 edition regarding the above named property. I regard this newspaper as a community newspaper and thus inclusive for all residents within the area. I assume you wish your community ethos to be that of open dialogue and transparency. As the owner of 1 Clifton Street and albeit only a tenant resident of 24 Clifton Street, I was surprised to read an article about my property that was written and printed without any attempt to mention or even consult with myself on its content in advance. It reads as if from one person’s point of view rather than a considered response.
I am a Brighton born and bred resident wishing to make my permanent home in a street close to the old hospital in which I was born and just a few streets away from where my family home was. I wonder how many of those concerned in the writing and publication of this article can say the same?
I purchased this property to make myself a beautiful home, not with the intention of turning it into flats or to make a fast buck but to restore a property into its original state and improve on what previous owners saw fit to bastardise.
I consider myself to be happy member of this community with lovely friendly and welcoming neighbours who have shared an interest in my little project and who have made no negative comments to date as far as I am aware. The Conservation Advisory Group has been created to provide informed opinions to B&HCC but I am surprised that they do not consider it necessary to talk with those involved in their decision-making beforehand. Can I suggest that a meeting would be helpful to discuss any potential problematic issues with those concerned before passing their report on? I wonder if you have any comments to make in response with regard to the printing of this aforementioned article?
Kind regards, Mandy Tyler
The Conservation Advisory Group comments on planning applications affecting conservation areas and listed buildings, and provides advice to the City Council on conservation and design policy. It also advises on major applications which are often presented to the CAG at the pre-application stage. All planning applications are in the public domain and can be viewed online. The advice formulated by CAG is included in the planning case file and is also, therefore, in the public domain (although not online). As The Whistler article makes clear, the application BH2016/01135 relating to No 1 Clifton St was generally welcomed, but it was not recommended for approval for the reason reported in the same article.
This recommendation was made by 16 members of Brighton and Hove conservation societies and national bodies such as the RIBA, the Ancient Monuments Society and the Georgian Group. Decisions are made based on the information provided in the application itself and are not influenced by lobbying from applicants or their agents.
Sincerely, Jim Gowans, WHCA rep to CAG