West Hill Watch

Jim Gowan’s West Hill Watch

Giant Sign Proposed in Surrey Street

An advertising sign covering almost 27 square meters of a wall facing Brighton Station, a grade two star building, has also been recommended for refusal by the Conservation Advisory Group (CAG). The application has been made by the Ethical Property Company, which admits to having neither sought advice from the local council nor to have consulted neighbours or the local community. The green and white steel and aluminium lettering would also be harmful to the attractive north façade of the Queen’s Head public house, which is on the local list of heritage assets.

Alfred Road Garage Conversion

The CAG also recommended refusal for a proposal to convert a garage into a habitable space in Alfred Road. The roof alterations and revised fenestration were considered inappropriate in a conservation area and particular concern was expressed about the proposed plastic light domes. Meanwhile, the residents in neighbouring properties have objected and expressed fears that the proposed studio would be let to third parties rather than used as an annexe by the owner of the garden flat.

Valley Gardens

The City Council’s Transport Planning Team is proposing to spend almost    £10 million on a controversial redesign of the gardens and roads north and south of St Peter’s Church. The Conservation Advisory Group (CAG) has recommended that this scheme should be refused and requested that it is decided by elected members of the Planning Committee should officers want to approve it themselves. Focusing on the effect the scheme would have on the Valley Gardens Conservation area, the CAG criticised the low quality landscaping surfaces; the lack of detail regarding street furniture; and the absence of any detail for a maintenance budget, pointing out that the proposed trees and flowering beds would require maintenance that the Council already fails to provide elsewhere at the Level.

Halloween Decorations

Householders in West Hill Road created some impressive stage sets outside their houses for this year’s tricking and treating, which seems to have been enjoyed by a growing number of children (and adults). Swags of ivy and truly terrifying amounts of cobwebs provided ample cover for ghosts and witches, who were otherwise unable to escape from the material world. The pumpkins and black pointy hats were, in addition, a welcome, if temporary, distraction from the scary amounts of graffiti which are now evident in our area and beyond.


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