Brighton Life

The proposed Co-op development

So a few days ago, I was floating through Facebook and there, in among all the really important stuff about Neal Maupay and arguments about what’s The Fall’s best album (you really want my Facebook feed now, don’t you), I saw this:

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF THE DIALS

Hello Everyone

Some of you will be aware that the ‘small’ Co-op has obtained the lease to the block which contains Seven Cellars and Latina. As sad for the area as this obviously is, it seems like a done-deal and the Co-op will be taking over those two premises in 2025. It does not take too much understanding of 21st century business practice to guess that the Co-op will want to extend into the two shops and continue their takeover of the Dials and the pushing-out of independent traders that make ‘The Village’ what it is – a unique and precious part of Brighton & Hove.

Turns out the post was from Louise Oliver, owner of Seven Cellars (and shared by Tim Mortimer)

So yes. It seems there’s a proposal – application number no BH2021/03856 – to expand the Co-op, lose the Cellars and Latina, build some flats… A familiar story. But not one that’s written in stone.

We can change it. We can fight it. We can do stuff. The West Hill Hall was saved. There was the story of the Elm. This is no different. We can make our voices heard, we can fight back the forces of capitalism, we can cast off the yoke of oppression (OK, thank you, Wolfie).

No, really. We can. We love it here because of its independent spirit, because of its individuality. Because we can go in a local shop and have a chat. Because it’s our community.  

There’s nothing wrong with having a Co-op. I’ve been in there, and I’m sure you have too. But we’ve got a Co-op. Actually we’ve got two. How much Co-op do we need?

What can we do? It would be possibly legally unwise to advocate a boycott of the Co-op, and we can all make our own decisions about those things. So, we can stop shopping there. (Not advocating a boycott, your honour). We can be a bit more conscious about where we spend our hard earned. (Still not advocating).

And we can write. The planning register can be found on the council website at

https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Application no is BH2021/03856 – which must be quoted in any correspondence. (see pic 1)

There’s a tab called “Make A Comment” – so log in and make a comment. (see pic 2)

Write to the planning people. Write to the council. Write to your MP. Make your voice heard. That’s what it’s for.

4 replies »

  1. The dials is one of the last places in Brighton that still feels like a ‘village’. Part of the reason for this are the small independent shops. It would be a huge blow to the community if this site lost its character and diversity even a little. We simply dont need a bigger better supermarket on this site, its ridiculous planning in my opinion. By all means revamp and restore but dont destroy in order to capture more of Waitrose and Taj overspill! When you think about it, having tesco at The Dyke lights, Waitrose and Taj down the road means this area is more then served. Lets not let big business competition spearhead a turf war and homogenise a thriving community of diverse people and small businesses.

  2. It should be understood that objecting to this planning application does not stop the Co-op’s acquisition of a lease to the premises occupied by Latina and Seven Cellars, which is very regrettable in itself if it means these independent businesses will be forced out.
    Nevertheless this planning application deserves to be refused in any case.
    The Conservation Advisory Group (CAG) to BHCC has recommended refusal for the reasons below.
    BH2021/03856 2-4 Buckingham Place (fronting Dyke Road)
    1) The proposal would disrupt the street scene’s long views.
    2) A poorly presented application where drawings and plans appear to contradict each other.
    3) Irregular shape of roof is unclear.
    4) Roof should be tiled rather than slate.
    5) Contradiction in drawings of top floor plan, one which includes a dormer window.

  3. am i missing something here? the proposed development says nothing about expansion of the Co-op and clearly retains both Seven Cellars and Latina. so it would appear to be irrelevant to concerns about said expansion. i would be strongly opposed to the loss of the Cellars in particular (and Latina in principle), but the question of what to do about this would not appear to be addressed by challenging the cited application.

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