Category Archives: architecture

Conservation Advisory Group – by Jim Gowans

I’ve represented West Hill on the Conservation Advisory Group  (CAG) for over a decade and while very happy to continue, I’m keen to involve others in the Group. You don’t need particular qualifications other than an interest in our environment. 

CAG is a collection of local groups and societies independent from the council, and provides advice and comments on planning applications affecting listed buildings, conservation areas and so on. An elected representative of CAG is entitled to attend meetings of the Planning Committee and speak in support of CAG’s comments.

In my opinion, it is regrettable that the majority of planning applications are of poor quality and fail to preserve let alone enhance the character of our city’s conservation areas.

The first two applications featured here are such examples, the third shows 76 to 79 Buckingham Road which has greatly improved the street scene. For each, CAG’s reasons and other details are available on the BHCC planning website.

BH2022/02722 17 Buckingham Rd BN1 3RH

Demolition of existing garage and erection of a detached two storey plus basement, one bedroom dwelling (see pic, top right). The Group recommended refusal. Planning officers also refused to grant permission for this development on the corner of Buckingham Rd and Albert Rd. 

BH2022/03758 Footway Opposite 43 Dyke Rd BN1 3JA 

Installation of 20m high telecommunications monopole supporting 6no antennas and the necessary supporting cabinets and equipment. The Group recommended refusal, asserting that it would cause serious harm to the character of the area. Again, planning officers subsequently refused to grant permission for this 5G mast and its ancillary cabinets. 

BH2016/01766 and further applications 76-79 and 80 Buckingham Rd

CAG recommended approval in 2016 for the first of these proposals and is pleased to see that the restoration and development of the four Victorian properties is now complete. The re-instatement of cast iron railings is particularly well executed (see picture), while the plaque to the former headmaster of the Brighton Grammar School, which once occupied the site of no.80, has been preserved.

Unfortunately the corner of the site (no.80) remains derelict. There have been six more planning applications since the 2016 application was granted and one wonders how many more applications and how many more years it will take before the site is built out. It should be noted that the “affordable units” are now proposed for this site, but how much longer can those in need of such housing afford to wait?

Do contact The Whistler if you would like to involved.