Drara dismayed at threat to The Signalman garden

20170502_162518 (800x800)At the Drara meeting last week everyone was dismayed at the proposal by Inn Brighton Properties Ltd, owners of The Signalman, our neighbourhood pub, to build on the garden.

The pub is the only communal space in the neighbourhood, and the garden unique for being on an open, sunny corner, therefore having no direct noise or light impact on neighbours. It is well used by long term residents and visitors – popular with families, as an after work pub and a meeting place for friends and neighbours.  In addition sheltered booths mean the garden is in use year round. We were stunned by the claim of the planning application that this is a ‘disused’ former garden. The garden  is one of the pubs best assets, and must be kept as an important outdoor space for everyon to relax.

The stated ethos of The Laine Pub Company, the dominant operator in Brighton, which owns both the Open House and The Signalman is that it “views its pubs as ‘third places’ where customers can invest loyalty, emotion and time in an original and comfortable environment. The company’s cultural and ecological ethos underpins its commercial objectives, ensuring that its pubs remain relevant and central to the communities in which they operate.” (from their LinkedIn profile)

Building on this garden would damage the vibrancy and health of the neighbourhood for many reasons including:

  • Putting homes next to the pub will create a noise problem where there isn’t one currently.
  • There is no other suitable site for the garden/smoking area? If it is the street there would be a huge impact on Ditchling Rise. If the currently disused yard at the rear of the pub (recently fitted with rather nasty, intrusive lighting and currently subject to a planning application for access from the pub – hmmm..) numerous homes in Warleigh Road and Shaftesbury Road that back onto this area would suffer noise, smoke and light nuisance as well as overlooking.
  • Loss of the garden would very likely impact business at the pub.
  • This area has no community hall or meeting place and we do not want to lose the only place in the area where we can get together and meet people.
  • Concerns have also been raised to BHCC planners that there has been no public notifcation of this proposal

In addition

  • As the original Railway Hotel The Signalman has a direct link to the locally listed London Road Station – the integrity of which would be undermined by the addition of flats with glass balustrades
  • Many residents have raised concerns about increased pressure on area amenities, in particular parking
  • The area is loosing the green space on the other side of the station, next to the Open House, to housing develpment, causing concern about future noise problems there as well as loss of greenery, and cannot bear the disappearance of yet more ‘breathing space’.

Drara have contacted local councillors who are requesting this goes to the planing committee. If  you want to keep our garden we  encourage anyone who hasn’t done so to comment on the planning applications here:

Development of ‘former beer garden’ into flats – Application number: BH2017/00829

Installation of staircase to rear yard – Application number: BH2017/00920


Author: ditchlingrisebrighton

The friendly leafy neighbourhood squeezed between the A23, the Lewes-Seaford-Eastbourne line and Ditchling Road - not far from lively London Road

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