London Road LAT Tue 13th June

The next LAT meeting is Tuesday June 13th 2017 18:15 for 18:30 at Calvary Church Hall, Viaduct Road, Brighton.

Anyone is free to bring up a relevant item at or before the meeting. The agenda  will be published on the LAT website on Monday 12th June.

Items for update will include:
Newsletter –  volunteers needed to help with delivery etc.

London Road BID – there is a meeting for businesses on the 12th June at Brighton Eagle Labs. This is a crucial meeting if the London Road Business Improvement District (BID) is to have any future

Viaduct Road – I’ll be asking Tracy Phipps again if there are any developments

Air Quality – The “Brighton and Hove  Independent” have asked to do a follow-up article on the interesting update we had on air quality in the area and the city at the last meeting.

All welcome to come and find out local updates.

Signalman flats application withdrawn – steps application still stands

With the number of objections nearing 200 – some coming from Seagulls fans and as far away as Worthing, the agents have withdrawn the planning application to build flats on The Signalman garden. This is excellent news for the community and near neighbours of the pub – and welcomed by Drara and and everyone who objected. However, the application for steps from the pub to the yard at the rear of the pub stands – and neighbours behind the pub are concerned about overlooking and the harsh, intrusive LED lighting that has been installed on the walls here and future implications this might have for use of the yard – as a garden? – target decision date for this tomorrow – 15th May – so still time (just) to comment on this application here.

Building on Signalman Garden – objections pouring in

The Signalman gardnen
The Signalman garden on a Wednesday afternoon

Now the news is out that the owners of The Signalman garden plan to build on it, objections are pouring in – at the time of writing well over 150 have commented. People around the area are expressing their love of this community space that is welcoming to all, and concerns about the impact building flats on it.  These include undermining the community spirit, character and well being of the neighbourhood by removing its only communal open space. In addition concerns are expressed about potential noise and nuisance impacts on immediate neighbours to the pub if its outdoor space is relocated. Around 50 people filled the garden on Wednesday afternoon to show The Argus just how popular it is. The Argus story is published today, currently the most read and recieving supportive comments.  If you haven’t added your comments on the planning proposal, please do here.

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

Air Pollution and other issues – London Road LAT 9 May

viaduct, train and trafficThe next London Road LAT is on Tue May 9th at 6.30, Calvary Church, Viaduct Road.

Guest speaker Sam Rouse of Brighton and Hove City Council will speak on air quality and health. Air pollution affects health of everyone across Brighton:

“Public Health England has estimated whole population exposure to fine particulate matter across Brighton & Hove contributes 5 to 6% to all causes of annual mortality ….  More recent research suggests that the impact of Nitrogen Dioxide may also contribute close to 6% of mortality with a 33 % overlap with particles. In Brighton & Hove this is a strong influence on 175 deaths brought forward each year” – Brighton and Hove Air Quality Action Plan 2013

Other items on the agenda include an update on drug dealing around Winchester Street, communal bins and planning issues.

The Signalman – Flats proposed in place of beer garden

siggygarden.jpg largeOwners of our neighbourhood pub submitted two planning applications for the alteration of the premises in March.

Development of ‘former beer garden’ into flatsApplication number: BH2017/00829
On March 9th a planning application was submitted by Inn Brighton Properties Ltd to erect a 3 storey building containing 3 two bedroom flats on what the application states is the ‘former beer garden of The Signalman public house, now disused.’ To date objections have been submitted by immediate neighbours of the pub who have been consulted, stating their concerns about overlooking, loss of light, loss a rare community open space in the area and detrimental impact on adjoining in buildings. In addition they express surprise, as do we, that it is claimed to be a ‘former’ pub garden.
This application is due for decision on May 22nd

Installation of staircase to rear yard – Application number: BH2017/00920
On March 16th an application to replace a window at the back of the pub and add a door and staircase to the yard was submitted. Reasons given for this are to provide an escape in event of emergency and to provide better access to the manager’s accommodation which can currently only be accessed through the front door of the pub. The application20170502_162454 (800x800) states this will have no impact on the amenity of neighbours to the rear of the pub. Neighbouring residents whose homes back on to the pub think it could potentially have a major impact on them. For details of the plans and comments so far see:
The application is due for a decision on May 15th.

Taking the two applications together, some of those who have commented to date suspect the rear yard of the pub, currently used for occasional storage, could be turned into the pubs smoking area/garden. If this is the case, given it is an enclosed area surrounded by walls and adjacent to gardens and windows of residents it could potentially cause significant nuisance problems from light and noise pollution, smoke (cigarette and the pub is know for bbqs) and overlooking.

Immediate neighbours were notified of these applications, but it has only just come to the attention of members of the Drara committee.

This is on the agenda for Drara meeting on May 3rd.

To comment on these applications follow the links above.

For anyone on Facebook – Join the ‘Save The Signalman Garden’ group.

London Road LAT 11th April

Communal bins – with Tracey Phipps BHCC bin mastermind, drug dealing, an HMO update and licensing for Stavros Greek kebab establishment are among the hot topics for discussion at this months’ London Road LAT – well worth taking an hour or so away from the telly for.

The meeting is on Tuesday April 11th, 6.30, Calvary Church, Viaduct Road. Anyone from the neighbourhood welcome to hear about area developments and contribute.

See LAT website for details.

Next LAT on May 4th will focus on air pollution.

Free housing law clinic at Sussex University

The University of Sussex has launched a free legal clinic to give local people expert housing advice.

Residents can contact Sussex Law School and receive legal support at no cost on a wide range of housing issues including evictions/possession, disrepair, anti-social behaviour/neighbourhood nuisance, landlord harassment, tenancy deposit and leasehold disputes.

The housing clinics, held on the University’s campus, are intended to benefit both the clients, who have no other means of paying for legal advice, and the students, who are learning about the real and practical applications of their studies.

The legal advice is provided by Sussex Law School students in partnership with solicitors with expertise in housing law issues.

This is part of the University’s Sussex Clinical Legal Education (SCLE), which has been helping people with family law and employment law advice over the last 12 months.

The clinics are in addition to two projects, announced last October, which saw the Law School team up with the Brighton Housing Trust and Justlife Brighton to establish two advice projects. The first gives students the opportunity to assist the public with legal, administrative and research tasks, including County Court visits and clerking.

The second project raises awareness of legal rights among people living in temporary accommodation. It involves students attending a drop-in service run by Justlife, and talking to service-users about legal problems they may be experiencing in areas such as housing, welfare benefits and community care.

The Law School has helped dozens of people with family and employment legal issues since it started almost a year ago, with the weekly sessions fully booked.

Appointments for the housing law clinic can be arranged online or by emailing housinglawclinic@sussex.ac.uk.

People can also call 01273 876797 and leave a brief message outlining their situation, plus a name and contact number. A student will then call back to arrange an appointment.

Local people can also make an appointment with the family law and employment law clinics by emailing lawclinic@sussex.ac.uk or calling the hotline on 01273 876797.