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Signalman flats application withdrawn – steps application still stands

With the number of objections nearing 200 – some coming from Seagulls fans and as far away as Worthing, the agents have withdrawn the planning application to build flats on The Signalman garden.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.

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.

Update on old railway allotments development

20170310_130720 (640x640)
Old railway allotment site

The development of land at the old railway allotments continues to cause consternation among residents – with concerns about:

  • breach of s.106 agreement, which sets a planning condition that no slow worms should be harmed
  • breach of the wall adjacent the footpath for site access – which is not part of the development site
  • safety of users of the station and using the bridge for access between Springfield Road and Ditchling Rise

The matter was discused in detail at our Drara meeting this week.

Following reperesentations from the community on both sides of the tracks, a slow worm survey is now underway to check for any remaining reptiles – who may have survived excavations to date. Residents affiliated to Drara and Srara are busy researching issues around the development to ensure any work going forward is legal, safe and has minimal additional impact on our local environment.

HMO focus for London Road LAT

 

The next London Road LAT meeting is 18:15 for 18:30 at Calvary Church hall, Viaduct Road.

The focus of this months’ meeting is HMOs – Houses in Multiple Occupation. Shared rented houses are an essential part of the housing mix and our neighbourhood has a high density of them. Cllr Tracey Hill, who has been working exensively on co-ordinating community and Council responses to the issue of HMO’s, will be speaking at the meeting.

More on the London Road LAT website.

Old Railway Allotment Clearance & Petition to save London Road Station Slow worms

railway-land-elegy-300x300At the January Drara meeting residents expressed concern at the clearance of former Old Railway allotments – the stretch of land sandwiched between the Open House pub and London Road Station. Despite numerous attempts over several decades by local groups to have the area designated as a park and wildlife area, planning permission was granted in 2009, for the development of four two bedroom houses, when BHCCs refusal was overturned by the Planning Inspector.

Many residents were surprised to see the sudden clearance of vegetation in December, as the site has for years provided a green screen, and is home to wildlife.  While this isn’t strictly in the Drara area, it is very visible to us, and the issue has been looked into in more detail by our neighbouring resident group, Southdown Rise at their January meeting.

It appears that planning conditions may well have been breached, as orignal wildlife surveys found slow worms on the site. Planning conditions state that the prior to development a survey must be under taken and any slow worms rehomed. While a survey was undertaken, this was done at a time when slow worms are hibernating. The issue has been raised with local councillors Leo Littman and Julie Cattell, and our MP Caroline Lucas who have all made enquiries as to what’s going on. In the meantime, a petition has been set up by Clare Tyler to save the slow worms – for anyone concerned to sign.

To see the land in its former glory see The Roundhill Society

Full planning application: BH2012/03286