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

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.