Equinox our good friends and partners in making London Road a better place have got an update on their website:
1. Welcome and Introductions
– some visitors have asked to tell us about local projects
2. Policing and Licensing
– we hope to welcome Inspector Brian McCarthy to discuss how we can mitigate the problems caused by funding cuts
3. Planning Issues
– the planning application by Wetherspoons was refused
– a planning application is being considered by “Study Group” see their newsletter. They invite us to a viewing June 3rd & 4th between 1600 and 1900
– what other developments have been happenning?
4. Updates and matters arising
a. Viaduct Road – Highways Officers will be present next time, all being well
b. Ann Street/Oxford Street junction – road works problems
c. VisitLondonRoad – Town Team
d. London Road Business Association
e. Ditchling Rise Residents Association
f. Francis Street
g. the Level
h. any other business?
We have received the following invitation from Bellerby’s College (very near Jury’s Inn)
We are actually holding the public exhibition the week after you suggested we meet, and we would very much like you and members of LAT to come along.
As you know, Study Group has been working with development partner, Gilltown, and Aros Architects to bring forward proposals for a new building, for Bellerbys College, at the junction of Blackman Street and Station Road with Cheapside, to allow for their expansion in Brighton.
The exhibition will be held at Bellerbys College, Billinton Way, Brighton, BN1 4L, between 4pm and 7pm on Wednesday 3rd June and Thursday 4th June. I have enclosed a copy of the newsletter, which is being distributed to local households and businesses – please feel free to pass this on to any members/neighbours you think would be interested
The exhibition will give you an opportunity to view and comment on the proposals prior to the submission of a planning application to Brighton City Council; we hope to involve the community throughout the process, in particular local stakeholders, businesses and our close neighbours
The details can be seen on the council website – the first paragraphs of which are cut and pasted below
Application number: BH2015/00676
To view additional details or documents or to make online representations/comments, please click the appropriate tab below (registered applications only).
Guide to measuring/scaling from plans
This application is subject to conditions or refusal reasons.
|Address:||94-103 London Road Brighton|
|Description:||Change of use of unit from retail (A1) to public house (A4).|
|Application type:||full planning|
|Development type:||change of use|
|Received date:||26 February 2015|
|Valid date:||30 March 2015|
|Registered date:||9 April 2015|
|Ward:||St. Peters And North Lane|
|Decision date:||22 May 2015|
|Applicant:||J D Wetherspoon PLC
|Agent:||K D Paine & Associates Ltd
Adur Business Centre
Shoreham by Sea
Mike Slagter of Council Private Sector Housing department also advises us that:
One thing I forgot to mention when I was there is that following a Housing Committee decision in January we now have the full HMO licence register up online on the council’s website. This enables anybody or any organisation who has concerns about a particular property to look up who the licence holder is (and the manager, if any) so they can raise issues directly if they want to.
The relevant webpage is here.
At the LAT 5th May we were pleased to welcome Mike Slagter from the Private Sector Housing department who spoke to us about the role his department could play in lifting the performance of Viaduct Road.
His department deals with licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), and setting good standards for this type of accommodation. More than half the properties on Viaduct Road are HMOs.
Here are some of the questions we asked, and the answers that he gave.
- please could you point us in the direction of general info about HMOs
If you have not seen it already, the relevant page of the council’s website is http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/housing/general-housing/licensing-houses-multiple-occupation-hmos, from which there are links to further information including a list of frequently asked questions, a list of licensed HMOs and, via the FAQ page, the council’s standards that apply. Not all HMOs have to be licensed but regulatory requirements apply to them all to some extent in terms of how they are managed, with more comprehensive requirements relating to licensed HMOs.
2. please tell us whether there are specific conditions regarding Viaduct Road
There are no HMO conditions which are Viaduct Road specific as such but, as it is in St Peter’s & North Laine ward, it is in one of the five wards of the city where all HMOs of two or more storeys with three or more occupiers must be licensed (as opposed to three or more storeys with five or more occupiers, which applies in the remaining wards). There are also additional planning controls in these same five wards, administered by the Planning team, relating to creation of new HMOs http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1263354.
3. tell us what are the conditions regarding wheely bins/recycling boxes (e.g. not being left out on the street permanently)
There are several requirements under HMO licensing in terms of control of refuse within the property, including any front yard or garden. While we would be able to apply some pressure in licensed HMOs in respect of bins and recycling boxes left outside the property I think that issue would generally fall to be considered by the Highways team in terms of extent of highway obstruction. If particular properties are causing persistent problems this report form might help http://ww3.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1149864&node=21691.
4. what are the conditions regarding rubbish left long term in the front of the property
Under HMO licensing conditions, no rubbish should be left long term in the front of any licensed HMO.
5…. rubbish left in large quantities at the end of the letting period
Again in respect of licensed HMOs, while having to bear in mind to some extent the practicalities and extent of any problems, we would expect licence holders to arrange for the removal of such rubbish without unreasonable delay.
6. how the enforcement process operates when the terms are not complied with
We investigate complaints received relating to licensed HMOs, including those received from neighbouring residents concerning, for instance, accumulations of rubbish. We also investigate any properties reported to us that should be licensed but where no licence application has been made. We can also become involved in the condition of any privately rented property, though only to the extent that any problems might impact on the safety of its occupiers or visitors. We cannot, for example, become involved purely on grounds of visual appearance, though the council’s Planning team has some powers in this respect, as mentioned here http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/planning/planning-enforcement. When terms we are responsible for are not complied with we have to consider each case on its individual merits in accordance with government enforcement guidance. Again in accordance with this guidance, we generally take any issues up with the landlord or agent initially to try and resolve them informally. If this is unsuccessful and/or if we become aware of persistent offenders a number of possibilities arise depending on the particular legislation that applies. In some cases we might be able to issue formal requirements which if not complied with give rise to a criminal offence. In other cases failure to comply with terms can constitute an offence straight away and serious breaches, especially if persistent, are likely to result in prosecution.
…. Please let us know via this PSH mailbox and/or via my direct address email@example.com. In the meantime if there are any particular HMOs that are causing persistent problems, please let us know via this mailbox or by phone on 01273 293156 (Monday to Friday during office hours) and one of our environmental health or technical officers will investigate.
As promised at the last LAT meeting – here is a copy of the submission made to the Planning Committee on 24/4/15.
Reference: Application number: BH2015/00676
Address: 94-103 London Road Brighton
Description: Change of use of unit from retail (A1) to public house (A4)
I am writing on behalf of London Road Area Local Action Team (LAT) following the meeting of 14th April 2015 18.15 at Calvary Church, Brighton, BN1 4ND.
I am chair of the LAT and was mandated unanimously to send in our objection to this planning application.
We object on the grounds that:
(a) the agreed undertaking for the redevelopment of the Co-op was for the space to be A1 – retail. To change this retrospectively would be to betray the sensitive and carefully weighed planning discussions regarding the former Co-op, an important space on London Road
(b) We wish to maintain the balance of retail and entertainment/ leisure facilities as it currently is. The planning policy referenced below SR5 (a) makes mention of a “clear predominance of A1 use would be maintained”.
To re-classify such a significant space would be in contradiction to this policy. We note it does not say a “narrow predominance” but a “clear predominance”.
(c) The size of the frontage appears to be prima facie in contravention of planning policy reference below SR5 (b) in that it would cause a “significant break in the shopping frontage of more than 15m”. It is to be noted that a smaller break contiguous with this exists already in that the Gym next door already produces a break in *shopping* frontage of a few metres.
London Road has enjoyed a regeneration in the past few years – one thing that has contributed powerfully to this has been a strong focus on alcohol and its outlets. As recently as summer 2013 we were involved in successfully calling for the removal of an alcohol licence in nearby York Place. Alcohol is a very sensitive issue in this area – hence it being designated a Special Stress Area. We are concerned lest London Road should revert to an alcohol-led economy like West Street. To allow the change requested in this planning application would be to set a precedent, and tip the balance – and a very large tip at that (659 square metres)
As we have considered the subject of Wetherspoons on London Road we have invited them beginning 9.1.15, and again on 1.4.15 (see appendix 2 below, for reference) to co-ordinate with the local community and put their point of view, so as to reach a mutual understanding. Unfortunately to date no representative has yet undertaken to come and speak. It is a pity that they were unable to do so given that the planning application has a 21 day response period and they neither notified us of their intention, nor consulted with us during the process, nor left us time for such a consultation.
The minutes of the LAT meeting 14.4. will show a careful and wide-ranging discussion including some opinions which are not germane to this planning objection. However we believe that the points stated above amply make a reasoned and demonstrable case.
Planning Committee members will be aware that London Road Area LAT has been active since late 2008 and enjoys a good reputation with the locality and the various agencies. We take an active and responsible role in the regeneration and care for the London Road Area: www.londonroadlat.wordpress.com
London Road Area LAT Chair
24th April 2015
Appendix: Planning Document quoted from: (accessed 24/4/15)
SR5 Town and district shopping centres
With the aim of maintaining and enhancing the defined prime
– the Town Centres of London Road and Hove; and
– District Centres of St James Street, Lewes Road, Brighton Marina
and Boundary Road / Station Road;
the change of use of existing Class A1 use shops to Class A2, A3 (cafes
and restaurants), will be permitted provided all of the following criteria
a. a clear predominance of Class A1 uses would be maintained;
b. as a result of the proposal there would not be a significant break
in the shopping frontage of more than 15 metres;
c. it would have a positive effect on the shopping environment of the
area by encouraging combined trips and attracting pedestrian
activity to the centre; and
d. the development would not be materially detrimental to the
amenities of occupiers of nearby properties or the general character
of the area
Appendix 2: emails cited above:
I refer to your email below.
My colleague Nigel Conner who is our Head of Legal will be picking this up and in touch regarding our plans for London Road.
Nigel is on annual leave until 20 April but will be contact on his return.
James Marsden MRICS
Senior Acquisitions & Estates Manager
JD Wetherspoon PLC
T – 01923 477 859
M – 07976 002 346
E – firstname.lastname@example.org
JD Wetherspoon PLC | Wetherspoon House | Central Park | Reeds Crescent | Watford | Hertfordshire | WD24 4QL
From: Philip Wells <email@example.com>
Date: 8 April 2015 17:24:11 GMT+1
To: John Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: <email@example.com>, C Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Ian.Davey@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk” <Ian.Davey@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk>
Subject: Re: Brighton, London Road site – Wetherspoons??
Dear Mr Chapman,
We are just about to prepare the agenda for London Road LAT meeting – Brighton April 14th meeting (18.15 for 18.30 at Calvary Church 72 Viaduct Road, BN1 4ND)
I was wondering whether we were to expect a representative from J.D.Wetherspoons at this particular meeting?
On 01/04/15 17:48, Philip Wells wrote:
Dear Mr Chapman,
I just thought I would make contact again regarding the possibility of J.D.Wetherspoon branch opening in London Road Brighton.
I wanted again to repeat the invitation for you to come and talk with the London Road Area Local Action Team (LAT) about the proposed development, which I understood you were in favour of doing.
As you know the alcohol environment in London Road has been a matter of sustained concern for the last 8 or more years and the community would welcome the opportunity for concerns to be heard by yourselves, and vice versa.
The matter is of some sensitivity and the local press has already been partially quoting LAT discussions in order to boost controversy, and the planning application on the Council website has been noted and tweeted.
I am sure the way forward is by good personal communications.
The next meetings are 14th April, 5th May, 2nd June, all 18.15 for 18.30 at Calvary Church, Viaduct Road.