LAT Open meeting November 15th – “History of London Road” #Brighton

Each year we hold a meeting showcasing one aspect of London Road or another. A few years ago we highlighted all the positive improvements that were in the offing – like the Level, the redevelopment of the former Co-op, Providence Place gardens etc.  All of these are now in place.


This year we looked at the history of London Road with Dr Geoffrey Mead.

Our speaker writes: London Road has undergone rapid change recently. It used to be a family shopping street until the late 1980s, then it spiralled down to become a rather seedy area by the Millennium, but now is on the upturn! The Open Market, The Barrows, New England Quarter, The Level, all testify to this. We also have a range of individual shops and ethnic outlets blossoming in London Rd itself. This talk looks at some of the historic background to the area and the resurgence of these last few years.


Geoffrey Mead pointing out detail on a presentation slide

The eminent popular local historian took us on an illustrated virtual tour of London Road. He started by referring to very old maps which showed the Anglo-Saxon field system of Brighton. Even today our streetscape matches these ancient angular boundaries – e.g. Baker Street, Oxford Street, North Laine.

7-8 London Road 1912

7-8 London Road 1912

He showed us how the beautiful front gardens of fashionable residences were encroached on by street-widening for trams. Older buildings which protruded were knocked back when the trams needed more space to turn a corner – hence the newer (Victorian) buildings on corners, such as the Hobgoblin, and Presuming Ed.

He also charted the rise and fall and rise of Marks and Spencer’s and Sainsburys and the Open Market in their different incarnations along London Road.

Thanks to all who attended, and thanks to Geoffrey Mead for a fascinating presentation.




A new “myth” for London Road #Brighton – a stone circle

Five student members of “The Brighton School” have created a new “myth” for London Road in the form of a mysterious stone circle.

The 40 stones have been implanted in the London Road area in various places many of which are visible to curious passers-by.

The stones were orginally unused stone slabs adjacent to St Peter’s church, near the taxi rank. They were about to be thrown away – but have now been reused for this new idea.

Where stones have been re-sited on private land the landowner is under no obligation to display the stones, or to keep them permanently – but we hope that many of the them will endure to form a long-term and intriguing monument.

Perhaps not as long-lasting as stone henge though.

It’s a bit different to the usual public art!


The students sent out an explanation to all the people whose land would be involved, see below:



The project was Funded partly by European money – via Recreate by INTERREG, the European Regional Development Fund plus Section 106 money from local development.

More details at or

Study Group development plans – near #Brighton station – on display 3,4 June

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


Wetherspoons planning application was refused 22nd May 2015

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
Decision: REFUSED
Applicant: J D Wetherspoon PLC
The Wethercentre
Reeds Crescent
WD24 4QL
Agent: K D Paine & Associates Ltd
Adur Business Centre
Shoreham by Sea
West Sussex
BN43 5EG

Planning criteria for London Road – reference to Wetherspoons application

Here, for reference, is the planning document regarding London Road – especially in regard to changing Class A1 to Class A2, A3 … presumably it applies to a change to A4 (Pub).

SR5 Town and district shopping centres
With the aim of maintaining and enhancing the defined prime
frontages of:
-t he Town Centres of London Road and Hove; and
-thr 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
are met:
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.

If you would like to read the full document is has been uploaded here – the Adopted Local Plan – Chapter 6. The quotation is from SR5 on page 172 = page 9 of this chapter