notes from 11th June 2019

Minutes of the London Road LAT meeting 11th June 2019 18:30- 20:00pm

Welcome, apologies and introductions


Mike and Tony- holiday

Sandy Crowhurst- another meeting

Kirsty Munroe-

Pete West

Andy Winter

Claire Calder

Jean Calder



  • Vanessa Lawrence (resident of Lorne Road) had her car broken into and window smashed and I-pod was stolen it took 3 hours to get though to the police.
    Not unseen. White van outside station. There have been 2 separate incidents both on Saturday 8th June
    • The Air Bnb situation is getting worse and is reaching an un safe point.
  • Tom hicks- Field Officer
  • Brett Stacey- Field Officer
  • David Statham- Fire Station. There have been two separate incidents they have had his car broken into. At the same time there was a drug deal going on. The incident happened on Sunday night 9th June. It was reported to the front desk of the police at St John’s Street
    • The fire station is getting a CCTV camera installed and a sign up the side of the Duke of York’s. The camera will cover all the vehicles along the side of road by the Duke of York’s
    • The police will also up their patrols. These actions will not stop these incidents from happening but it will be made more difficult.
    • There is a issue with GDPR if the CCTV is put up this needs to be looked into and checked, as the road is a residential street.
  • Jo Child and Michael Greedy from the Clever Green Festival, happening on the 20th July, from 11am-8pm. Its an free all day family festival. Promoting sustainable living, promoting 0 waste. Eco-friendly, there will be a Well-Being area, Kat Fletcher is the guest speaker, and a good line up of speakers. The mayor will launch the event.
  • They have 10 license, 3 bars and a main stage, the maximum number of people permitted in each bar are 499 people in each bar and main stage, there is a bar there but not a major pull, not like October fest. There is food and tea 8 catering and vegan. Wellbeing, acoustic tent etc.
  • They have spoken to the Level community forum people
  • Kristina (Equinox): Update on the drug dealing around the area. They can identity which people are rough sleepers they can have a look at any CCTV or images to help the police identify these people.
  • If there is an issue they will always come out.
  • They need people to let them know when things happen, as quite small team 2.5 people.
  • The issue on Lorne road is a bit random in terms of drugs, residents don’t know what the process is for tackling it and it’s beginning to get unsafe.
  • A question was asked: Are you aware drugs are happening from licensed taxis, could be linked to county lines? The name for this is Cuckooing, and it could be connected. This issue is quite a new. All taxis have numbers and should be called into the police with time, place, and vehicle number and could report it to Lizzie Dean, as she is on the licensing team.
  • Councilor Lizzie Dean: There is a number to call if residents see crime in action, which is 999, or crime stoppers anonymously, they will do random checks.
  • We have no contact with the PCSO’s for the LAT. this is a contention with the police. This is a backward step. Councilors do keep pressurizing them for both issues and through the cabs service.

Minutes of last meeting
Minutes agreed. Date of next meeting 9th July 2019

Policing and Licensing

 “Cat killer” – update (see Argus report of arrest) Dan Hills reply as follows:

The police have a name for this case which is “Operation diverge”. They can’t comment. The police are hopeful on a result on this, risk of harming the case or prosecution, something is happening but not in details

Airbnb in Stanley Road – Email reply from Inspector Dan Hills below:

The police could not comment on the child and safeguarding but it has been followed up, the police response is not good

  1. Could we invite the police out again to ask them what the situation is? Community safety officer has been really good.
  2. There are general issues with Airbnb.
  3. There are parking issues and everyone goes mad, to rent it out every night, there are better places for this to happen, its happening on an industrial scale.
    HMO licenses are good for these, should have people apply for these licenses, there is not law for the type of houses Airbnb’s fall into in terms of licenses.
  4. Residents can write to Pete West, Sue Shanks or Lizzie Dean and they will be able take it up, and with details on who runs the houses.
    Residents have contacted Caroline Lucas, community and noise, but were told it has to be the immediate neighbors. Community safety did respond
    Residents should have had a response to any complaints within 24 hours when you go though any of the field officers numbers.
  5. Party houses that are serving drinks, that would not fall under licensing. Need to let Lizzie Dean know the address of the house and she will follow it up. Action Point: Lizzie Dean to follow up with Pete West regarding the Airbnb.
  6. A suggestion was made about finding someone in the council that deals with public nuisance (ASBO) as it is defiantly in law. Could they come and talk to the LAT.
    • Action Point: Philip to ask Daniel Hills what the process and the wording he uses for the recording of 101 and put it on the website.

Residents still need to log and still continue to send in any problems into through 101, as they need to have the statics to be able to deploy the officers. When sending any issues in the address needs to be in the email line

  • There will be new police officers in the team in the near future.
  • Katy Bourne is coming to Brighton in July.

from KM – Licensing at 67 Ditchling Road – Karaoke Bar

  • Below is the email trail from resident of the Barrows about a Karaoke Bar on Ditchling Road near the Level.
  • Lizzie Dean is aware of the issue and has forwarded onto the Licensing team. There has been several letters that have gone to Environmental health and Noise Control has followed this up.
  • The hearing is on 14th July, there are objections to it, and all has been followed up at panel.
  • Action point: Lizzie Dean to forward letter of objections to Philip Wells who will add any comments the LAT has on this issue.

On 26 May 2019 12:31, KM wrote:

Hi Philip,

That is a coincidence that you have written to me this weekend as it prompted me to check whether the karaoke bar have put in a licence application yet as they had intended to, and it turns out that they did on Friday….eekkk! This time they want to change name AGAIN to No. 1 Restaurant (even though they are not going to be a restaurant).

They want to have the karaoke bar open next to my flat until 3am on saturdays and 00:30 on all other days….

Looking at the licence application it says there will be consultation with the police and fire brigade, but not with environmental health or local residents – which I think is strange considering the premises has been served a noise abatement notice….

I’m going to get in touch with the officers at the environmental health (my contact there is Edward Bulger) and also the licensing team (my contact there is Donna Lynsdale) to see what information they can give me and will see whether there are any other local residents who would be willing to team up with me to resist this application being granted. I might also contact the local councillors. I know this ‘restaurant’ has been a problem for immigration police as a home office van turned up and raided them a couple of years ago….and they have already had their original licence revoked for selling alcohol on the premises when they were only supposed to be selling alcohol to be consumed off site with a substantial food portion….

We are in Lewes at the moment but I still own the flat and currently am due to move back in there from September when my lodger moves out, unless I can make alternative arrangements to live elsewhere. I have been considering selling the flat but now worry that this license being granted could make that difficult and could possibly devalue my property…. :=(

I’ll contact my housing association too as they won’t be happy about a karaoke bar being set up next to their block of flats.

On 27/02/2019 12:16, Kirsty Munro wrote:

Hi Philip,

Hope you are well and enjoyed your trip.

Just wanted to highlight an upcoming licence application for a karaoke bar at the Utopia Restaurant at 67 Ditchling Road for the LAT to be aware of.

Over the last few years we have been persistently disturbed by this ‘restaurant’. Although it says on their signage that it is a restaurant, it isn’t… it is actually an unlicensed karaoke bar and has been for years. It formerly operated as Sichuan Garden 2 restaurant. When it operated under this name we submitted countless complaints to the noise team about the people living above the restaurant who had all night karaoke parties with amplified guitar every weekend. The owners of the Sichuan Garden 2 restuarant also installed a new fan system without planning permission, which sounds like a hoover and we can hear across all the rooms in our flat – no action was taken by the council despite us completing noise diaries and sending photos and videos of the new fan installation. The restaurant closed for a while last year, then this summer it was extensively refurbished (without planning consent from the council) and now has frosted windows at the front, no restaurant facilities and a karaoke bar at the back and has rebranded and reopened in the autumn as Utopia Restaurant. Since the reopening, we have been subjected to regular all night parties and continued to submit complaints to the environmental health team about the noise from this ‘restaurant’. Finally the licencing team attended the ‘restaurant’ last month who found not only were they not operating a restaurant, they were in fact operating an unlicensed all night karaoke bar with live music with no music licence, they were also selling alcohol all night on the premises which they weren’t licenced for – they were only licenced to sell alcohol with substantial food to be consumed off site until 11pm. The licencing team have since been closed down the restaurant and the environmental health team have issued a noise abatement notice  – which have both been complied too so far (thankfully).

The licencing team called me today to say the karaoke bar have employed a sound engineer to install sound proofing so that they can submit a licence application for a late-night karaoke bar. The licencing team say they will object to this application. The sound engineer (who was previously a sound engineer for the council) wants to enter my property to run sound tests – I am really not comfortable with this as I don’t want to be seen to encourage or agree to the karaoke bar – I am fully against the idea of a karaoke bar on my doorstep – but the licencing team say that even if the licence application is granted the noise abatement notice will still stand, so if we are still disturbed by noise from the karaoke bar, despite any sound proofing they install, I can tell the environmental health team and they will try to shut the karaoke bar down for good. Only issue is, if I don’t agree to the sound engineer entering my property to assist with the sound levels then the karaoke bar can use the argument that they approached me but I refused to work with them.

Do you have any experience of this sort of request and noise licences? As I can’t decide whether I should allow them into my flat for sound tests or not. Not only is the music an issue, but also the fan system, so both of those would need to be corrected.

The licencing team need to know as soon as possible, so that the karaoke bar can submit an application.

I’m going to speak with the chair of our residents association at The Barrows who may be able to advise me what to do as I don’t want my lodger to be disturbed and move out.

Field Officers -Tom Hicks & Brett Stacey

They were set up last summer; there are 7 members on the team. They were set up to help other council departments including noise, out of hour’s noise, alarms, fly tipping and waste. They work with community safety, enforcement, licensing etc. As well as street traders and travel liaison.

They are based in New England House. They are interested in coming to these meetings.

They do not have a direct number they then get cases by the different teams.

Out of hours noise nuisance. There is no remedy for this as no one who will come out. This has now changed, but will contact residents the day after. Party houses will be contacted the next day and threat of what might happen when they and the police get involve.

They are generating a database of house that are causing problems. A log is made with the out of hour’s service when a call is made into the Out of Service. This is a new way of working and has only been running since December. The student houses have been very effective.

The number for the Out of Hours noise service is 01273 293541, at the weekend 9-5pm of a Friday and Monday. The public cannot contact them directly but it will filter to the field officers. The public can also email the following email address Field Offers only really deal with issues if have not come up before, they then take it forward to Environmental Health.

The field officers do not get involved in individual cases of old bikes that are left on lamp posts and street corners but will get a removal service served. It is reported to highways obstructions team, who have a list of old bikes and will get them removed.

Clever Green Festival -see above from Jo

Tree Planting possibilities – info from Maureen Winder of Level Communities Forum

A. There seem to be two potential options for tree fund raising:

1. We could join the Plant your Postcode project (inaugural meeting is 4.00pm 20th June at the Hotel du Vin – Maureen, this may mean you won’t be back from your travels in time). They have some funding, but there is still a need to raise funding. Link to their website below.

2. We need to find out more about the Urban Tree Challenge, a recent government initiative, and if we feel we meet the requirements, make a joint application, hopefully with BHCC support. Website link below

B. Whichever we go for, we need to put together and agree a strong clear coherent statement about why & where trees are needed in our areas of concern AND we need our councillors to actively support any project we decide to pursue. Maureen offered to make a start on this. Initial thoughts included:

1. We suggested that the following streets/areas needed tree planting (both replacements of trees that have been lost and new planting): Upper Lewes Rd, The Level, Lewes Rd south and north of and including the Vogue Gyratory, Richmond Rd (to complete the planting started by BHCC several years ago), Hollingdean Rd, Preston Circus (including A270 up to the railway bridges), Viaduct Rd and Providence Place.

2. [A] proposal should aim to link the Valley garden scheme and the exciting Moulsecoomb project (Maureen, does this have a name/website?)

3. [A] joint supporting statement needs to make a strong case linked to air pollution and the heavy traffic roads through our areas into and out of Brighton. Maureen agreed to research recognized pollution areas that are within our areas.

Thoughts from the meeting [with other community group chairs]

  • There is a nice planter outside the Joker, which looks really nice and the planter outside the Duke of York’s.
  • Trees on Beaconsfield road, could that happen again but there would be objection to this as they would take up some of the parking spaces.
  • The circus could do with some trees.
  • It costs more to get out tree stumps than to get rid of the whole tree.
  • The cost of a tree is in the region of £300-£400. To get rid of the roots it costs highways £4000 and the up keep of these trees.
  • There are bits of money around, everyone needs to make bids for the money, which the government have, responsibility for.
  • The key to this is about raising funds and where residents would like them, this is to be done on a area basis. There is a meeting on this on the 20th June and a representative from DRARA will be there.
  • Action Point: representative will send notes from this meeting round to people who are interested including the LAT.
  • The meeting agreed that it would be a good idea to get this around the Preston Circus area.
  • We need to be realistic with what we want and how it would be looked after.
  • We need to get some input from the London Road Station Partnership, as they are quite experienced. It would also mean getting people to pull together.
  • Planters would be an idea as it stops the digging up of the road and the cost of this.

Ongoing items and updates(if anything to report – some of these are very long-term items)

  • Upkeep in NEQ – nothing

Non-working lift to station – Caroline Lucas reply.

  • Resident has emailed to Caroline Lucas and has got a reply, but not much of an answer, as nothing is moving forward.
  • Could we invite Hyde representative to the next meeting?
    • Action Point: Resident to give Philip email address of contact at Hyde Housing.
  1. Parking in zone J – update and compare notes with DRARA- nothing
  2. Missing bins – SUCCESS!
  3. Abacus House student accommodation – the contract is changing from September 2019- no reply
  4. Longley Estate and section 106 (some details recorded below for reference) – ongoing
  5. Preston Circus – traffic and cycling – ongoing
  6. Vantage Point planning application – no new information.
  7. Oxford Street – medical centre and “Bat and Ball alley”- Simon’s position being deleted. There is also a need community safety.

Action Point: Lizzie Dean to follow up what is being done re Simon Banister’s position.

  1. Any other business – e.g. future publicity efforts