Notes of London Road LAT meeting Tuesday 14 July 2020 18:30

London Road LAT meeting Tuesday 14 July 2020 18:30

Hosted via Council Zoom account

  • Welcome and introductions

Philip Wells (Chair, Shaftesbury Rd and Calvary Church), Lucy Dunleavy (Vice-chair, Stanley Rd), Judi & Peter Lynn (Providence Place), Sarah Lewis (Warleigh Rd and also Brighton and Hove News) , Simon Bannister (Council Officer), Cllr Pete West, Philip Taylor (Winchester St), Madhavi Lata (London Rd resident), Bridget Hicks (future resident, from Chichester), Sandy Crowhurst (NLCA and holds brief for planning and licensing), Sharon (PCSO – by phone), Catherine Clement (Stanley Rd, took minutes) [13 present]

All attendees introduced themselves and Philip asked them to say whether they came to the meeting with particular issues.

  • Apologies – Caroline Lucas, Corinne, (usual note-taker), Andy Keeffe.
  • Minutes of last meeting – now on website but had been delayed, to be left up, no objections unless received later. Next meeting 8 September (no meeting in August) but we may have a presentation about a planning application before then (see below).
  • Items:
  1. Policing update

Sharon PCSO not present at this point, she had said she would find out about police representations re off-licence application – also about drinking problems London Rd – but no response.

Sharon phoned in later: policing on Level, had asked Inspector for update but no info until another meeting to be held next week. She knows that more plain-clothes operations down there. This is an inter-agency meeting, higher level, Sharon can’t attend.

Simon Bannister said he would normally attend although he doesn’t know about this one. Philip mentioned that Maureen Winder – (Level Communities Forum) would like info about this.

Pete mentioned more generally about open spaces across city, ASB, beach, parks inc Level – Covid has exacerbated problems, calling on Council for joined-up approach, also some local businesses seeding problems eg take-aways, litter etc. Depending on weather we may have many trippers due to lack of foreign travel, not getting it together to organise staycation.

Judi asked about Valley Gardens, looking fantastic – but litter already piling up inside fencing etc – new furniture has arrived – what is in place, envisaged – to deal with planting, litter, damage – who is responsible for this? Sharon said this is a Council issue, not Police. Pete said that he isn’t looking forward to the wraps coming off – it will be horrible to watch. Philip reminded that the Gardens aren’t in our LAT area. Sharon said the Police would take responsibility if they witness incidents

1b. Off-licence (new Coop) – police have put in objection due to no of premises in area. Other objections need to be in by 16 july – make reasons clear. Sandy expressed the view that this isn’t in effect an additional off-licence as it is replacing the previous Coop which closed. However technically billed as a new licence (different building). (See item 3 below)

What about drinking in London Rd? – Sharon said this is not captured per se, just per incident – but better since lockdown although begging has come back up more recently. Simon wondered whether demise of Coop had contributed to lessening of problem (was easy to shop-lift) – Sharon agreed, also due to encampments going.

Sandy asked about graffiti arrests – yes, colleagues have – recent case didn’t get to case, not enough evidence but will keep on trying – recommends video in action, with tag if poss

  1. Planning Issues
    1. Any news of Longley Estate progress? Big development – has Judi picked up anything about this? hasn’t received anything new but will check with Derek Wright – re Valley Gardens. Longley Estate is long-term rental properties.
  1. a planning application has been lodged for 5 to 8 London Road 
    Philip has contacted developer and asked for updates, and asked whether they could attend meeting/give presentation/Q&A – currently Poundland, Iceland and Peacocks – will be 160-bed student accommodation. Judi objected based on appearance, Peter said the proposed layout might help deal with ASB in area, issues will come from no. of students, must provision of bike storage, section 106 money?. Lucy thought they might be post-grad age, if so quieter. Sandy commented on the cumulative number of other student developments – online exhibition held on 6 July (she couldn’t connect) – will find out more detail when application registered. Judi asked re alarming figures about Council funding following Covid deficit – is Section 106 money ring-fenced or could it be used for other things. Pete said there might be negatives about this but it can’t automatically be diverted in case of need. Sarah mentioned impact of Covid on city education economy – students may not be back in near future so this will be another impact. Pete mentioned that Brexit will also have an impact, although we can’t know yet. Perhaps planned student accommodation could be re-purposed for local accommodation. Philip worried that the quality of accommodation made for students might not be suitable for families, professionals. Asked for show of hands in favour of presentation in near future – agreed. *Action Point – Philip to follow-up
  2. Licensing
    1. – an application has been lodged for an Off-Licence 65-67 London Road, – the licensing matrix for London Road recommends “no” to all new off-licence application  RE: 1445/3/2020/02038/LAPREN – Licensing Application Co-op London Road Brighton (previously Maplin premises). Philip had contacted the applicant to ask whether there were any other factors which ought to be taken into account – no reply.

Judi expressed strong views about alcohol-related problems which she experiences as a resident of Providence Place

Madhavi wanted to address this – strongly objects, along with many other residents, has written to Lizzie who forwarded to Pete – referred to ASB on London Rd, noise, urination, drinking. Referred to statistics which say that this area (SPNL) has one of the worst records for alcohol related problems – see link to Council website, Simon will send. Sandy said it is important to get residents to go to hearing, should help. Locals will receive notification of hearing.

Philip said that our standard policy has been that licensing matrix be rigorously applied. Agreed by the meeting. Will write to this effect. Sandy advised him to include stats, which he will.

[after-meeting note: the decision of the licensing panel is here]

4. Ongoing items – as appropriate

  1. Open Market – how can we support? – no-one representing Market present – no new issues raised at meeting
  1. Level (via Roz and Maureen) – neither is present
  1. Cycling – Philip said he’d missed the opp to write in about this – he will write now anyway, stressing importance of making cycling in the area safer. Pete mentioned cycle route Argyle Rd northwards a problem due to trees which can’t be removed. Emergency Covid-funding provisions allow new cycle lanes, new two-way lane from Argyle Rd to Dyke Rd Drive, short stretch but on road rather than on pavement – next stage to bring cycle lane south to Preston Circus, will be important for London Rd area. Simon said consultation on council website now, see this until October, add thoughts.
  1. Francis Street – lady from this street had not contacted Simon – some effort by Highways officers to make safer, rat-running a big issue, he has chased – the world has moved on in three years, we could now think about prioritising pedestrians, cycles over cars. A deputation had been made to ETS (Environment Transport and Sustainability) committee.
  1. AOB – please flag up before the meeting. – Sarah Lewis mentioned plant-swapping, London Rd Stn community garden – thinking about finding another communal space, maybe at Greenway – herb garden eg – Pete suggested Roundhill area – nearer than Greenway. Philip suggested planters by ramp in front of Calvary Church.

Meeting ended 19.50