Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Blue Plaque for Ken Fines

A plaque was 'unveiled' in North Road this morning to commemorate Hove-born Ken Fines who in 1970 was appointed 'Director of the Greater Brighton Structure Plan'. This, occurring after his 20 years experience with the East Sussex Planning Dept., made him the right man at the right time to save the North Laine from the 1960's mania for redevelopment. He was introduced as 'Our Hero' at a talk he gave to the North Laine Community Association in 2003. 

The City Mayor Brian Fitch 
The Mayor & Mayoress with members of Ken Fines family
The plaque over 'Infinity Foods'
'From Stone-age Whitehawk to Millenium City'. Published 2002

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Arts Council grant for Dome complex

F - Corn Exchange
M - Studio Theatre
V - Site of new Viewing Gallery

Arts Council England has pledged £5.8m towards a refurbishment of the Grade I Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and a major renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre. This complements previous major works completed in 2002.

It will enable Brighton Dome’s three venues – the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre - to improve their sustainability, working conditions and facilities, whilst also encouraging new audiences, supporting artist development and enabling the organisation to realise its vision to be one of Europe’s leading arts festivals and a year-round destination for artists and audiences.

The main construction proposals include:

  • Major improvements to the Studio Theatre including a ground floor bar/cafĂ© opening on to New Road.
  • Creation of a magnificent new Corn Exchange viewing gallery (V) and audience circulation space.
  • Transformation of the Corn Exchange with new seating and more efficient infrastructure
  • A dedicated creation space.
  • Provision for additional offices, back of house accommodation, storage, WCs, catering
  • A service tunnel linking the Dome, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.

These plans form the first phase of a larger and longer term ambition to reconnect the historic buildings and landscape of the Royal Pavilion Estate to create a world class destination for heritage, culture and the performing arts influenced by the unique spirit of Brighton.

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival received a development grant (of £199k) from Arts Council England (ACE) in January 2012 which allowed the exploration of concepts and plans for capital development to secure long-term sustainability. The overall fundraising strategy for the project seeks to secure funding not only from Arts Council England but also a phased application process to the Heritage Lottery Fund and a wide range of Trusts & Foundations and individual donations.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Aquarium Terraces development

Area of development
Cylindrical building 'A'
Planning application BH2014/02654 proposes some fairly drastic alterations to the first floor level of the Aquarium terraces over the Sea-Life Centre.The top floor of building A would be demolished and replaced with a much larger building on two floors housing 3 restaurants and, at the east end, a private members' club.

Each unit has its own sun terrace, the club's with a plunge pool with changing facilities under. The south elevations are fully glazed but the north elevation presents a mainly stone-clad elevation to Marine Parade, meaning that for a distance of about 65 yards views of the sea and Pier will be denied to the pedestrian in Marine parade.

On the plus side however the existing unattractive roofs will be abolished.

The work will include restoration of the existing stone work, paving and the 1920's pavilion at the west end of the site. The oval glass building 'B' will be removed, so enhancing the setting of the pavilion.

Building 'B'

Monday, 20 October 2014

Fencing for Patcham Place

An application SDNP/14/03236/FUL to the South Downs National Park Authority to fence the immediate surroundings of Patcham Place has been approved. The green line in the map above indicates the line of the fencing which will be made of mild steel in a traditional estate style. Traditionally wrought iron would have been used but this is no longer commercially available.

There is no evidence that Patcham Place was ever provided with gates but the proposed design is borrowed from existing 18thC examples and is typical of that which would have been used by the provincial gentry. They will be hung from piers of Portland stone with inset panels of knapped flint.

The installation of fencing has been prompted by:- 
  • uncontrolled vehicle parking by third parties whether commuters or users of the adjacent public park and sports pitches.
  • the lack of any perimeter control at night and hence the ability of vehicles to gain free access to the immediate vicinity of the building. 
  • recurrent problems of lead thefts from the roof and the resultant costs and potential for serious damage to the fabric of the listed building. 
Previous post: Patcham Place proposals.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


'Jigsaw" was a 1962, British film based on the novel "Sleep Long,- My Love" by Hillary Waugh. It was directed by Val Guest and starred Jack Warner and Ronald Lewis as two Brighton detectives investigating the murder of a woman at Saltdean. The plot involves them methodically following up leads and clues, mostly in Brighton and Hove, which results in many fascinating glimpses of the 1960s local townscapes. It is also a taut, well-paced detective thriller typical of British films of that period. 
Copies up to now have been rare and fetched high-prices. But it is now being officially re-issued on DVD. It will be available at the beginning of December and can be pre-ordered from Amazon. Why not take a trip down memory lane?