Monday, 23 December 2013

The Circus Street development


Up until the 1930's the area bounded by Carlton Hill to the south, Circus Street to the west, Sussex Street to the north and the now non-existent Carlton Row to the east comprised a warren of mean houses dating from the early 19thC.  They were clustered around insanitary courts and twittens and by the 1930's had been classified as slums, compulsorily purchased by the Council and, apart from the  Circus Street School, demolished. Among the premises lost was a chimney sweeps, a public house, general store, newsagent, and sawdust merchant.

On the cleared site the Municipal Market, later the Fruit & Vegetable Market was erected (see above). A remaining vacant site in the south-east corner became a small NCP car park. The lower part of Carlton Hill was renamed as Kingswood Street. In 2005 the market closed and the building has become increasingly derelict.

Planning Application BH2013/03461 by Cathedral Limited proposes a high density mixed-use development on the site which reproduces something of the original grain of twittens and interconnected courts as shown in the schematic plan below.

It is an appealing idea to refer to the original character of Brighton's townscape. However the buildings proposed for the site are 2 to 6 floors higher than nearby buildings and, seen from the Valley Gardens, will loom unattractively over the elegant houses in Grand Parade and degrade their roofline. The drawing below gives some idea of the extent of the effect. 

Strangely, the site is owned by the Council but the height of the development proposed seems to contravene the Council's own Tall Building policy since this is not a scheduled Tall Buildings (over 6 stories) Area. This may reflect the Council's need to cram the maximum number of housing units on to any available site to satisfy the Government housing policy. Perhaps the blame needs to be laid at the Government's door.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Church Hill, Patcham, Feb.2009
The flint cottages on the left date from the early 19thC. Church Hill was originally known as Spring Street after a watercourse which flowed from the pond outside All Saints Church. At the bottom of the hill this stream  joined the Wellsbourne, which flowed down the London Road valley to Pool Valley and the sea.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)


The BOAT is one of those rare development proposals that seem to attract almost universal support in the City. It was the brainchild of playwright Adrian Bunting who died in May this year and left £18,000 as seed funding. Five of his close friends took up the campaign and Dyke Road Park, Adrian's favoured location, was settled on as the best site. The Council was already consulting publicly on uses for the abandoned bowling green and the Friends of Dyke Road Park were proposing a Community Garden. On hearing about the theatre proposals however, the Friends abandoned their garden plans and threw their weight behind BOAT. The result is the recently filed planning application BH2013/03930. 


Simulated view from the rose garden showing the 'cut & fill' terracing. The horizontal surfaces are laid with astroturf; the vertical surfaces reinforced with wooden sleepers

Friday, 13 December 2013

The York Building

Built in 1884 as the 'York Place Higher Grade School' this is a high quality building by local architects Simpson & Sons built to high specifications in typical Brighton Board School style. It was one of the first Higher grade schools built in the south and provided the direct antecedent of state secondary education.

Viewed from the green behind St. Peter's the York building rises imposingly above the cobble-fronted cottages and is complemented by the castellated gateway in York Place. It is directly adjacent to the North Laine and Valley Garden Conservation Areas and its roofline and upper stories  are an important feature of the historic townscape of the area.

The building lies within the City College site which is the subject of outline planning application BH2013/01600. This application which calls for the demolition of the York Building came before the planning committee on the 11th December with a recommendation to grant from the Council's planning department. The Council officer presenting the application described the York building as of "limited townscape interest". At the end of the debate, by the casting vote of the Chairman, the Committee was minded to grant the application.

Thus does another part of old Brighton seemed doomed to become a heap of wasteful rubble . . . .

The Gateway

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hannington Lane gets go-ahead

The city’s planning committee yesterday approved the plans for the redevelopment of the old Hannington's service yard to provide new retail units, homes, offices and a 26 room hotel. 

One of the area’s gems, the 17th century Puget’s Cottage, hidden for decades behind an electricity sub-station and another building, will also be revealed to public view and preserved as part of the 21st.C new Lane development. 

The plans are also aimed at reducing the area’s carbon footprint as the new buildings will have features such as communal heating systems, solar panels, energy-efficient materials and lighting, rainwater harvesting and recycling facilities.

The new pedestrian shopping lane from Meeting House Lane to Brighton Place will provide 14 new retail or eating outlets, with seven homes above and two floors of office space. Some buildings in Brighton Square will be demolished to create a boutique hotel and a new four storey building to provide retail with three flats above.

Permission was also granted to build an additional storey on buildings in Brighton Square to create seven three-storey town houses. The square will be renovated, with refurbished shop fronts and new planting, including four silver birch trees.

Because of the historic nature of the site, which lies on top of an ancient raised beach, archaeological excavations will take place and be recorded.


Monday, 9 December 2013

A new cross for St. Bartholomews.


For nearly 140 years the stone cross surmounting the south apex of St. Bartholomews has had to withstand everything that the elements can throw at it at a height of 140 feet. So no surprise perhaps that a recent inspection revealed some structural deterioration. Unfortunately repairs in situ were found to be impracticable and a new cross will need to be commissioned. (Dare one suggest fibre-glass?). Following removal of the present cross the vertiginous scaffolding will need to be removed and re-erected when the new cross is ready.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Saltdean Lido CIC to get lease


At its meeting on December 5 the Council's powerful Policy & Resources committee is expected to award a 60-year lease on the Saltdean Lido to the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC).

The Lido has been closed since the Lido’s previous operator handed back the keys in June 2012.  The council has spent around £100k on emergency repairs and maintenance.

An earlier report to the council’s culture committee on September 19 named the CIC as the provisional preferred bidder. Freedom Leisure, who manage other council facilities, were named as a reserve bidder.

The CIC bid promises:

  • Fully restored building sensitive to the Grade 2-star listing
  • Heated pool water to extend the season
  • Fitness gym
  • Cafe
  • Extensive community areas
  • Extended library
  • A heritage and education room
  • Improvements in environmental sustainability

Chair of the committee and council leader Jason Kitcat said:  “Hopefully the CIC eventually taking over would be the breakthrough we’ve awaited for many years.  They are local and highly enthusiastic people who have been asking long and hard for the opportunity to take it over. I really hope they achieve a fully restored Lido which becomes an asset to the community and I continue to offer them the council’s full support towards that goal.“

The report says the multi-million pound restoration will require the CIC to secure a Lottery grant.  Only once funding is secured could the CIC meet the terms of a lease and properly take over.  Until this happens it is likely that the pools will remain closed.

Saltdean Lido CIC was selected following an open marketing exercise.  Three initial bids were submitted.  These were evaluated by a panel of officers from procurement, finance, legal, property, planning, libraries and leisure departments.

Art deco Saltdean Lido, by architect RWH Jones, was built in 1938 and is Grade 2-star listed by English Heritage.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Royal Pavilion Estate debate



Following  press releases on 14th November by the Council/Dome/ Festival and words from Cllr Geoffrey Bowden at the E.D.C.C. meeting at Hove Town Hall a number of concerns were expressed about the early plans for the RP estate. These concerns were detailed on the facebook page of the Pavilion Gardens Café, which has been run by the Sewell family for over 70 years. The concerns are reproduced below with corresponding responses from Brighton Dome in italics.


1. The gardens will be totally fenced off.
This is the opposite of our intentions. In fact we want to open up the Royal Pavilion Garden not shut it off. The security needs we have identified are that we need to be able to secure the garden in very late hours/early morning should this be necessary to prevent the current levels of anti-social behaviour which cause damage to the *Grade II listed Garden and threaten the safety of the Historic Buildings.

2. They will charge you to enter for events (already confirmed).
Only occasionally, large cultural, ticketed events we would like to hold will be held in the gardens encouraging more people to engage with its heritage. This will never be the default position and the Estate will be open widely just as it currently is. 

3. They will charge you or visitors to enter the gardens daily.
This is incorrect - the gardens will remain a free resource for both local communities and visitors to the city.

4. They will demolish the Pavilion Gardens Cafe.
Our current thinking is that the best solution would be a visitor welcome centre which would include a café. We met again with David Sewell and Friends of the Pavilion Garden Café last week to look at the potential options for a new building to house the café as part of planning for the future of the Royal Pavilion Estate. Consultation with the Sewell Family is ongoing with the aim of reaching an agreed plan to improve visitor welcome and to preserve the Estate’s long term future. 

5. They will construct a building on New Road as a retail shop i.e.new Pavilion shop for income and another to house a Cafe like the one at the level with a few indoor tables and a very limited patio. I emphasis NOT RUN BY US.
Early concepts include the consideration of a new visitor welcome building at the New Road entrance to the Estate which would include visitor facilities that would include; toilets, bag and coat storage, ticketing, and a cafe facility that could be operated both indoors and outdoors. This would open up the Estate, as we would like to give a more compelling sense of arrival to the more than 1.2 million visitors from our local communities and around the globe who come here year on year. As above, we are in consultation about options for a new building with the Sewell family.

6. At least three mature Elm trees (two Himalayan & one Jersey) will be cut down at the back of us bordering New Road.
This is incorrect, no historic trees will be removed and we will be actively developing our plans to ensure no protected trees are affected either on the surface or via their roots. 

7. John Nash's restoration in the 80's and 90's will be ruined in the cafe area even though the RP say the opposite. (I have the facts).
This is incorrect. The café area is not part of Nash’s work not was it part of any 80’s or 90’s restoration. We want to be more faithful to the Nash Regency design not less. 

8. Residents on lunch breaks, students and school children will not be welcome unless they pay.
The Estate will be more welcoming and accessible to everyone so that more people will come and enjoy the gardens during school trips, on weekend visits or on lunch breaks. No one will have to pay. The project will actually extend our existing cultural and creative learning programmes to people of all age groups.

9. The other consequence will be New Road will become their main gateway into the Estate and they will fence off and close the other entrances so there will be no thoroughfares through the gardens on your way to work etc.
This is incorrect. Part of the vision is to have a better entrance which truly welcomes people onto the estate from New Road. It also includes the preservation and use of all other entrances as well as enabling us to restore, repair and maintain our Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings. 

10. The Royal Pavilion Estate in effect will be privatised and controlled i.e. the general public wont be welcome obviously unless they pay.
This is incorrect. Our aim is to open up the Estate to vastly improve on accessibility, as well as sustainability. 

11. This as they constantly say will stop anti social behaviour in an instance and give income and as they say sustainability.
The vision includes some ideas about how events – particularly free entertainment - could be held in the gardens to discourage anti – social behaviour and encourage more people to use the gardens in the evenings for positive activities rather than those that create problems and cause damage to the Nash restored Garden. The gardens are a delight for the city but they could be significantly improved so that they aren’t misused, rubbished or damaged as they are now.

The Royal Pavilion & Museums and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival are coming together in wonderful cross cultural partnership to reinvigorate and reconnect this historic Estate. This heritage is in real need of preservation and the city’s cultural, creative and economic future depends on a plan that makes it possible for the Estate to live up to it’s potential as a world-class cultural and heritage facility for all to enjoy. Our vision is one which will transform visitors’ and our local community’s experience of the estate and properly conserve its historic fabric for future generations. 

*The garden of the Royal Pavilion is a grade II garden included on the English Heritage (EH) Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England and is therefore of national interest and significance.

The Royal Standard



This fine Victorian pub in Queen's Road was built c.1857 so no wonder it is showing signs of age.  And, after it was  covered in scaffolding for several months recently, I was looking forward to seeing a splendid restoration job.

I was doomed to disappointment; the only visible difference seems to be the removal of one of the cupolas. Maybe it's just the first stage and it's away being repaired . . .?


Brighton Lifeboat

Brighton Lifeboat crew in all the latest kit 1913
The Brighton lifeboat station, was established in 1824 in a cave in the cliff near the then new Chain Pier. It is said to be the first in England. no doubt it had to vacate this site with the start of the construction of the great Madeira sea-wall in 1830.  Lifeboats then continued to operate from a variety of locations along the seafront ending up at arch no.111 now occupied by Brighton Sailing Club. A now unreadable plaque on the wall between arches 109 & 110 records the Robert Raikes, RNLI lifeboat of 1867 partly financed by pennies collected by Brighton Sunday School children. This arch was vacated in 1932 and for a number of years Brighton was covered by the offshore boats at Shoreham & Newhaven.

In 1965 an RNLI inflatable returned to a station just to the east of the Palace Pier and was removed to a pontoon in the partly-completed Marina in 1976.

A purpose-built lifeboat station at the Marina was completed in 2000 at a cost of £300k.

Monday, 11 November 2013

New Waitrose for North Hove

SaveHove reports that Waitrose is to acquire the Neville Road, Hove, Co-op Superstore. 

The Co-op will continue to trade at the site until 13th March 2014.  All 80 Co-op employees will be offered the opportunity to become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership.  The branch will then close for about 4 weeks to enable conversion and for employees to receive their inductions as Waitrose Partners.  Additional job creation is planned.  As  I hope everyone knows, all employees are also Partners when they work for Waitrose/The John Lewis Partnership, with a say in how it is run and with a share in profits. Full report here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Old Town traffic - Public Inquiry result

One of the options presented
The Public Inquiry held in July this year was called by the council to seek independent advice on the balance between the benefits of the council’s proposed ‘Old Town Transport Scheme’ and the interests of the objectors.

After hearing evidence from council officers, residents, businesses, and pedestrian charities, the inspector supported the following proposals:-
  • To close the northern-most section of Ship Street.  The Inspector agreed with council officers that closing the stretch of road will dramatically reduce the amount of through traffic in the area which was  a key objective of the project.
  • A ban on Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) after 11am. This was put forward by many local businesses who told the council that HGVs ruined the character of the area.
  • To close the middle part of East Street to all traffic between 11am and 7pm each day would help pedestrians and businesses. 
Council officers will develop proposals for Little East Street further to determine an alternative design for the road. Initial proposals to close a section of Prince Albert Street will also be looked at again once the impact of other measures in the Old Town have been assessed.

 A proposal to close Boyce’s Street to through traffic, supported by businesses, residents and Middle Street School, was agreed before the public inquiry and will go ahead as planned.

The proposals considered by the inspector were drawn up following consultation with residents, businesses and visitors. The scheme follows on from improvements already made to King's Road between Middle Street and Black Lion Street.

 Lead Member for Transport, Ian Davey said: “Our plans for the Old Town proved popular in the public consultation and are similar to improvements seen in historic city centres around the world. They look set to maximise the potential of one the city’s best loved areas by making it more attractive and comfortable for visitors.”

The proposals will go to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee for final approval in January. Implementation could begin shortly after that.

Earlier posts:-
Old Town improvements
Old Town improvements update

Hannington Lane - latest

Proposed south-facing elevation of Hannington Lane

The latest proposals for the new Hannington Lane development, application no.BH2013/00710, acknowledge the spot-listing in September of 15 North Street, (Timpsons) and drop the earlier requirement for its demolition. The drawings still refer to a North Street link but it seems this would only be via the existing very narrow passage way to the east of Timpsons and will probably not be suitable for public use.

Buildings in Hanningtons service yard for demolition


However, the earlier ‘Puget’s Cottage, behind Timpsons, and also listed grade II in September, will be opened up to public view by the demolition of much later unsympathetic buildings fronting Hannington's service yard. The setting of the Cottage will be enhanced and have a positive impact on the whole streetview.

Ground floor view
Earlier posts on this topic:-
Puget's Cottage

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A 1916 advert.

Although today £3 3s seems a derisory amount, in 1916 it was nearly 4 times the average weekly wage of 16s 9d, putting  "Millionaire's Row" completely out of reach of the average wage earner. Today the average wage is  £500 per week and I guesstimate a Hove Seaside Villa, if available, would attract a rent of about £1000 per week, now only twice average wage.

Progress of a kind maybe. . . .

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

7 Ship Street Gardens

View from the west
Planning application BH2013/03429 proposes the demolition and rebuilding of these two quirky shops in the twitten that links Middle Street and Ship Street in the Old Town Conservation Area.

The present building first appears in the street directories in 1862 when it was occupied by a fruiterer. It was probably built on a yard or garden between nos. 6 & 8 which go back to 1856. The asbestos roof will not have been added until the 1940's or later. The proposed replacement design preserves the variation in roof line but, because a change in use to an office is also intended, only a wall and door will be presented to the twitten. This will sadly degrade the visual liveliness of the scene and the loss of retail space will reduce the footfall in the twitten. The latter factor is of special concern in that, in this type of restricted  environment, it is likely to lead to a loss of general security.

View from the east.
Proposed office building.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Subversive Design

"Chopper" 2008 by Richard Slee
The winter exhibition at the Museum, which continues until March 9, comes with a warning -  "this exhibition examines provocative and challenging themes and includes some images of nudity, violence and sex." In other words it's great fun and well worth a visit. 

"Lathe v Red", Sebastian Brajkovic, 2008.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Patcham Place stables

The stable block to Patcham Place has been Grade II listed since 1952 and, up until its disposal with Patcham Place on a long lease, was used as a Council parks depot.

The English Heritage listing description states:-
Stables. C18, at least for the central, cobble-faced portion bounded by quoins. Cobbles with dressings of yellow brick, painted brick, roof of tiles. Gabled centrepiece with central round-arched entrance with brick dressings in the form of quoins and archivolt, now painted, and semicircular windows to either side also with brick dressings; quoins to centrepiece and brick dentil cornice; keyed oculus in pediment; narrow unwindowed wings flanked by quoins; then brick extensions with flat-arched entrances to either end; hipped roof overall. Low range of brick and flint to north with hipped tiled roof. 

Planning Application BH2012/00667 from Kingspan Development
for change of use fromYouth Hostel to offices and training facilities stated:-
 . . . .  the stables area is envisaged for uses ancillary to the main building and any subsequent alterations that may be proposed to this area will be the subject of separate application in due course. It is intended that these would take the opportunity of ensuring the long term preservation of the building and a viable use in perpetuity that will preserve and enhance the character and fabric of the structure.
This application was approved in Sept 2012.


The separate application is still awaited but one feels the new occupiers  can hardly make a worse job of maintenance than the Council.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hannington Lane & Brighton Square plans

Entrance to Hannington Lane from Brighton Place

The above simulated view is from application BH2013/00710 for the creation of a new lane, 'Hannington Lane'. To the left can be seen cobbles of the Druid's Head and next to it, on the corner of the entrance to Brighton Square, a recreation of the former 4-storey Hanningtons dormitory building. Next to that is the entrance to a new 26-room boutique hotel to be built over shops on the east side of Brighton Square. This is proposed by application BH2013/00715. A further application, BH2013/00712, proposes rebuilding the west & north sides of Brighton Square with an extra floor to provide 3-bedroom town houses over shops. These proposals would leave only the south side of the Square at its present height (with the exception of the 'dormitory' building. )

Present view
Beyond the hotel is the remodelled entrance to the Hanningtons undergound car park and, further on, the 'constant reveal' aimed for by the architects with a medley of facades and roof heights and the pink granite cupola of the Leeds Permanent building constantly in view. The latter is at present invisible from this location.


Puget's Cottage

Passing further down this lane the pedestrian will have the option of turning left  to Meeting House Lane or exiting into North Street past a restored and adapted Puget's Cottage.

To provide the entrance to Hannington Lane from North Street it is proposed to demolish 15 North Street (Timpsons) and provide an open-to the-sky passageway. This will reveal inviting glimpses of Puget's Cottage and the buildings beyond to pedestrians in North Street.




Proposed entrance from North St.

See also: Brighton Place

Sunday, 22 September 2013

College Development threatens North Laine.

View north along Sydney St.
THE NEW CITY COLLEGE WOULD KILL THE SCALE AND GRAIN OF NORTH LAINE IF IT WENT AHEAD. IT WOULD LOOM LARGE OVER THE SMALL SCALE BUILDINGS OF NORTH LAINE. 

EVEN THE COUNCIL’S OWN LOCAL PLAN DESCRIBES NORTH LAINE AS A VALUED NEIGHBOURHOOD. YET THE SCHEME DOES NOT PRESERVE OR ENHANCE STRATEGIC VIEWS EITHER INTO OR FROM THE NORTH LAINE CONSERVATION AREA. IT COULD SOON BECOME A DEVALUED NEIGHBOURHOOD.


Brighton Society complete article

Friday, 20 September 2013

Grand Designs at Withdean

 

There is renewed building activity, if it ever stopped, at this modern house, 'The Curve', in Withdean Road. Work started in 2007 and, in April 2009 it was the subject of Grand Designs on Channel 4, series15, episode 6.

The builder/property developer Barry owned three properties in a row. He intended selling the outer two to finance redevelopment of the middle site with his dream home, a 4-storey modern mansion with basement pool, hot tub, gym, cinema. artist's studio, double-height living space, fantasy bedroom and Japanese roof garden. His chosen materials were concrete, steel, and floor to ceiling, blue-tinted, curved glass walls.
Eastern end of the 60ft long master bedroom pod.
Unfortunately things didn't go according to plan. During construction, for which he was Project Manager, Barry underwent double hip transplants and then a serious heart attack which necessitated a bypass operation; the property market suffered a setback depressing the value of his two neighbouring properties, and he could not find a supplier, within budget, of the vast curved glass panels he needed. In the end he was forced to compromise with flat panels.

During Kevin McCloud's revisit the house was only barely furnished and appeared unlived in. Kevin obviously struggled to pay some compliments and Barry & his wife admitted that their attitudes to the project had undergone a major sea-change. In March 2010 it was up for sale for £3.5M having cost Barry a total of £1.8M.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Battle of the flags (and pamphlets)

These protests outside 'Ecostream' on the corner of Hampton Place have been going on since the shop was opened in August 2012. The business is owned by 'Sodastream', an Israeli company based in the West Bank.  On Saturday the Palestinian supporters had more flags; the Israeli supporters a slightly more convincing pamphlet. The irony is that demos like this, replicated worldwide and supporting and promoting polarisation, probably make a peaceful solution less likely rather than more..

As far as Brighton is concerned I declare a draw.

Left; the Brighton BDS pamphlet. Right; the Sussex Friends of Israel pamphlet.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Royal Pavilion Elms

This is looking ominous. I hope the localised dying leaves don't signify disease. It is one of the pair of giant elm trees just inside the North Gate. The sister tree just a few yards away was recognised in 2002 as one of 50 'Great British Trees' in the national heritage.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Valley Gardens consultation - update 2

A public consultation on the Valley Gardens master plan will open on 16th September and run until 29th September. One hopes that somewhat better visualisations will be made available by then. The full size pdf of the above illustration can be viewed here.

The aims of the plan are to upgrade the public spaces and improve routes for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transport. The provisional proposals are as follows:-
  • On the west side a park road for buses and cyclists.
  • On the east side a tree-lined avenue for all north-south traffic with wider pavements.
  • Closure of the vehicle crossing point at the south end of St. Peter's.
  • Simplified pedestrian crossing points.
  • Re-alignment of Marlborough Place with  the North Gate of the Pavilion thus creating a hard landscaped area for leisure/community use.
  • Extra bus-stop in Marlborough Place.
  • Improved bus-stops at the Pavilion while retaining the present art deco shelters.
  •  Changing the seafront roundabout to a junction to improve pedestrian access to the beach & Pier.
  • Increase the attractiveness and biodiversity of the public spaces with additional trees including a legacy planting strategy to ensure the area maintains its important elm heritage and other planting to provide habitat for animals. The the overall landscape design will maximise opportunities for grey water harvesting.
If the proposals are delivered in full, there will be a slight (7.6%) reduction in the size of the green spaces currently running through the centre of Valley Gardens. However, much of this existing green space has limited benefit from either a biodiversity or recreational perspective, and planners feel that this slight loss will be more than compensated for by the overall improvements.

Improvements within Valley Gardens are likely to be delivered in phases over coming years as opportunities arise. However, the project is not just a paper exercise. Funding for initial improvements has been secured through a ‘Better Bus Areas’ bid and this work will start later in 2013. Indicative funding in the Local Transport Plan and funding from various developments in the area also provides opportunities to start improving Valley Gardens in the near future.

Valley Gardens consultation - update
Valley Gardens consultation

Saltdean Lido CIC awarded provisional preferred bidder status

Brighton & Hove City Council have recommended that Saltdean Lido Community Interest Co. are awarded provisional preferred bidder status.  This recommendation follows a selection process which began in March 2013. The recommendation will be put forward to the Economic Development and Culture Committee on the 19th September 2013 and subject to negotiations, preferred bidder status will then be awarded which would need to be authorised by the Council’s Policy and Resource committee.  

Rebecca Crook, Chair of the CIC, said “Of course, after a 3.5 year campaign we are overjoyed however this is now the start of even more hard work but we are ready for the challenge ahead.  The building and swimming pool needs millions of pounds spent on it.  From the outside, it might look ok but there are serious structural issues which have left particularly the front part of the building in a very poor condition.  Nevertheless we are very confident in our ability to transform Saltdean Lido into a commercially viable and financially self-sufficient operation for the benefit of local people and visitors alike.”

Peter Crowley, Managing Director of Wave Leisure Trust, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Saltdean Lido CIC to re-open this iconic facility for the benefit of the local community. We look forward to bringing our expertise in inspiring active lifestyles to work with the CIC team in making Saltdean Lido a successful and unique attraction again.”

Paul Zara, Director, Conran & Partners Architects who have supported the campaign to save Saltdean Lido since 2010 said “It’s the right decision, of course. The team behind this bid will turn the lido into a national destination, but most importantly it is the heart of Saltdean and a much loved friend. I can’t wait to swim there again, but there’s a lot of work to do first. This is the beginning of a new life for Saltdean Lido.”

The Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company is a community-based organisation, already with almost 1,000 members which is very clear in its objective: to run the lido site and its facilities on behalf of the community, reinvesting profits back into this unique asset to ensure its long term use by future generations.

Rebecca Crook goes on to say “This is real victory for local residents and although there is a long road ahead it demonstrates when communities work together what amazing outcomes can be achieved.  We now have a real opportunity to transform this beautiful Grade II* (star) building and we cannot wait to start work.”

The building still remains on the English Heritage ‘At Risk Register’ with Ms Crook going on to say “One of our core objectives will be to work with the Council’s conservation officer, planners and English Heritage to ensure urgent works can commence so that the building can eventually be taken off the ‘At Risk Register’.”

Although the lido site is best known for its pool, the art deco buildings also houses a library and a variety of rooms which are used for a range of classes including yoga, ballet, art and the Saltdean choir. Saltdean Lido CIC plan to develop improved community spaces for groups and provide more library space as well as heating the water of the swimming pool, opening a restaurant in the rotunda part of the building which is currently closed to the public and landscaping and modernising the entire site.  The CIC also plan to transform the lido site into an all-year-round destination with ice-skating during the winter months when the swimming pool will be closed.

Saltdean Lido is an art deco building designed by architect RWH Jones, built in 1938 and was Grade II* (star) listed in 2011 by an application written by the Save Saltdean Lido Campaign.  Grade II* (star) buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest with only 5.5% of listed buildings listed as Grade II* (star).

Further information can be found on the website including how you can get involved www.saltdeanlido.co.uk