Home
About
Community
Planning
Gardens & wildlife
History
Links

Belton Road 2014 Open Space

UPDATE: BH2014/00124  The first full planning application

- Conversion of building from financial and professional services (A2) to form 5no self contained flats with associated alterations -

was WITHDRAWN on Wed 19th March 2014

This was the developer who sold on the permission he gained in 2016 when he reduced the amount.

REASONS TO PROTECT OPEN SPACES

  • Visual amenity, feeling of well-being, open-feel, presence of wildlife
  • Connection with the past (former drying field) in conservation area
  • If use of most westerly office is changed to residential or if buildings are added or extended, this is likely to subject Belton Road residents to overlooking, loss of privacy & outlook, lighting & noise from new accesses
  • Backland development (i.e. without its own streetscape) puts unwanted pressure on limited on-street parking space (e.g. after 8pm) and needs space for refuse/recycling stores in the context of kerbside collections.

FOUR STATEGIES TO SAVE THE STRIP OF LAND

PLEASE NOTE: the 2014 planning application cited several times below was withdrawn, but there is a new 2015 planning application about to be registered which will also rob nearby residents of an amenity they have had since they moved to Round Hill.

See the location plan to view the site under threat of overdevelopment.

Belton Road open space

Application BH2014/00124 fronts a larger agenda than mere "conversion of the existing buildings at 28 & 28b Crescent Road" and "change of their use from office to residential". Establishing the "principle of residential" on the narrow strip (circa 12.5 metres wide) separating homes & gardens on the west side of Crescent Road from those on the east side of Belton Road would invite proposals to overdevelop green space which has long offered visual amenity and environmental benefits to 30+ immediate households.


green open space
These existing homes are already closely packed within a neighbourhood with no public parks or recreation grounds which purports to be a conservation area.

STRATEGY 1 . INVOLVE OUR LOCAL WARD COUNCILLORS

Ask them to continue Cllr Amy Kennedy's scrutiny of policies used by Brighton and Hove City Council to protect open spaces. Our Council is lagging behind several other Local authorities in spelling out the detail of any policies which could protect Round Hill's privately-owned plots. Read the article: Ward Councillors and our open spaces and note the shortcomings in answers to the first four of Councillor Amy Kennedy's questions. In a joint answer, Brighton and Hove City Council's City Planning and City Parks departments told Cllr Kennedy that our Council follows Government Guidance on Open Space Assessment and Public Consultation.

If this answer is genuine, then our Council's City Planning department should be offering the 30+ immediate residents affected by Application BH2014/00124 formal open space assessment following Government Planning Policy Guidance PPG17 Diagram 1. This should not be what the Council likes to call a Citywide Open Space Study: an exercise limited to publicly owned resources and therefore irrelevant to locally-derived needs in Round Hill.  The formal open space recommended by government guidance includes privately owned plots of land. The very title of the guidance "redevelopment of an existing open space" requires an opportunity for formal assessment specific to the open space which the applicant wants to redevelop. To be compliant with government guidance, this formal assessment needs to involve local residents (i.e. not "citywide" but "neighbourhood specific"). A Council which honoured the concept of locally-derived open space needs would comply with the procedures set out in PPG17 Diagram 1 prior to any discussion with the applicant on how much residential development may be allowed on an open space clearly valued by a large number of surrounding households.

REQUEST ASSESSMENT OF THE WHOLE OPEN SPACE


green open space
There is still opportunity for a democratic evaluation of this open space prior to any new building being proposed.

STRATEGY 2: Comment on BH2014/00841 which claims the new permitted development right and has now taken the place of BH2014/00124

Click on the button below to view residents' comments & / or sign: 
petition
Join 150+ residents by signing the residents' petition but don't forget to object to Application BH2014/00841 as well on
THE COUNCIL'S WEBSITE.

petition

 

 

 

UPDATE: BH2014/00841 was refused 13th May 2014

STRATEGY 3. MENTION OTHER WEAKNESSES IN THE APPLICATION

There are many other concerns about the scheme which deserve comment. However, if the developer's case for "permitted development" is deemed valid, this removes our right within planning law to comment on them. The most westerly of the office buildings (i.e. current use = indoor and limited to office hours) is both on raised terrain and remarkably close to households with small gardens in Belton Road. If its westerly face becomes the access to residential accommodation, it would need to be lit, provision would need to be made for services, and there is bound to be an increase in noise and comings & goings which would impact on immediate neighbours' amenity, privacy and outlook. 


green open space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The piecemeal approach and the use of annexes to make up the necessary living space may be how some holiday-camp accommodation evolves, but it falls short of the concept of "Homes for Life".


green open space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There is further comment on concerns relating to loss of amenity/privacy (e.g. overlooking, light pollution) lack of info  in the application on facilities for refuse & provision for transport need as well as pressure on existing households' limited onstreet parking space (especially after the CPZ cut-off time of 8pm) towards the end of the article Ward Councillors and our open spaces.

A crucial concern is the rush to planning when the poor quality of the Design & Access Statement and Drawings has given immediate residents little chance of understanding what is being proposed. The location plan submitted with application BH2014/00124 shows a larger site area than that encircled in red within the title deed plan (ESX234885) for 28/28B Crescent Road, adding a parcel of land to the rear of 22 Crescent Road and sharing a boundary with 46 Belton Road. Much more clarity is needed in the drawings and plans. Local residents need to be given a chance to understand the developer's intentions for the whole site.

STRATEGY 4. EMPHASIZE THAT BH2014/00124 ISN'T THE WHOLE PLAN & ASK FOR JOINED UP PLANNING, RULING OUT THE PRINCIPLE OF RESIDENTAL DEVELOPMENT ON THIS SITE.

Proposal BH2014/00124 is merely PHASE ONE of the applicant's scheme to develop this confined space. Once the "principle for residential development" is established by granting PHASE ONE, further approvals (PHASE TWO, PHASE THREE) could reverse all the benefits of the CPZ.


green open space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask the Case Officer to make a clear recommendation that "the principle of residential development" (i.e the change of use to residential) should be ruled out altogether on this site. Such a precedent could also be used to justify proposals to build on other green spaces in Round Hill. The narrow strip (about the width of Princes Road including its footways) is set high above the levels of Crescent Road and Belton Road.

Although there have been vehicles parked in the past on the lower parts of the application site, any increase in parking here would mean that adjoining householders could be disturbed by engine noise. The experience of neighbours living near the 11 garages which were erected to the rear of 2 Ashdown Road should warn against granting garaging which could then (a) be put to noisy uses (b) form a bargaining chip for the garages to be converted into still more flats.

This page was last updated by Ted on 27-Jan-2019
(registered users can amend this page)