Gardens & wildlife

Hollingdean Road 2010 comment

Hollingdean Road is within an Air Quality Management Area

"Affordable homes" at any social cost?
Redevelopment of the the former Esso Petrol Filling Station Hollingdean Road site is set to provide 24 affordable homes, but they are unlikely to be considered by any prospective residents as "Homes for Life".

Lessons from other Local Authorities, which have been too accepting of sub-standard living conditions in their rush to increase the supply of affordable accommodation, have not yet been learnt in Brighton and Hove.

"Decent homes" comprise buildings where residents are happy to stay and where community has a chance to grow.

A large block, dovetailed onto The Centenary Industrial Estate in a location noted for poor air quality (windows will have to be non-opening at ground floor level), traffic problems (with Veolia's 44 tonne lorries passing by) and industrial noise (from Hollingdean Depot as well as the lighter industrial estate), does not represent adequate standards for "Homes for Life". Experience shows that better conditions are required to meet the challenge of long-term housing for people whose social needs go beyond any roof over their heads.

"Any home will do" overlooks "communities"
Whether engaged in slum clearance or provision of homes to those who have never had one, erecting buildings which cannot be part of any community has nothing to do with "Homes for Life" and can be very costly both socially and economically.
The Forgotten People

In Ladywood Birmingham in the 1960s, under a well intentioned Council, architects created island settlements by erecting tall blocks near to busy inner city ring roads, dividing the neighbourhood by fencing in residents and committing families who had been used to socialising at street-level to the parameters of high-rise accommodation.
The Forgotten People

These mistakes were documented in The Forgotten People by the then vicar of St John's Ladywood, after whom a state-of-the-art Care Home, The Norman Power Centre has recently been named.
The Forgotten People

After two decades of costly social problems (high instances of drug & alcohol abuse, muggings, crime, fear of going out, loneliness, ill physical & mental health and suicides) Ladywood had to pull down these blocks and revert to much lower density accommodation Ladywood Today

The 5-storey block to be built in Brighton's Hollingdean Road is unpleasantly fenced in and could easily be the kind of enclave which repeats the mistakes of The Forgotten People 50 years on.
Hollingdean Road is within an Air Quality Management Area

The new development will be somewhat "out on a limb" i.e. it is neither really part of the Hollingdean nor the Lewes Road communities. Saunders Park is on the wrong side of the busy Hollingdean Road (nearest safe crossing point is The Vogue Gyratory) to offer younger or more elderly residents easily accessible amenity space; the onsite "associated residential amenity space" is hardly generous enough to make up for the deficiency of public open space in the area. It is difficult to see this as suitable for family accommodation. Compared with inner-city ring road pollution during Ladywood Birmingham's hey-day of high-rise homes (1965-1985), the air quality of Brighton's Hollingdean Road, now home to some of the heaviest lorries on the UK's roads, is sufficiently poor to make non-opening windows on the ground floor a new planning condition.
Hollingdean Road is within an Air Quality Management Area
One 44-tonne truck passes every eleven minutes:
Hollingdean Road is within an Air Quality Management Area

Related article
Redevelopment of the former Esso Petrol Filling Station Hollingdean Road site.
This page was last updated by Ted on 01-Dec-2013
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