Gardens & wildlife

Longer Views of Round Hill

Carelet's Design Statement fails to represent the damage that their 3-storey proposal will do to longer views into the Round Hill Conservation Area.

At the Planning Committee Meeting where the developer gained approval for its two-storey proposal last year, the Council also failed to do those opposed to the development the courtesy of representing longer views.

INSTEAD the Council limited its presentation to smokescreen views captured from deliberately irrelevant vantage-points by the developer. This showed disregard for comments made by Planning Inspectors during earlier Appeal Decisions RE three or more storeys.

Inspectorate's comments on longer views
In dismissing Carelet's Appeal against refusal to build up to three-storeys on their greenfield site, Planning Inspector Roger Mather (APP/Q1445/A/08/2073223) cited the harm that such a proposal would do to the character and appearance of The Round Hill Conservation Area, especially in relation to views from the north and east.
unspoilt public views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the north and east

The above picture shows almost the whole of Carelet's greenfield application site from Davey Drive.

How much does Carelet's Design Statement show of their greenfield site?

Answer About this much (see Appendix B Pages 13-16 Pics 1-6).
misrepresentation of longer views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the north and east

The above view is irrelevant to "longer views" of the application site because the picture, taken from one of the lowest points in Hollingdean, has been deliberately framed so that there are ugly obstructions in the way.
Have they got away with smokescreens of this kind in the past?
Answer Yes, and they are trying to do the same again.
misrepresentation of longer views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the north

A picture very similar to the one above, taken from the lower end of Hollingbury Road, was presented at the Planning Committee Meeting last year, when they succeeded in getting permission for 4 two-storey houses. Although relevant pictures representing truly valued "longer views" were sent by opponents of the scheme to the Council's Case Officer, these relevant pictures were not presented.
Is the same trick being tried again?
Answer Yes, the same misrepresentation of "longer views" appears in Appendix B of Carelet's current Design Statement (Pics 1 & 2), supported by the following misinterpretation of the truth in paragraph 4.7:

The view of the site from the outlying areas is now predominantly obscured by the Waster Transfer Station.

The increased height of the proposed dwellings does not obscure the view of the existing terrace. A fragment of the site is visible only from the north, across the site of the WasteTransfer Station, through a small window between the two collection buildings.

Please refer to the Pic. 2 in the appendix B.
As previously requested by the Local Authority the appropriate tree planting is proposed along the north-east boundary to create a green edge of the conservation area.

Was the Government's Planning Inspector fooled by this misrepresentation of "longer views" last time that Carelet went through with an Appeal?
Answer No. On page 2 paragraph 9 of his (21 October 2008) Appeal Decision, Roger Mather observes that the application site is not easily visible from Princes Road, but is seen clearly in views from outside the Conservation Area to the north and east.
unspoilt public views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the north

It is fair to mention that Roger Mather's Appeal Decision applied to an appliction for 6 three-storey houses and 2 two-storey ones, though it follows that a proposal of simialr height involving 6 three-storey houses only is going to be similarly damaging to "longer views".

unspoilt public views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the north and east

Roger Mather found (paragraph 10 of his Appeal Decision) that "squeezing eight houses into the site and the consequent lack of space for significant planting would harm visual amenity in relation to the green spaces characteristics of the Conservation Area as well as views into the Conservation Area from the north. He also observed that the design off the development in terms of bulk and form fell short of that necessary to preserve the prevailing character of the Conservation Area. Emphasizing an inappropriate form would be a clear breach of the distinctive character of the existing terraces as well as being disruptive in its setting, seen from the north. Consequently, it would fail to match the form of development to the quality of the historic setting."

Longer views from the east
unspoilt public views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the east

The above picture is my own, taken from Tenantry Down after the Waste Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility were built. The green vista (including Carelet's greenfield site) behind the steeply sloping terrace on the north side of Princes Road, is clearly a visually appealing feature of this longer view, as is the continuity of the Round Hill Conservation Area's period architecture. High building with a lot of solar panels on land to the rear of 67-81 Princes Road will clearly ruin one of the best views of Round Hill which the city of Brighton and Hove enjoys. Needless to say, Carelet's own picture (see Supporting Document(s) design & access statement part 03, taken from only half-way up Bear Road, does not adequately represent the visual amenity provided by "longer views to the east". The true "longer views" were valued by the Government's Planning Inspector who made his Appeal Decision AFTER the construction of the MRF and WTS.

What Carelet says about views from the east

4.10 (Design Statement). The low level of the site is sufficiently diminished in relation to the surrounding area that it is barely visible from any point along Bear Road. It is also doubtful that the proposed terrace would be visible from this point, as the terrace and planting of D'Aubigny, Richmond and Mayo Roads shield them from this angle. However, the stepped profile in parallel to the existing terrace shall form a complimentary addition to this view if it were at all visible.

The photomontages and images showing the development site in longer views requested by the Conservation team are enclosed in the appendix B.

For Carelet's own pictures, see Appendix B within Supporting Document(s) design & access statement part 03. The picture (below) is my own:
unspoilt public views of The Round Hill Conservation Area from the east

Anybody who knows the geography of Round Hill, can read a map, or pick out the northern terrace of Princes Road in the above picture, will tell immediately that Carelet's references to "the terrace and planting of D'Aubigny, Richmond and Mayo Roads" are misleading and irrelevant to the line of vision. These streets come nowhere near preventing anybody from looking onto backland beyond the northern terrace of Princes Road - another case of blatent misrepresentation.

Has anybody in Hollingdean or in & around Bear Rd been consulted?
Brighton and Hove City Council hs consulted those listed below. All residents of Brighton and Hove are eligible to comment on planning applications, but quite probably residents who have not been included in the consultation list (below) may not be aware of Carelet's planning application i.e. they may have no idea of the threat to the visual amenity which they currently enjoy.

Decision Date
Carelet's proposal for 6 three-storey houses will come before The Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall (Council Chambers) on Wednesday 9th June 2010 from 2pm.

If you have friends and contacts living to the north and east of Round Hill, who enjoy some of the "longer views" of Round Hill and the threatened greenfield site, please refer them to The Round Hill Society's website at www.roundhill.org.uk

Please use our proforma (Microsoft Word: adapt it or compose your own objection) and the Council's online comment form

Consultations for application number: BH2010/00083

Neighbour consultations: (January 27, 2010)
Prince's Road, Brighton: 38,40,42,44,46,48,50,52,54,55,56,57,58, 59, 59A, 61, 61A,63, 63A,65,67,69,71,72,73,74,75,76,77,79,81
2A Hughes Road, Brighton
UNIT 2B, CENTENARY INDUSTRIAL ESTATE Hughes Road, Brighton, Brighton & Hove, BN2 4AW

Other consultations

City Clean -
Brighton & Hove City Council, Hollingdean Depot, Brighton, BN1 7GA
Arboriculturalist Department
City Services, City Parks, Stanmer Nursery
Transport Planning
Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove
Network Rail (Southeast)
Mike Smith, Town Planning Technician South East, 1 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 2DN
Environmental Health
Pollution Control, 2nd Floor, Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton
Ecologist - Matthew Thomas
Stanmer Nursery, Stanmer Park, Brighton
This page was last updated by Ted on 19-Jun-2012
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