Gardens & wildlife

Open Space 2007-Princes Rd NE

the open space to the north east of Princes Road
A vision for the Open Space to the rear of 67 to 81 Princes Road
Roundhill has no public open space but is interwoven by various green garden corridors which are a characteristic feature of the Conservation Area and can be seen from afar. The development plot used to be one of these, until the current owners removed the trees and applied herbicide. This inner-city community cannot afford to lose any of its green spaces.

The government’s ‘Assessing needs and opportunities: A Companion Guide to PPG17’ states, The value of open spaces, irrespective of who owns them, depends primarily on two things: the extent to which they meet clearly identified local needs and the wider benefits they generate for people, wildlife, biodiversity and the wider environment.’

This area has screened part of our street from the railway and the former Hollingdean Depot for over a hundred years, and also, more recently, the Hughes Road Industrial Estate. With the building of the new, huge, Waste Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility screening is now more vital than ever before, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for noise mitigation and dust control.

There is no room for Veolia to plant screening on the south side of these edifices, and, since Railtrack have now removed all the railway trees the outlook from the north side of Princes Road is bleak. The noise and dust has been worse than ever before.

This plot has, in the past, supported a variety of wildlife, which have been logged at www.citywildlife.org.uk (map reference TQ 31703 05886) There were newts and slow-worms, foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels, and a variety of birds including jays, swifts and collared doves.

We urge Brighton and Hove City Council to withdraw the 'principle of development' on this plot and to allow this formerly green oasis to regrow, to act as a screen to separate the Roundhill Conservation Area from the industrial sites around it and once again become a haven for a diversity of wildlife.

Carelet's stewardship of the land: 2004 to 2007
Carelet has owned this greenfield site since January 2004. Its actions have destroyed the wildlife habitat, smashed the steps allowing pedestrian access to the site, and have left the rubble within view of the street, inviting fly-tipping which they were slow to clear and do little to discourage.

A need now is for 'the principle of development' on this land to be withdrawn, so that a more community-minded owner can restore the tree-lines and boundary features which used to screen this attractive open space from industrial development outside the conservation area.

action over flytipping

need for a solid wooden barrier as there was before
The problem of fly-tipping arose after Spring 2005, when Carelet used an earthdigger to clear the site, stripping it of vegetation and many trees. In introducing this vehicle to the site, Carelet demolished the steps, leaving quite a mess. They also exchanged the solid wooden barrier (at the entrance to the plot in Princes Rd) for a wire gate. This encouraged unscrupulous fly-tippers to take advantage of an attractive open space. A solid barrier is needed to prevent fly-tipping continuing and, as landowner, it is Carelet's responsibility to take reasonable action to discourage this anti-social activity.

an important green lung and wildlife habitat
The open space, which has never been previously developed, is important to local residents since it separates the built-area of the Round Hill Conservation Area from the Centenary Industrial Estate and (together with the green corridor of the Coastways Railway) from Hollingdean Depot, which has seen considerable intensification and will soon accommodate a Waste Transfer Station.

the green corridor of the Coastways railway

The urgent need to re-create the tree-lines & boundary features to the north and east of this greenfield site on the edge of our conservation area
need to put back the boundary features and tree lines destroyed by Network Rail and Carelet

In the spring of 2005, Carelet removed many of the boundary features to the east of the site:

Under planning policy guidance PPG17 paragraph 10 an assessment of the value of the site as an open space is needed before a planning application is even registered
The destruction of trees has removed nesting opportunities for birds, but the plot continues to function as a green lung and an important wildlife habitat. There are many species of insect, the plot is attractive to butterflies and is used by slow-worm.

the green corridor of the Coastways railway
However, the boundary of the conservation area and tree-lines need to be re-established here:

boundary features and tree line need to be restored

The developer should abandon an idea about housing people on land where they would suffer vibration and noise and look right into the lorry entrance of a tall waste transfer station.

This open space is needed for landscaping to screen residents in Princes Road from a far more busy Hollingdean Depot. We want the landscape features back.

action needed to restore tree lines and boundary features

The planning conditions on Veolia's Hollingdean Depot developments relating to landscaping, should be used to get them to screen their installations as best they can. The glare from the extensive metal roofs currently causes considerable nuisance to residents living on the north side of Princes Road.

We also want to see tree-lines and the boundary features of Round Hill restored. The section of greenway along the Coastways Railway, adjacent to Hollingdean Depot and the gardens to the north of Princes Road, is in considerable need of repair.

Network Rail will be reluctant to take on planting, since its main interest in the context of intensification at Hollingdean Depot is removing trees.

Veolia could be lent on to compensate for the effect on air quality of its 44-tonne trucks passing along Hollingdean Road. However, there is no room for much landscaping on their site. The obvious open space where screening could make a difference is the main freehold currently owned by Carelet. We urge the Council to withdraw the 'principle of development' on this sensitive piece of Round Hill's greenbelt to precipitate repair of part of our Conservation Area which has been badly damaged by the actions of three main players.
This page was last updated by Ted on 26-Nov-2013
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