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Applications BH2013/00710 & BH2013/00711

The Regency Society welcomes this proposal to develop under-used areas of the Old Town and create additional retail and office space. However, we urge the Planning Committee to refuse permission for the demolition of number 15 North Street.

We believe this is one of the oldest buildings in North Street. The upper floors of the buildings incorporate a number of important original features. These upper floors should be retained while the ground floor could be sympathetically re-configured to achieve the desired new pedestrian access to the new lane.

Application BH2013/00712
The Regency Society welcomes the proposal to increase the amount of residential space in Brighton Square by adding an additional floor to some of the properties. The proposed new structures have been set back from the main façades thus avoiding an impression of excessive massing when viewed from within the square.

We are less impressed by the proposal to re-model the existing facades in the square. These buildings are within a conservation area and represent good and successful examples of mid twentieth century small scale development. The existing cladding (tile hanging and boarding) is sympathetic to the wide variety of periods and styles represented in the neighbouring lanes. The development received a Civic Trust award shortly after its completion. For these reasons we think that the original appearance should be preserved, rather than replaced.

We urge the Planning Committee to refuse this application unless this aspect of it is removed.

Applications BH2013/00715 & BH2013/00716
The Regency Society opposes the proposal to demolish the building, which forms the portal to Brighton Square from Brighton Place. It is a good example of 1960s design. Its concrete arches make a pleasing reference to the original Basil Spence buildings at Sussex University, which date from the same period. It sits well with its neighbour to the south, the much older Druid’s Head pub.

We have no particular objection to the use of a pastiche style as a basis for the design of the new buildings to be constructed nearby. However, we do not think it is in the true spirit of conservation to replace with pastiche a well designed building which has served its purpose for 50 years. Had the Lanes been built as a single development of uniform style throughout, a case could perhaps be made for replacing the occasional modern addition. But this is not the case: there are buildings of a wide range of periods and styles throughout the area and this is part of its charm. It illustrates well how buildings of differing style can be compatible when proper attention is paid to scale, townscape and the layout of streets and public spaces.

We urge the Planning Committee to protect this pleasing building which forms a very appropriate entrance to Brighton Square.

SOURCE: REGENCY SOCIETY: £15 million scheme for Lanes