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THIS WEEK : Selma Montford: The hope that the £1bn schemes will all disappear

TALKBOARD : Step Back in Time – A History of the Argus

LATEST IN DIRECTORY : Preston and Patcham Society launches new web platform



saveHOVE : 29 June 2014
The Brighton & Hove Independent weekly newspaper now has a new website

The Brighton & Hove Independent weekly newspaper (free, on the street, and online) now has a new website and aims to put new content up daily as it grows towards becoming a rival to The Argus. But the current edition reflects a few dangers.

The BHIndy has a property obsession; and a clear wish to support developers in an almost carte blanche, uncritical way has emerged of late. A huge amount of page space was given to The West Pier Trust and to Marks Barfield to promote their i360 over the winter.

This week, Andy Parsons, the Yelo architect behind the block of 71 flats that went up in Old Shoreham Road – replacing Park House by Hove Park – has been given a centrefold spread to lay out an extremely provocative “vision” for the seafront which looks pretty wild and vulgar to me. One or two ideas I agree with, but largely it’s about louding up the seafront, bigscale.

And an article from Frank le Duc criticises the planning committee decision last week to refuse the Sussex University expansion plans. Those plans were about felling 453 trees and substantially urbanising the Stanmer Park area with 6-storey blocks and all kinds of facilities – a mini-townscape – and not just halls of residence for an expanded intake of another 5,000 students. Without all the other facilities in the plans, it is impossible for the uni to actually proceed with expanding its intake so hugely. But Frank just picks up on the residency bit and claims they will all be coming anyway and all just seek housing in the city. Again, provocative, and seemingly aimed at oiling the wheels of developers champing at the bit and whipping up an unquestioning public to freak-out levels. Sussex originally put skyscrapers in their plans but had to reduce heights to below tall building level (i.e. max of 6 storeys) as not in an identified tall building node or corridor so violated Council policy.

Mike Holland’s column sneers in a way over the top way about the state of the city when his Astoria and Abbey Hotel sites are part of the rundown appearance he complains of!

With elections next year this paper wants watching for all sorts of reasons, one of which is that it focusses entirely on the city. Pick up the weekly but look for new material daily on www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk

It still has Graham Chainey’s remarkable local history articles though, and Claire Beveridge is terrific on food writing and she writes in the BHIndy this week about FarmDrop – a new and direct local food buying initiative which looks pretty exciting to me!

We are a working cyber-group, concerned with Conservation, amenity, planning, appropriate development and regeneration issues (especially the seafront and our irreplaceable heritage) along with how our Council serves Hove’s interests.