Gardens & wildlife

RHS Minutes 2015-02-24

Minutes of RHS Meeting on Tuesday 24th February 8pm

Apologies: Rob Stephenson and Annie Rimington

Present: Bonnie Scovell, Kate Rice, Carol Hall, Sandy Thomas, Ted Power, Barbara Harris, Jan Curry, Plus guests Mike Unwin and Kathy Gemmell

Date of next meeting: Thursday 26th March at No 8 D’Aubigny Road

Minutes of January 2015 meeting: amendments – Sandy commented that there is still (Art) Graffiti on the Upper Lewis Road which did not have Council approval. Could we ask Annie to speak with Richard ? from City Clean to “White Out” this area too? Maybe we need local residents to add their disapproval to the letter?

All other items were either actioned or approved.

Proposed development in garden of 101 Round Hill Crescent (BH2015/00322)

Two guests, Kathy and Mike from D’Aubigny Road, attended our meeting to express their concerns over planning application BH2015/00322 and to seek advice from our committee on how to respond to it. Kathy described the proposal to erect a two storey building comprising 5no one bedroom flats on land to the rear of 101 Round Hill Crescent. The new double-fronted house would be on the same front building line as No 4 D'Aubigny Road which would become the neighbouring property: the new house would continue the terrace, plugging much (but not quite all) of the gap between the existing end-of-terraces. Flats 1 & 2 would be at ground floor level, flats 3 & 4 at first floor level and flat 5 at roof level.

Kathy and Mike were concerned at how such a large amount of accommodation would affect their outlook and amenity, especially in relation to light, noise and the long view out of the conservation area. While protection of a private view does not constitute a valid ground for objection within the planning process, Ted explained that planning policies (e.g. HE6) do exist to protect long views in & out of conservation areas from public vantage points (e.g. IN: places such as Woodvale or Tenantry Down; OUT: streets such as D’Aubigny Road) and with a flint wall in the foreground, BH2015/00322 could be of concern to The Council’s Conservation Area Advisory Group.

However, an equally robust ground for objection is overdevelopment of the necessary gap between the ends-of-terraces. The indicators of overdevelopment in this case are (i) unacceptable overlooking and (ii) the inadequate provision of outdoor amenity space for the occupants of as many as five flats. Good architectural practice would leave a minimum of 20 metres separation between windows proposed for the south elevation of the new house and existing windows on the north elevation of 101 Richmond Road. Even without a new double-fronted house, there is barely 20 metres between the side elevation of 4 D’Aubigny Road and the rear of the Richmond Road house. Moreover, an existing feature of terrace ends in the CA (including the side elevation of 4 D’Aubigny Road) is the absence of windows to avoid unacceptable overlooking.

The Committee Members at the meeting were unanimous in the view that The Round Hill Society should oppose (BH2015/00322) for the reasons given above and submit its own letter of objection. Ted to write the first draft.

Proposed intensification of HMO at 73 Round Hill Crescent (BH2015/00286)

Committee members present expressed concern about this application. The feeling was that too many occupants would be crammed into a house where the footprint would remain unaltered and the amenity of the area would suffer as a result. Sandy made reference to the applicant’s intentions: the design and access statement specifies change of use from 6no bedroom small house in multiple occupation (C4) to large house in multiple occupation incorporating additional windows to front elevation. Additional bedrooms would be created by converting the two large bathrooms on the first and second floors. The space for the new bathrooms would be created by reducing the size of the front bedrooms at first and second floor level.

Meeting with representative of 28 Crescent Road back land – update

Developers have agreed to a meeting with immediate residents. As there is going to be approximately 18 people attending it was thought necessary to have a public venue. It was thought that either Open House or Downs School would be suitable. We agreed to pay up to £100 from the RHS to pay for the venue, but we feel that the Developers should also contribute to this event. We have since learnt that the lady who runs The Jolly Poacher in Ditchling Road has agreed to open the pub (normally closed on Mondays) on a Monday evening in March (TBA) for a couple of hours.

Reporter articles awaited (deadline Monday 23rd February): Katy will e-mail Rob with updates on the next Playsafe to be held in Mayo Road on 15th March.

Bonnie gave us a Crime Update since our last meeting on 20th January 2015

A bike was stolen from a shed in Crescent Road between 1st and 4th February. Damage to a gate lock in Richmond Road on 8th February

The Fire Service reported a recycling bin fire on 8th February.

A burglary occurred in Crescent Road, near the Princes Road end between 7.00am on 18th February and 7.45pm 19th February. Entry was obtained from the rear of property.

It was unanimously agreed by the RHS to put onto the number to report stolen or damaged bikes on the next Reporter: 01273 292 090.


Next Playsafe event to be held on 12th April at 3.00pm at Mayo Road. 

Annie on Spring Clean Event – (in the absence of Annie) to be held on 15th March 10.30 to 1.00pm.

Jan Curry has sent Rob her article on the Milkman.

Neighbourhood Smartening: Jan and Barbara are hoping two girls who on the same gardening course as them to help out on the raised bed by the (ex) Victoria Pub and the planters at the bottom of Round Hill.

Jan Curry is happy to take recruits, who want to work towards learning more about gardening and help by encouraging people to put even one pot on their doorstep with a sunflower. This will form part of the competition to be held on the 14th June Which is the day of the Round Hill Front Gardens. Prizes to be discussed at the next meeting. We briefly touched on Best Street in Round Hill competition.

Sandy on Newsletter distributors - WE DID NOT DISCUSS

AOB - We all agreed to have another Street Party on the same scale as last year adjoined with the Playsafe meeting on July 12th. Musicians to be contacted. There is a vacancy for anyone wanting to organise the Street Party.

Could the following be put in the next reporter : DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOOR KEYS IN LOCKS.

Other items not discussed

Jan's student neighbours for a bit about living on Round Hill from student perspective (other items for next issue include Spring Cemetery Walk, Death of Andy Durr, Mayor's Parlour Event, iti, Dishwasher Fire piece, Seasonal singing and advent windows)

Meeting ended at 9.55pm

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