Gardens & wildlife

Plans for The Level

Forthcoming Events
History of The Level Saturday 29 September 10am - 4pm
Memory Day

bring and show us your memories of The Level at the Local History Centre, Brighton Museum. Download publicity poster.
History of The Level Thursdays 11 & 18 Oct & 8 Nov at 1 - 3pm
History Sessions
- free training with an experienced local historian to explore past events and activities on The Level. Venue: the Local History Centre at the Booth Museum. Book now! Download publicity poster.
Pages from The Council's website:
Final Masterplan for The Level

The Level - Final Master Plan and Next Steps

Get involved on The Level

Round Hill 2012 AGM Presentation Heritage Lottery 'Parks for People'
funded Improvements on the Level
Linda Anglin and Claire Morgan (from Brighton and Hove City Council) were present at The Round Hill Society's Sep 2012 AGM to tell us about the timetable of works to be carried out, and offer us opportunites to get involved in how the Level is used in the future.

They first summarised the history of seeking Heritage Lottery Funding to act as core of the re-vamp of the Level.

£2.2m has been secured and plans finally agreed, the work is going out to tender now, and the Level (excluding the periferal walkways/cycleways and embracing grass and tree strips) will be closed from next month until summer 2013 for works including new skatepark, new café, new play area and paddling pool/ water feature, rosewalk (with more than roses, to give year-round interest), and newly seeded northern grass areas with softer paths, new lighting and art installation.
The Level
We were invited to get involved through a variety of projects including a history, natural environment, and horticulture. There will be a room available for community groups to hire, a full time park manager and they hope the café will be open in the evening.
The Level
Residents who wish to find out more are invited to an open day event (with cake) on Tuesday 25th Sept 2012 at Phoenix Gallery, 6 to 8pm (download leaflet) and a ‘Friends of the Level’ meeting takes place at 7pm the same day at the Phoenix Community centre, just behind the Gallery.
The Level
Click here for info on The Level Restoration project and here for history & heritage events on Brighton and Hove City Council's website.

Background to the project
£250,000 from developer contributions for the regeneration of The Level and £2.2m from Heritage Lottery Funding has acted as the core of the re-vamp of the Level.

Brighton and Hove City Council's proposals for this park include a new concrete skatepark, a new inclusive play area for children of all ages and general improvements to the park.

Results of Consultation
The majority of respondents felt that the skatepark should be NORTH of the rose walk.

Download a copy of the full Consultation Report PDF FORMAT

Plans for The Level

Round Hill Society comments
on The Level consultation

In no particular order we think the following are important:

Toilets – there should be toilets accessible to small children and parents without the need to pass through the proposed café. In addition these should not be the same facilities accessed from inside the café – parents will want to know who their children will meet when going into the toilets. The toilets must include full RADAR standard toilets for disabled users.

Open space north of Rose Walk – We feel that this is very valuable as open space, in an area where there are few open expanses of grass. Consider the winter snow, when snow structures appeared overnight, or the summer when the area is full of groups and individuals walking, sitting, talking, sunbathing and barbequing. Open space is needed for informal football, cricket, Frisbee, catch, juggling and dog-exercising, and lots is needed to avoid conflict. The Level provides this now, and it should be retained.

The perimeter of The Level - we are concerned that the perimeter paths, grass areas and hedgerows do not seem to be part of the consultation process. In terms of habitat these are key areas, and need to be planned properly if they are to be enhanced rather than degraded.

The hedgerows could provide a softer security boundary than plain fencing, and would do a better job if the variety of species was increased to include native thorny species.

The mowing regime of grass should be managed to ensure longer grass at the hedge, with more frequent mowing towards the path, balancing good habitat with more formal space.

The cycle lane and pedestrian lanes need more frequent marking to reduce conflict.

The maintenance of the Level will be key to its appearance, over time the natural stone retaining walls have been allowed to crumble and collapse in many places. They should be repaired using the same stone, to retain the character and quality of the space.

Meeting and eating venue open in the evenings - we particularly liked the idea of the café being open into the evening, offering a new meeting and eating place, which would provide an element of self-policing for the whole area. We would like to see this idea pursued, especially when it comes to drawing up the management contract for the new café.

We would be grateful if these ideas can be included in the consultation process.

For and on behalf of The Round Hill Society,
Annie Rimington, Chair
Rob Stephenson, Secretary
14th December 2010

Petition RE loss of green space
A growing number of local residents, while acknowledging the value of these facilities, are concerned about the loss of green open space in the part of the park where the existing concrete skateboard will be moved. The first picture (below) shows the existing skate park

Plans for The Level
The next picture shows the location of the proposed skate park, which would cover undeveloped green space (north of the rose garden) with concrete.
Plans for The Level

If you share this concern, you can register your feeling by adding your name to an e-petition on The Council's website.

The wording of the e-petition is as follows:

Keep the Level a green open space

We the undersigned petition the council to take account of our opposition to any structural development of the area of the Level north of the Rose Walk. We believe that a new and improved skate park should be built in the southern play area.

Brighton & Hove City Council is proposing to build a new skate park on the only remaining undeveloped green end of the Level, which is in the Valley Gardens Conservation area.

Plans to move the location of the skate park to the open, green area contravene the spirit of an iconic community resource that should be preserved from development as a place for congregating, holding community events, festivals and fairs.

Useful links
[with thanks to Mary-Lou of The Triangle Community Group for her assistance]

From Brighton and Hove City Council's website:

The Council's last (2009) consultation
The Council's original proposals
Find out about The Level Revamp project
e-petition RE loss of green space on The Level
The Level - skate park
Option B (skatepark in Southern End) presented in Oct/Nov 2009 consultation

From The Argus:

Staying on the greener Level
Brighton Park in line for revamp
Brighton Park in line for revamp - comments

Concerned Groups

Friends of The Level
The Triangle Community Group

This page was last updated by Ted on 25-Sep-2012
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