Gardens & wildlife

Richmond House proposal Design Weaknesses

One of the attractions of our conservation area is the gaps between the ends-of-terraces. These allow views both into & out of Round Hill.

Excessive bulk - plugs gaps between ends-of-terraces

The excessive bulk of the 5-storey building (increased in massing by its 3-storey partner) would leave no gap remaining between Richmond Rd and D'Aubigny Rd, a feature which the existing 2-storey Richmond House largely preserves.

As a whole, the proposed development would involve over a fivefold increase in floorspace.

Siting - harmful to longer views into & out of Round Hill

The longer (public) views currently enjoyed stretch down Lewes Rd valley to Wild Park and Coldean woods. They stretch over to Bevendean and Moulsecoomb.

From the top of Bear Road and parts of Woodvale (a little further down the hill) there are good views of the roofscapes and terraces of Richmond Road, D'Aubigny Road, Roundhill Crescent and Ashdown Road, which take in the application site. The 3-storey blocks (above Round Hill street level) will rise well above the roof-line of the existing terraces.

The view over the application site from the middle of Tenantry Down is badly compromised by The Waste Transfer Station in the background. However, longer views from many public vantage points further to the NE, show the lines of Round Hill's terraces and place Hollingdean Depot to one side.

Materials - not in keeping with character & appearance of RH
The lower end of Richmond Road contains 2-storey dwellings (some with additional half basements) which are rendered. Most are painted in light colours - shades of white being the most common. The proposed buildings would be built in a grey blue brick, which would clash with the lighter colour schemes favoured by existing residents. Covering such excessive bulk, the colour of the brick would look both monotonous and heavy.

Instead of bay-windows (sash with wooden frames is the the style of the conservation area) the two proposed buildings will impose (45 + 15 = 60) windows on D'Aubigny Road. These will all be Velfac aluminium windows. Velfac manufactures windows with internal beeding which prevents the glass being removed from outside. Though these may meet a large building's security needs, they are not designed to meet the criteria favoured by the Council's heritage team in relation to Round Hill. They are really an "off-the-shelf solution" to designing a big building.

The proposal to incorporate brick panels below the aluminium window is a further departure from the character & appearance which existing residents are asked to preserve. It would clash noticeably with the bayed fenestration for which makes these streets in Round Hill a good example of mid-Victorian period architecture.

Other materials proposed show an equal lack of respect for the conservationarea and its history:

* The glass balustrade proposed to cover almost the full length of the 5-storey building at street-level in D'Aubigny Road would clearly look ugly, though part of it would be hidden by the smaller 3-storey building.

* Aluminium cladding is proposed in the vicinity of the fire escape. This may also be masked by the smaller three-storey buiding.

Massing - unpleasant outlook for occupants

Using the smaller building to extend the existing row of houses in D'Aubigny Road, but to hide the bigger building is perhaps an attempt to reduce the appearance of heaviness. Putting two buildings so close together does not im prove he outlook for those who have to live in them.

at the end of the proposed building nearest the double-fronted house built orginally for the stationmaster at Lewes Rd railway station (first stop on the Kemp Town Branch Line.
This page was last updated by Ted on 12-Mar-2013
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