Agenda item - Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan

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Agenda item

Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan

Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture


1)           That the Committee agree that the Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan be approved for publication.


44.1      The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that summarised the response to public consultation on the draft Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan and sought approval to publish the final document.


44.2      Councillor Allen stated that the Synagogue was one of the most iconic yet least visited fine buildings in Brighton and more needed to be done to make it more accessible and to recognise its significance in Brighton history. Councillor Allen stated that he hoped officers would be in touch with the owners of the building for further discussion.


44.3      The Principal Planning Officer answered that the cultural and historical importance of the Synagogue was well understood and a meeting at the site had been held the previous day with representatives of the owners and Historic England that had resulted in a positive outcome.


44.4      Councillor Mears stated that there was great local concern about the condition of the Synagogue and Hippodrome and asked what action was intended to be taken.


44.5      The Principal Planning Officer replied that officers were keenly aware of the deteriorating condition of the Hippodrome and informal measures had been taken to make reactive repairs and to keep the site secure. The Principal Planning Officer stated that that should there be further deterioration, discussions would be held with Historic England and measures to undertake would be set out. The Principal Planning Officer added that officers were waiting to hear from the owner of the Hippodrome regarding the future intentions for the building and a meeting was scheduled to discuss long-term planning. In the event the owner refused to maintain the building, a decision would be made on whether to take formal action.


44.6      Councillor Mears asked if a site visit could be arranged for the committee.


44.7      The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that a request to do so would be made to the owner of the building via the architects.


44.8      As ward councillor for the area, Councillor Philips praised the consultation process and reiterated the key issues identified including shop vacancy levels, graffiti and the number of A board and other pavement obstacles in the area.


44.9      Councillor Cattell asked if it would be possible to use Section 215 Notices in the area and requested an update on the development between Middle Street and West Street that had received planning permission as she had received no recent information.


44.10   With reference to the West Street/Middle Street development, the Principal Planning Officer clarified that since permission had been granted, the applicants had been discharging a number of the conditions on the application.


44.11   Councillor Druitt enquired as to the plans for future engagement with the Steering Group and whether an invitation to join the Group could be extended to the owners of the Hippodrome.


44.12   The Principal Planning Officer replied that discussions were ongoing as to whether the Steering Group should continue as a monitoring body once the masterplan was approved. The owner of the Hippodrome could be invited to join the Steering Group and that would be brought up at the next meeting with them.


44.13   Councillor Druitt noted that one of the recommendations of the masterplan was for an Article 4 Direction and asked whether it was intended to implement the proposal and if so, what the timescales would be.


44.14   The Principal Planning Officer explained that Article 4 Direction was one of a number of the recommendations of the report and officers would need to determine the priority of those actions and decide whether such action was necessary.


44.15   RESOLVED- That the Committee agree that the Old Town Conservation Area Management Plan be approved for publication.

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