Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


(a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full Council or at the meeting itself.


(b)          Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 1 March 2019.


(c)          Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 1 March 2019.




(i)           Hove Museum and Art Gallery


70.1      Christopher Hawtree put the following question:


“Would the Chair please tell us what steps he will be taking to ensure that the rooms on the ground floor of Hove Museum and Art Gallery are used to display paintings and drawings from the Reserve stock?”


70.2      The Chair provided the following reply:


“There are currently no plans to use the ground floor temporary exhibition spaces for displaying the paintings and drawings from the collections in store.

Hove Museum and Arts Gallery’s temporary exhibitions are displayed in these rooms and are programmed in line with a theme of making funded by the Arts Council and focus on engaging young people, children and families. For example, in September there was a show of local young people’s work who had worked with professional artists and museum staff to develop their creative skills to produce work inspired by the collections.

The display of paintings on the second floor is changed approximately every two years, bringing out pictures from the stores and there are plans to do so later this year should the RPM be successful in raising funds for a painting of local interest which would be displayed alongside other pictures of the locality. The pictures in the Pocock room are changed occasionally.

The displays in the fine art galleries in Brighton Museum are changed from time to time to show case pictures from the collections in store.

Bringing out pictures from the collections in store often involve conservation, framing and glazing of works”. 


70.3      Christopher Hawtree asked the following supplementary question:


“Would you not agree that it behoves you to make available such diverse work such as Dunham-King and local artist Ida Werner to our town’s residents, who, many of themselves as artists were recently very keen to save the museum and are aghast that so much of what belongs to us is, in effect, confined to a lock-up?”


70.4      The Chair provided the following reply:


“As far as the rooms we are talking of go, the temporary space is used and I refer you back to one of the items in my Chair’s communications where students from the University of Brighton were displaying their works in those two galleries and the students and tutors were explaining to me how marvellous it is to see their paintings in a gallery environment. I think it’s more appropriate that we use the galleries as they are at the moment”.


(ii)          Valley Gardens Phase 3


70.5      Julia Weeks put the following question:


“Some Tourism Alliance members have publicly expressed their concern that the council's preferred option 1, in particular the removal of the Pier roundabout in conjunction with creating what is now five lanes of two-way traffic all to the east of the Steine, will have a detrimental impact on tourism to the city. It's noted that the Chair of TDC did not raise any questions about this option at Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee. In order for me to share a balanced view with all Tourism Alliance members could the Chair now state his reasons for supporting this particular option?”


70.6      The Chair provided the following reply:


“In my role as Chair of this committee I have taken a keen interest in the connection between the development of the Valley Gardens scheme as a whole and the city’s visitor economy.

As a member of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee and my role as Chair of this Committee I have been able to receive several detailed briefings on the development of the scheme as well as feed-back from the several workshops held with organisations including the Tourism Alliance, bus companies, event organisers, taxi trade reps and others.

In addition, I have personally met with a number of people and stakeholders including The Sealife Centre, The Palace Pier and Latest TV.  

Including yourself Julia who I have spoken to quite a few times over the last two months and I am sure we will talk lots more!  

 I am also confident that these engagement meetings will continue with groups and individuals as the process moves through the detailed design stage.

I cannot accept that the new designs will have a detrimental impact on tourism to the city.  In fact, I believe that more people are likely to want to come and spend time in what will be a new destination area with fresh, new gardens, better pedestrian access, easier arrival by bus and bike, plus easier and safer access to the seafront, The Lanes and St James’ Street area. This will all support our tourism offer, not detract from it.

A lot more public open space will be created offering opportunities for informal event use as well as dedicated space for events that will, for the first time, be supported with permanent infrastructure built into the gardens. This will give the city centre a new focus, something that has been sadly lacking for several years”.


70.7      Julia Weeks asked the following supplementary question:


“As the Chair of the TD&C Committee and as such, chosen to represent the interests of the city’s culture, tourism and economic sectors, in order to come to your decision to support Option 1, approximately how many businesses and relevant individual organisations from those sectors did you personally meet with, engage with or seek views from that ultimately led you to conclude that this option was the correct one?”


70.8      The Chair provided the following reply:


“I can have a tot up if you like and go back through my diary and I’ve named three in my first response. They may have been against the scheme, but I’ve still met them. Am I only supposed to meet people that are for the scheme? I’m not sure I understand the question. Perhaps my role was to convince those people against of the scheme. I’ve become convinced over a number of months that this is the right scheme and I remain convinced”


(iii)        PVP Event


70.9      Trevor Scoble put the following question:


“Does the 2019 PVP event meet the requirements on 'means of escape' in relation to HSE 154 & HSE 192?”


70.10   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The Pride Village Party is run by Brighton Pride Community Interest Company.

Brighton Pride CIC compiles and provides event management plans and risk assessments for the Pride Village Party annually as required under current Health and Safety Legislation. These plans outline the means of escape, movement and management of people in normal operating procedures and in an emergency. These are subject to scrutiny and approval through a multi-agency process.  This is the City safety advisory group. The fire service are part of the consultation process and no objections have been raised to the current plans. The event on the day is also overseen by a multi-agency ‘silver command’ based at Sussex Police HQ who monitor crowds and will make decisions to ensure that the safety of attendees and other interested parties is maintained. There is no HSE 192 currently in publication”.


70.11   Trevor Scoble asked the following supplementary question:


“As the council officers did not attend the PVP, and no follow up public meeting was convened to gather info and as the consultation document only went public a day before the council, LAT and Kingscliffe Society agreed street by street walkabouts to present the residents issues, does this consultation document therefore, deal with the resident’s problems? That notwithstanding the report has given majority support for the move of the PVP”.


70.12   The Chair provided the following reply:


“The issue you are raising will be debated later in the meeting so if we could wait until then, I’m sure you will get the answers you require”




(i)           Swift Boxes


70.13   The Chair stated that due to the similarity in items 70 (c)i and 72(d)ii, he would take the items together and provide a joint response.


70.14   The Committee considered a Deputation requesting that the necessary planning policy changes be made to ensure swift bricks be installed in every suitable new development to counter the decline in the species in recent years.


(D)      Notices of Motion


(i)           Swift Boxes and Bee Bricks


70.15   The Committee considered a Notice of Motion requesting an officer report detailing changes required to local planning policy and process to ensure that a vast majority of new developments in the city incorporated swift boxes and bee bricks.


70.16   Introducing the Motion, Councillor Nemeth provided an overview of the need for bee bricks and swift boxes to combat a decline in the population of both species. Councillor Nemeth explained that the purpose of the Motion was to ensure that the bricks and boxes would be compulsory for all new developments unless there was a special need not to do so.


70.17   Councillor Norman formally seconded the Motion.


70.18   Councillor Mears stated that there was opportunity to broaden implementation into council housing stock and make a quicker start rather than wait for City Plan Part Two.


70.19   Councillor Mac Cafferty welcomed the petition but caveated that no matter how strong local policy was on environmental issues, national legislation was urgently required to protect the environment and to stop the corrosive national policies.


70.20   Councillor Cattell stated her support for the petition and whilst such a policy had been encouraged in the past, firmer action might be required. Councillor Cattell noted that three members of the committee were also members of Planning Committee and it would promote awareness for the matters considered by that committee.


70.21   Councillor Miller welcomed the petition and asked if a standard informative could be used on planning applications.


70.22   The Head of Planning clarified that conditions were attached to major schemes asking for nature conservation improvement measures and would be looked at for the next Planning Committee.


70.23   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition and resolves to call for an officer report on what changes need to be made to both local planning policy and process to ensure that a vast majority of new developments in the city incorporate swift boxes and/or bee bricks.


(ii)          A deputation from Amex Area Neighbourhood Forum


70.24   The Committee considered a deputation requesting the Council to make improvements to the planning process.


70.25   The Chair provided the following response:


Thank you for your deputation and I understand your concerns.

The Local Planning Authority has a quasi-judicial role in putting development plans in place and determining planning applications. It is required to operate within the framework of rules set by national policy. Policies in the City Plan go as far as they can to address local issues, such as housing need, within these rules. For example, by setting a target of 40% affordable housing on major new development and securing affordable housing on small schemes.   

Government policy requires all local planning authorities to set out their five-year housing land supply position on an annual basis. The government has also recently introduced the housing delivery test - there are penalties where local authorities cannot demonstrate they are not delivering enough housing against their adopted plans.

The council’s Planning Service has to work within this framework, but the lack of a five-year housing supply is not, in itself, sufficient reason to permit a scheme where there are other significant concerns. You can be assured that planning applications are scrutinised by planning officers and technical experts and that all major applications are carefully considered by the Planning Committee.

It is important that local residents are engaged at the earliest possible stages on major development proposals – before a planning application is submitted. This is encouraged by government guidance and our Statement of Community Involvement. I am afraid this isn’t, however, a requirement. I am advised that engagement was undertaken in the case of the former Amex site as part of a planning brief for the site and by the applicants. I am sorry to hear you don’t feel you were listened to. 

I understand your concerns about whether affordable housing genuinely meets local needs. To address this the council is actively involved in several initiatives to deliver genuinely affordable homes for local people and has already successfully delivered over 170 homes for affordable rent over the last 3 years through the New Homes for Neighbourhoods Programme with many hundreds more in the pipeline”.


70.26   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the deputation.

Supporting documents:


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