So, there have been a couple of planning applications recently rejected by Brighton & Hove City Council, one for the Marina and one for the old Royal Alexandra Hospital site in the Clifton Hill area.
You’ll remember the royal Alex from my earlier post here. It looks like my warning about its imminent demise were somewhat hasty; the Councillors assembled decided that the plans, submitted by Taylor Wimpey, weren’t good enough for two reasons. They considered that there wasn’t enough play area for the kids living in the proposed flat blocks and also, well – that it was ugly. I mean, they don’t say as much. They say:
It is considered that the development by virtue of its siting, height, scale, mass, detailing and appearance does not contribute positively to its immediate surroundings and would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of both the street scene and the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Conservation Area and the setting of the West Hill Conservation Area.
But basically, in the well-worn legalese of the planning department, that means it’s ugly. U-G-L-Y. Now, Clifton Hill and the surrounding area is arguably the prettiest part of a very pretty city. One day every year, sometime between late April and mid-May, Brighton wakes up: the stucco gets a fresh coat of sunlight and the buildings grow an inch for every storey. And on that day I inevitably find myself wondering along Clifton Terrace, wistful and light-headed and wollowing in other cliches, because that’s where the houses are whitest.