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Minutes of the 20 November 2007 Community Meeting

1. Police report

PC James Marter confirmed crime in the area down 7.8% on last year, but burglary up 12.2% - extra patrols in place to deal with it. Drug use and dealing around Powis Square and Powis Road a current problem. BT can operate withheld number option in call boxes (AS to ask PSCA to call for this and PS to ask St Nick’s and SNCGSA). Thanks were expressed to Sarah Lovett, departing PCSO (successor to be Bobbi King). Email address for team: regency.team@sussex.pnn.police.uk

2 City Centre management and the impact on residents of commercial life

PC Marter introduced the ‘cumulative impact zone’. At present, when licensed premise wants to open or vary conditions, the presumption is that those conditions will be granted, unless ‘challenged’ by residents; up to now, up to us to make case shouldn’t be allowed, by keeping noise diaries etc. Since November 2005, 6.24% increase in licensed premises opened in B & H. CIZ won’t stop new premises opening or provide a cap, but it will put burden of proof on to licensee to prove that eg extra noise etc won’t happen. The CMPCA will be able to put views forward on the scope of the CIZ; Colin Giddings (290000) person to contact re input into CIZ. Collective voice stronger than individuals.

Rob Fraser, Head of Planning Strategy said Council looking at existing policies for town centre. It was likely that retail outlets would remain in current area. Most changes of use had taken place west of Norfolk Square. In terms of licensing, very restricted in terms of how can act but can object under planning applications to restrict hours. Roger Dowty, Head of Design and Conservation Team, talked about preserving character and appearance. From Churchill Square to Waitrose was prime regional shopping area. At similar meeting with EBRA, feeling that whilst the area west of Norfolk Square had developed a cosmopolitan village feel, it had actually gone too far in terms of small bars and hot food take-aways staying open much longer. Council officials chastened by this and realise there is a problem. Now monitoring ‘perceived nuisance’ much more closely, and will judge developments against amenity and general character of the area and ensuring a balance between shops and non-shops and give as much or more weight to residential amenity and character. Endeavouring to work towards creating quality streets. Nuisance from A boards and chairs being addressed. Consultation on waste collection; ‘Improving our public realm’; meeting with neighbourhood groups to try and develop more holistic approach to counteract impression that Council favours businesses too much.

Were businesses such as restaurants opening because of higher population density in the area? More to do with the migration of restaurants away from traditional areas such as Preston Street to Church Road Hove in recent years - customers drawn from all over city. Why does ‘cumulative impact zone’ stop at Montpelier Road?

There was also proliferation of off-licenses and corner shops with licenses. There was little planning policy could do to prevent new restaurants opening. Is there scope to improve the interplay between planning rules and the new licensing laws? PF recently took to appeal late night off-license application in Seven Dials. Found that licensing law dominates – not aware of any relevant planning regulations. Any discussion of licensing hours and Cumulative Impact Zone should take into account take-aways, off-sales and sitting out areas in residential areas.

Concern expressed about A boards, tables and chairs on the pavement; how is this usage monitored and controlled? Roger Dowty said mission statement needed about what the Council was trying to achieve: 10 years ago ‘café culture’ was the cry and the desire to make city as lively as possible but now maybe balance needed to protect disabled users of the highway.

Crown Street residents felt whole street was blighted by lorries delivering to Primark and that restricting deliveries to designated bay in Western Road had not been upheld. RF said this could not be re-visited but issues raised should be borne in mind in the future. It was felt that a Neighbourhood Amenity Policy was needed. There would be consultation on a core strategy in the Spring and further follow up in 2009.

3. Update on RAH re-development

RD reported that development application had been withdrawn and that Taylor Wimpey had been advised that they had not made an adequate case for demolition. TW still working with original scheme and were of opinion retaining main building would mean reducing number of units from 156 to 50. The re-submission would include an economic assessment in commercial terms of what stacked up. Every possibility that the planning authority would take a second opinion. The economics of the development would be taken into account in any decision taken by planning committee. TW have asked for the council’s informal views on their case (first time round the case was not made). RD was of the view that the main building would not convert easily. GT said that a number of people would like to see part of the building retained and felt it COULD be converted. Also there had been no effective community involvement. RD confirmed that it would NOT be necessary for TW to consult the public again on their re-submission. A pre-application meeting was taking place in two weeks time. Carpark site: this was expected to go to planning committee within the month – one of the issues was the ‘neighbourly amenity of adjoining premises’.

4 Minutes of 18 Sept meeting were approved.

5 Update from Management Committee

Parking John Riddington reported on the successful walkabout with council officer Charles Field and spaces regained and in the survey requested by MC to see what support there was in Z streets that had not yet responded to request moving boundary to Western Road. So far, those above Upper North Street were in favour, and those below not so keen. Communal bins Council’s Environment committee had agreed bins scheme should be rolled our across central Brighton and MC had written to ensure that CMPCA residents were included in consultation. Counsellor Sven Rufus had been taken on tour of where bins were originally planned to be placed. Agreed Chair to write to Jenny Rowlands requesting FULL consultation with residents. Tickets selling for Christmas party 4 December.

6 Treasurer’s report

Newsletters continued to generate a modest surplus.

7 AOB

Graham Allen, community worker supporting Neighbourhood Action Group in Brunswick and Regency, described range of initiatives to reduce inequalities and bring communities together, and invited small grant applications for £200-£500.

31 attended

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