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Proposals for the Royal Alexandra carpark site
1. Police report
Sgt Puddephat reported that crime was down 15% in the city centre. Still no progress on locking the cemetery gates. Graffiti seemed to be on the increase – residents were urged to report graffiti so that the ‘tags’ could be checked against police database to identify the culprits.
2. Presentation by Fishersgate Ltd and Morgan Carn, Architects on proposals for Royal Alex Carpark site
This section of the meeting chaired by Cllr Roy Pennington
David Dalton spoke of Fishersgate’s aspiration to leave a legacy for future generations –a potentially listable building – and this had governed their choice of architects who had been responsible for an award-winning development in a Lewes conservation area. Architect Lap Chan introduced the discussion, talking of ‘learning from the context’ and the ‘language of the area’ and the need for good workmanship; he stated that he had had discussions with Roger Dowty, Chief Conservation Officer. The developers proposed submitting a planning application for the 6 townhouses in 3-4 weeks.
A range of views were expressed, revolving around the following issues:
• Trees: it was pointed out that 3 of the trees did not appear on the plan; there was some confusion about whether the trees had TPOs and whether these 3 were diseased or not, but the developers confirmed that if they were not diseased these 3 would stay. The developers were reminded that if a tree was removed in a conservation area, it had to be replaced with 2; others queried the need to keep all 5;
• Eco aspects: the architects confirmed that they were aiming at the smallest possible carbon footprint with underground carparking, greywater containers in the carpark basement, rainwater harvesting and that they were looking at solar panels.
3. The main Royal Alex site
Peter Freeman explained that before Christmas he had invited Wimpey to attend this meeting and had understood that they would be represented. Today he had received a fax (which he read) explaining why they were not attending but were hoping to attend a future meeting. The hope was expressed that Cllr Roy Pennington would re-convene the Steering Group which he agreed to.
Meanwhile, it was suggested that Wimpey should be informed of our disappointment that they were not there to hear residents’ views. Peter Freeman undertook to do this and to take up Wimpey’s offer to attend a future meeting.
Those present expressed their views as follows:
• John Oliver, Practice Manager at the Montpelier Surgery in Victoria Road (accompanied by Drs Marshall-Andrews and Roderick-Evans) outlined 3 problems which would be addressed by acquiring premises at the Royal Alex main site
The need for George Wimpey to be persuaded of the community’s needs was emphasised and it was pointed out that residents had indicated their support at several meetings and in a survey for a new medical centre to be provided in the context of the Alex’s re-development. The CMPCA had sent a letter to the Council to this effect last summer, which had now also been passed to Wimpey.
Roger Dowty, Chief Conservation Officer, was invited to comment on the re-development of the Alex: he said that
Adam Jones took over as Chair again at this point in the meeting.
4. Minutes of previous meeting
These were approved.
5. Update from Management Committee
Following the rejection of the application for charitable status, it was agreed not to pursue the possibility of an appeal at the moment. Small amendments to tidy up the constitution would be circulated for consideration at the 20 Feb meeting. Thanks were expressed to all involved in organising and taking part in the Christmas Party at St Nicholas; £1000 had been raised and would be divided between the Brighton Housing Trust and the St Nicholas Restoration Appeal. A reminder was given about the photo competition the deadline for which would be extended and the competition re-launched in the next CMPCAnews (with the possibility of using suitable prizewinning photos as postcards for the area).
6. Treasurer’s report
At 1 Jan 2007 the net balance in the account (taking into account the £1000 donation to charity and outstanding printing costs for CMPCAnews6) was about £1400.
Parking: Roy Pennington reported that all residents would shortly receive a new zone permit or could use their old permit until May; during that time, the council would monitor the way permits are being used and in the following 6 months will monitor internal commuting. CMPCA is asking to be involved in the review. Steve Crockett reminded the meeting that secondary schools’ admissions issue would be voted on on 2 Feb and those with a view should lobby councillors.
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