Proposals for another scheme for the Anston House site have been submitted to the Council

The latest scheme for the Anston House site consists of 3 towers of 15, 13 and 14 storeys high, packed closely together to form an overbearing wall reaching well above the height of the tall trees in Preston Road.

The proposed three towers cast a solid shadow across the listed Preston Park, serious overshadowing of the Rose Garden and the Rotunda during the afternoons for more than half the year. The Rose Garden and the outside seating at the Rotunda would be completely in shadow between 1pm and 4pm from 21 October to 21 March.

239 windows would, partially or fully, look straight into the back gardens of the houses in Dyke Road Drive, which is unacceptable.

A low rise, high density development, should have been considered for the Anston House site. High density does not have to mean high rise. The development of Brighton’s best buildings of the Regency and Victorian era are built in continuous terraces, this can also be high density, though it is not high rise. Any of the grand terraces on the seafront, are all high density, but not high rise.

Look at the Hanover area of Brighton, high density, but low rise. Look at the high rise buildings on Albion Hill, they do not include any more units of accommodation than the terraced housing they replaced.

A layout based on 2 courtyards with a 7 storey frontage facing on to Preston Road, 3 storeys at the rear of the site, and no more than 9-10 storeys in 3 blocks running on an east/west access based at each end of the site and centrally between the 2 courtyards would provide the same amount of accommodation as the threatened 3 towers of 15, 13 and 14 storeys in hight.

The 40% affordable housing is proposed for this site, but one has to ask oneself whether this scheme will then remain viable? One of the three developers of the scheme has resigned from the partnership, will that also make the scheme unviable?

We support a high density development on this site, but not as unreasonably high rise towers, nor a solution in which there is so much overshadowing of the listed Preston Park, the Rotunda and the Rose Garden.

The possibility of designing high density, but not as high rise scheme, that respects the back gardens of the houses in Dyke Road, the sunlight on the outside seating at the Rotunda, the Rose Garden and the southern narrow end of Preston Park, should be examined before the proposed Anston House is given serious consideration, or better still is refused permission.

Two vacant villas in Preston Road will be converted into flats and houses

Two council-owned villas at 251-253 Preston Road, currently unused, are to be leased to a housing association to provide 32 dwellings, 40% of them affordable

The Council have agreed to dispose of 251-253 Preston Road to Southern Housing Group on a 150 year lease. The housing association recently presented the plans for 32 dwellings with associated parking to nearby residents. The plans showed the conversion and refurbishment of the existing villas, raising the height of the link block from 2 to 3 storeys and seven new houses in the grounds.

Although we liked the crescent shape of the arrangement of the new houses we did not like the design of the houses themselves, which were reminiscent of houses in a New Town. The architects intend to submit the plans in about a month, but it will be some months before they are on view to the general public. .

The two villas near Preston Park Station have been used in recent years by children’s services which have now been moved to Moulsecomb. This proposal will bring the two villas back into residential use, providing much-needed homes.

Southern Housing Group emerged as the recommended bidder in a competitive tendering process that attracted 13 bids. The housing association plans to convert the building to provide 24 flats and build seven new houses in the rear gardens. Forty per cent of the dwellings will be affordable.

The Square in Patcham: a hidden gem

Listed houses in The Square Patcham

THE SQUARE is particularly picturesque – enhanced by its ‘hidden’ location, the presence of verdant front gardens and informal surface treatments that are in keeping with its rural character. The buildings retain many original features, including horizontally sliding sash and vertically hung sash windows, clay tile and slate roofs and traditional outbuildings, which contribute to the character of The Square.

C18 cottages in The Square Patcham

Many Patcham people do not know of the existence of The Square as it is hidden by the cottages along the Old London Road. It has a distinctive character of its own, that of an original 18th century village street with its unmade path. The occupations of the inhabitants of the Square during the nineteenth century were mostly agricultural labourers, gardeners and carters plus a few railway workers and washerwomen.
Yvonne Ray

ENGLISH HERITAGE states that cottages nos.8 and 9 were listed 2/3/81 whereas nos.19 and 20 were listed  26/8/99.

Single storey cottages in The Square in Patcham

There are three derelict listed single storey cottages (or wash houses), which the owner proposes to convert to a single cottage. It is said that these cottages were last occupied in 1938. The Preston & Patcham Society welcomes the proposal to restore them and convert them to one house, but opposes the design of the new single storey house which is out of character amongst 18th century cotttages.

We now understand that the single storey cottages are now beyond repair. So what is to happen next?