21 January 2013 meeting minutes

Photo:Community Base, Queen's Road

Community Base, Queen's Road

NLCA delegation to Transport Committee

By Lyn Turpin, NLCA Secretary

Welcome to all, particularly new residents. 40 attended. Apologies from Kathryn Cheston, Christine Clark-Lowes, Sandy Crowhurst, Lizzie Deane, Tony McCully, Glynis Simpson, Gabrielle Villermet.

Minutes of 17 December 2012 meeting

The minutes were approved.



Barry Leigh reported that he has objected on behalf of the NLCA to the extra floor proposed for 41 Bond Street (Pink). As the owners have already been permitted to develop the upper floors as a hostel, Barry had little hope that the objection would be successful.

Regarding the planning application mentioned at the last meeting – to demolish the garage at 9 Vine Street and build a 3-storey town house in its place – Sandy and Barry had decided not to comment.


Roy Skam reported on a new licensing application for the Old Courtroom, 118 Church Street which he had yet to investigate. Residents suggested that the application was to allow the Old Courtroom to play a bigger role as a Brighton Festival venue and saw no reason to object.

Car club bays

Peter Crowhurst reported that residents’ objections to the proposal to add two car club bays in Kensington Place had led to the proposal being withdrawn.

LAT and police report

John Sharman reported that it had been a good month for local arrests – burglars caught in the act, thanks to vigilant neighbours, and three more graffiti arrests, one near Regent Street. He also mentioned the recent fire at Pinocchio’s which also caused damage to Badger Clothing in Bond Street – both are currently closed for business.

John expressed his concern about the Council’s recent announcement of a 20mph limit throughout the city centre and the ability of the police to enforce it. He also mentioned that the police would be starting their ‘days of action’ again shortly and that, as part of ‘Operation Marble’, two policemen are now patrolling the North Laine area on foot on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from midnight till 3am.

In response to the Chair’s question about street noise, John replied that it would generally be treated as anti-social behaviour but that noise alone would probably not lead to an arrest.

The Chair reported that he had put an item about the impact of student accommodation in the city on the agenda of the next meeting of the chairs of LATs. Although he did not doubt the ability of the universities to control student behaviour within the accommodation, he was concerned that they would be unable to control late night noise from students in the surrounding area. In Southampton, students now face an £80 fine for noise nuisance. One resident pointed out that students do benefit the local economy – to the tune of around £5 each per day.

Jonathan Ridley from the Community Safety Casework Team informed the meeting that the team had been working with residents, environmental health workers and the landlord to improve the anti-social behaviour at a ‘party house’ in Kemp Street. He also mentioned that the team were dealing with incidents involving a group of school children in Churchill Square, North Street and into North Laine. He advised residents to report instances of anti-social behaviour to them (01273 292929 option 8). The Environmental Health ‘noise patrol’ can be contacted for complaints about noise (from premises, not the street) on Friday and Saturday nights 10pm – 3am on 01273 293541.

Feedback on NLCA delegation to Transport Committee

Peter Crowhurst reported that he and Lyn Turpin had met with Caroline Lucas MP before Christmas to discuss North Laine issues, especially the Station Gateway project and City College redevelopment proposals. She seemed very supportive of our position and said she would be in touch with our local councillors regarding our conversation.

Peter went on to report on the deputation to the Transport Committee meeting held on 15 January concerning the Station Gateway project. In a prepared statement, he objected on behalf of the NLCA to the proposed siting of the taxi rank in Frederick Place, asked for the Council to reconsider the identified ‘viable options’ (including leaving the taxi rank where it is), and asked for there to be a fresh public consultation on a revised scheme (but no trial). The committee chair, Cllr Ian Davey, read a prepared response in which he proposed further time for more work ‘to study in detail the traffic movements around the North Laine area’ in order for ‘a future Transport Committee to make an informed decision as the best way forward’. He did not promise further public consultation and did not consider the opposition to the Frederick Place proposal unanimous.

It was agreed that pressure needs to be put on our local councillors, Ian Davey and Pete West, before the next meeting of the Transport Committee. It was also suggested that Ian Davey should stand down as committee chair for the item on the Station Gateway project as there was an obvious conflict between his role as chair and that of representing the residents of his ward. Lizzie Deane had attended the January deputation but only one person (Peter) had been allowed to speak. At the March meeting, where only 15 minutes would be allowed for the deputation, it was hoped that Peter could speak as NLCA Chair, Lizzie as our local councillor, and someone else as a North Laine resident. Kevin Daly and Peter also promised to try to persuade the NLTA to support the NLCA position and possibly join the deputation.

Other suggestions included lobbying other members of the Transport Committee (although Peter reported that there had been little comment from either the Labour or Conservative members at the January meeting), investigating whether a legal challenge to the consultation could be made, and asking Caroline Lucas at the February meeting about the Green councillors’ position on the issue. It was also agreed to ask Jim Mayor for the results of the latest traffic monitoring survey asap.

Phil Lobatto reported that, so far, around 700 print and 170 online signatures had been collected for the petition opposing the Frederick Place taxi rank location – over half of the 1250 needed to trigger a full council debate. He also reported that on 14 January the Argus had run an item on the Station Gateway project and the petition, quoting Phil and including a photo of around 30 residents who turned out in the rain in support. The report didn’t really capture the argument so Phil wrote a letter, published 17 January, explaining the objections in more detail.

Eco issues

There were none raised.

NLCA website

A group of interested members met on 14 January to review the NLCA website. It was agreed that it needed to be revised, restructured and relaunched. Older material needed to be deleted or archived, navigation improved to make topics more accessible, and more effort made to keep the site up-to-date with topical issues. It was agreed that a group should be set up to look at the site content (reorganising, archiving, deleting etc) – anyone interested in joining should contact Peter Crowhurst. The meeting supported the proposal to apply for funding to improve the overall look of the website, the second phase of the project.

Residents’ concerns

There were none expressed.

Group reports

Jackie Fuller informed street reps that the next Runner would be available for collection on Wednesday 30 January.

Any other business

• February meeting – it was agreed to focus on the two main agenda items, allowing c.1 hour for discussion on the City College redevelopment plans and c. 40 mins with Caroline Lucas.

• Comedy night at Komedia on 23 January – Kim Curran reported that there were still a few tickets left.

• Brighton History Centre – Geoff Mead warned that the Centre will be closing in April and most of the material will not be available until the new historical resource centre at Falmer known as The Keep opens before the end of 2013. A small ‘local history hub’ will be relocated to the public library.

• Facebook and Twitter – we are looking for volunteers to take over the day-to-day management of the NLCA Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Afterthe meeting, Simon Rawson expressed an interest.)


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