Brunswick Outer Harbour Development Scheme
This is a copy of a Letter from Robert Powell of Marine Gate Action Group to B&HCC Planning Department with reference to Application No. BH2012/00042, the Brunswick Outer Harbour Marina development.
Kemp Town Society has written in support. We have also endorsed efforts from Peter Martin, Chairman of the Marina Residents Association, who is also keeping a watchful eye on the “revisions” contained in the above Application by Brunswick.
“We understand that applications have been submitted by DP9 on behalf of Brunswick Developments Group plc with regards to the Marina. We assume that in essence the application is similar to BH2006/04307 which has now expired and will seek to gain approval for various so called ‘minor amendments’. We offer some initial thoughts on the areas that concern us – obviously these are made without sight of the new application.
We do not consider the proposed amendments to be a ‘minor material change’ to BH2006/01124, which received planning approval on 4th July 2006. Any application that requires 47 documents (as BH2006/04307 did) is not consistent with the term ‘minor amendments’. It must be a Full Planning application – for the whole development, not simply Block F.
There are fundamental changes proposed to the approved application BH 2006/01124 and several changes in Planning Legislation that must now be considered.
1 In the approved application BH2006/01124, 491 car parking spaces were located in a three-storey car park beneath the tower blocks including reinforced wave dissipation chambers that were considered necessary and were an improvement on the refused application BH2004/03673/FP. In the approved application there is a direct relationship between the residential towers and the car parks via vertical elevator cores. Disabled parking is located in close relationship to the base of the elevator cores. In the amended proposal two levels of car parking (344 spaces) are removed and located on three levels under Block F. Only 152 spaces will now be located beneath the residential towers that house the bulk of the 853 apartments. The result is that many residents will now have to walk in excess of 200 metres from their parking space under Block F to the elevator core serving their apartment. Disabled parking is a considerable distance from many apartments. The design is a compromise and is functionally a far worse solution than the approved application. This is a major change involving shifting in excess of 10,000 square metres of floor space from one part of the site to another. It cannot be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be minor and it has repercussions on the whole development rationale.
2 The removal of the wave chambers with perforated walls means that the tower blocks will now be sitting above the Spending Beach on exposed concrete piles (This is what was originally submitted for the refused application BH 2004/03673/FP). We have concerns about the wave climate, the hydrodynamics and the danger to boats entering the Marina as a result of the proposed changes. We are concerned about the accumulation of marine refuse and flotsam beneath the suspended deck. This is a major change.
3 The increase in retail use of approximately 762 square metres is a major change to the approved plans. It is achieved at the expense of community provisions including the removal of the harbour offices, the removal of the Yacht Club and the relocation of RNLI parking from surface level to the basement. We are concerned that these changes may have serious implications particularly the response time of the lifeboat crew.
4 Residential use is introduced on the first floor. Without sight of the new application drawings we are unable to comment at this stage.
5 We are concerned about the noise created by the building of double skin cofferdams.
6 We are concerned that insufficient thought has been given to the interaction with the approved 3T development. This will generate additional car parking pressure on the area and will also affect the principle bus route into and out of the Marina – the No.7.
7 We are concerned about the overshadowing of public space in the Marina by the high-rise towers. Insufficient evidence has been produced in the past to overcome our fears that many public spaces would be unusable.
8 We believe the whole development should be reconsidered in relation to: • Planning and Climate Change – Supplement to PPS 1 published by DCLG in December 2007. And Climate Change Act 2008 published In July 2009 • PAN 04 adopted March 2008. It contains important new requirements that ‘ key views of the cliffs to the east from the cliff top are protected and/ or enhanced,’ and the development would ‘allow visual permeability through the development to preserve key views of the sea from the cliff top’. PAN 04 Page 31 – 36 (March 2008). • The designation of the South Downs National Park on 12th November 2009/ 31st March 2010. Views from the National Park are seen as being of national/regional importance. • The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MACAA). From 6th May 2011, Part 4 of the Act notes ‘A Marine License is required for activities up to the spring high tide watermark” in addition to ‘a Terrestrial Planning Permission for development to the Spring low tide watermark”.
9 You will be aware that as the overall development exceeds the height of the cliffs it will also be necessary under the 1968 Brighton Marina Act to go to a full meeting of BHCC Council to obtain approval. This is a separate matter to Planning Approval.
10 Finally – DP9 make constant reference to the BH2006/01124 having been ‘implemented’ – presumably agreed with BHCC. The common definition of the word means ‘to carry out or fulfill’. It is clear that nothing has happened on the Marina in relation to BH2006/01124 since 4th July 2006. There have been no boreholes, no site cabins, no hoardings, and no foundations dug – how then could the approval have been implemented?
These are some of our initial concerns – naturally they are somewhat ill formed at this stage as we have not been consulted and we have not seen any drawings. We are concerned about what is sometimes referred to as ‘salami’ planning i.e. slicing up the major development into small ‘minor amendments’. What guarantee do we have that similar applications will not follow?” Robert Powell.