The Society membership consists of residents of the Estate and the wider community who share the importance of maintaining or improving the work of preservation of the Estate and upholding of its Grade 1 listing status as one of the leading residential Regency conservation areas in the UK as designated under section 227 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
Its future goal is to entrench the Estate and the Enclosures, the 6 acres of gardens around which the Estate are planned, as a nationally important architectural Heritage site.
The Estate, consisting of Sussex Square, Lewes Crescent and the adjoining Arundel and Chichester Terraces, covers a larger area than Grosvenor Square, London. Eclipsing Bath’s Royal Crescent in diameter, Lewes Crescent is the largest residential crescent in Europe.
Possessing the same style and structure as houses in Belgravia and Pimlico, the Estate’s commanding position overlooking the English Channel underscores Brighton’s image as “London by the sea”.
The original estate was laid out in 1825, but eventually scaled back to 106 houses by 1828. Many houses were purchased by Thomas Cubitt, the house builder of Belgravia and Pimlico, when Thomas Kemp became impecunious. This was prior to the railway arriving in Brighton in 1844 and the novelty of seawater “batheing”.
The Society’s mission is to be the voice of its membership who are entrusted with upholding the grand vision of the Estate’s founder, The Revd. Thomas Read Kemp and his architects, Charles Busby and Amon Wilds. In addition, the Society stands up on behalf of members against unwanted decisions detrimental to the Estate conservation principles as well as provides a social forum of entertainment events and encourage an interactive community spirit for its members. Many of these events are extended to other residents on the estate and further afield.
The Chairman & Committee
The Chairman and Committee supply the Society’s voice on behalf of the membership to act or react to many issues, often along with conservation and residential groups charged with similar aims. In particular new developments within the sight lines of the Estate, especially within or near the Brighton Marina, as well as individual house or flat alteration planning applications have become the focus of the Committee’s efforts.
These dialogues are invariably with area Ward Councillors, Council officials or Council Committee members. Whether information gathering or giving, the end purpose is to influence decision makers of our collective view on the matter at hand. Where such planning changes are considered to be contrary to the architectural integrity and appreciation of the Estate, insensitivity to the contiguous nature of the “whole” of the Estate, the Society has and will continue to take on all matters to challenge such change.
This is invariably necessitated by the erosion of maintenance of public spaces and services and degradation of building materials and craftsmanship. The erosion of confidence in public services to withstand the economic imperatives of short term decisions and the unintended impact of bureaucracy at the behest of political expediency.
The Society holds its Annual General Meeting in the springtime – usually April each year. The Treasurer issues the financial report of the Charity.
Kemp Town Society Mission Statement as registered with the Charity Commission
‘Monitors available information for alteration and development proposals within the Kemp Town Conservation area and raises comments/objections with appropriate authorities; Campaigns against inappropriate development within the area; Liaison with heritage organisations and similar associations; Informs members of matters of conservation interest Fundraising activities relating to the above’.