Strong support for demolishing Georgian shop to create new Brighton Lane

Posted On 16 Apr 2015 at 5:08 pm

Plans to knock down one of Brighton’s oldest buildings to create a new entrance to The Lanes, and access to an even older building behind it, have gained support across the city.

Puget's Lane

The Puget’s Lane plans

Developer RBS wants to demolish 15 North Street, currently a branch of Timpson’s, to create Puget’s Lane, leading past the currently hidden Puget’s Cottage to Brighton Square.

Its original plans, part of the redevelopment of the square and the former Hannington’s department store, were scuppered by the Grade II listing in September 2013 of 15 North Street and Puget’s Cottage, following the latter’s discovery by conservationist Roger Amarena.

But its architect Morgan Carn has redrawn the new twitten to include the external restoration of Puget’s Cottage, and its plans are due to be decided by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee next Wednesday.

According to the committe report, three people have written objecting to the plans calling for an alternative entrance point for the new lane.

But 72 have written in support, saying the new lane would be attractive and boost tourism and the retail economy.

Puget's Cottage

Puget’s Cottage

The plans are also supported by the Regency Society, Hove Civic Society,  the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership and council leader Jason Kitcat, in his role as ward councillor.

However, lining up on the opposite side are the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society, Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission and Conservation Advisory Group.

And, as RBS and Morgan Carn expected, planning officers have recommended they be refused.

In the report, the council’s heritage team says: “It is considered that whilst there are some public benefits (of those put forward) that would directly arise from the demolition of 15 North Street, these are not substantial public benefits and therefore they cannot outweigh the substantial harm resulting from the complete loss of the heritage asset.”

The report also says 15 North Street, which dates from 1770, is currently in need of substantial repairs and the roof is currently being supported internally to stop it from collapsing.

But English Heritage says it has architectural and historic interest, in respect of its exterior, its materials, its plan form, its internal features, the brick twitten and yard and its documented early commercial use, rare both locally and nationally.

Puget’s Cottage was described by English Heritage as “a very rare survival of an old town building which pre-dates the mid 18th century and later development of Brighton as a seaside resort.”

If approved, Puget’s Lane will include four new shops, one in the ground floor of the new feature entrance, one in the front of where Cargo used to  be, and two more in the rear of Cargo facing the new twitten.

Due to differences in ground levels, Puget’s Lane would include stairs.


  1. Clive Reply

    Headline doesn’t match the story, which describes a wide divergence of opinion on this.

    I can’t see too many positives myself, and wonder what on earth the Regency Society are playing at?

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The very enclosure of the labyrinthine Lanes area is what makes it so magic. And Puget’s cottage (recently named as such) has probably survived because it was protected by being out of sight.

    Sadly, Clive, the Regency Siciety is very pro developer, in principle – one of which once told me of being recruited by a couple of its trustees to become a member.

    There is access from Hannington’s, from st Christopher’s Lane, from Ship Street, from East Street. There is plenty of access – no real NEED for another one where Timpson is. And over-modernising that area will detract from the lovely intimacy of the Lanes and make it too “North St”.

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