Tighter planning controls in the Queen’s Park area are being considered after concerns over HMO conversions leading to the loss of original features.
Brighton and Hove City Council is launching a consultation on preventing the loss of sash windows, original doors and boundary walls plus painting over brickwork in the conservation area.
These were highlighted in a document about the area’s character approved by the council in September 2018.
The statement said: “The loss of architectural details – including the change of traditional windows to uPVC double glazing as well as inappropriate modern wooden windows, modern doors, loss of front walls, modern railings and gates and some colours to painted surfaces – has had a deleterious impact on the appearance of the area.
“Small changes in themselves may have little impact on individual properties but cumulatively can lead to the gradual erosion of the quality and very character and appearance of the area that designation sought to conserve and enhance.
“Although there is a mix of dwelling types in the conservation area, where properties are semidetached and terraced the changes are often more noticeable and jarring.
“As a result, the area’s character is very dependent on the effect of the group of buildings as a whole.”
Residents living in the Queen’s Park conservation area are being asked for their views on whether to introduce stricter planning controls to preserve the unique character of properties in the area.
The Conservation Area Statement recommended that planning controls – known as an Article 4 Direction – should be drawn up to stop these changes when they affect the front of houses.
Article 4 Directions restrict the minor work and alterations that can normally be carried out without planning permission within a particular conservation area.
In Queen’s Park, the proposed Article 4 Direction would apply to all houses within the Conservation area, including small HMOs.
Flats and commercial properties already have stricter planning controls.
Any work carried out on properties before the introduction of the Article 4 direction would remain in place and the council cannot take retrospective enforcement action.
Councillor Tracey Hill, chair of planning, said: “Queen’s Park conservation area has its own unique character which is reflected in the architecture.
“We want to ensure that this character is maintained and that attractive and historic features of buildings are preserved, while balancing the wishes of residents wanting to improve their properties.
“We are encouraging residents to support us, by taking part in this consultation and helping to shape future planning controls.”
To find out more and have your say, go to our Queen’s Park Conservation Area Article 4 online consultation.
The consultation is open until on 16 March.