Local politicians at odds over town hall decking plans

An MP and a councillor are at odds over plans to install two raised deck areas outside Hove Town Hall.

Hove MP Peter Kyle supports Platform9’s plan to install two decks and planters on either side of its entrance outside Hove town Hall in Church Road.

But Central Hove ward councillor Gary Wilkinson is opposing the plans for the outdoor space, which falls within the Willett Estate Conservation Area.

Planning officers are advising councillors to grant planning permission for the decking when the application goes before Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, 8 June.

Mr Kyle, whose office is nearby in Church Road, has worked with Platform9 to regenerate what he described as a “woeful space”.

He said: “It is currently a cold, unwelcoming space that actually wastes a key position of the area.

“I have spoken to local businesses and residents, and there is great support for breathing life into it and making it look a welcoming and fresh, exciting green space.”

In his objection, Councillor Wilkinson is concerned about the decks’ impact on the existing trees and planting and increased noise and disturbance in the area, as well as the impact on the conservation area.

He said: “The existing planting on the east and north side of the square appears to be proposed for removal, and this loss does not appear to uphold the aim of improving greenery in the public square.

“The site is on a prominent location and forms part of the open public space surrounding Hove Town Hall, which is locally listed and sits beside grade II listed buildings in a conservation area.”

Platform 9 said it wants to “breathe” new life into underused spaces in its application.

The co-working and office space company wants to operate occasional markets and events in the square in front of Hove Town Hall, at evenings and weekends.

It said: “Make Hove Wonderful is our 2022 campaign. We want to improve the local environment for our members and the wider community.

“Working in collaboration with local businesses, residents and artists, we aim to bring the square to life with a programme of events showcasing the best arts, culture and food that Hove has to offer.”

The Planning Committee meets at 2pm at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday 8 June. The meeting is webcast on the council website.

  1. Grumpy Idiot Reply

    Will they be wheelchair accessible?

  2. Idgie Reply

    “increased noise and disturbance in the area”

    I would advise Councillor Wilkinson to open his eyes sometimes while wandering around his own patch, so that he might notice that the area is right beside an excessively wide and busy road. There’s already plenty of noise, disturbance, *and* poisonous air pollution in the area.

  3. Valerie Reply

    The tables should allow for disabled access – these tables prohibit access with wherlchairs. Disgraceful that our MO is supporting exclusion if tableside wheelchair access

    This layout is cringey and requires able bodied clambering.


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