was formed in 1997 to oppose plans for a Sainsbury's superstore
and car park on the Station Site. It aims to stimulate, encourage
and initiate sustainable urban design and development through
an inclusive participatory process, to combat social exclusion
and to generate schemes that integrate social, cultural and environmental
benefits to Brighton and Hove.
newsletter covers events and decisions arising from events and
meetings in October. If you are concerned about anything that
has happened please contact us or come to the next meeting.
Planning Event Special
were one of the 500 or so participants in the Community Planning
Event, congratulations - you showed not only that you care about
what happens to the Station Site but also that you really know
what you are talking about.
Held on Oct. 7th before the planning event, the meeting included
a presentation by Jenny Bates (Greenwich FoE) and a sneak preview
of the new Sainsbury's plan.
BUDD's thoughts and concerns about the event.
BUDD raises questions about how the Council uses the findings
of the event.
BUDD has received funding from the Council to register as an Industrial
and Provident Society.
developing new plans for the site still!
BUDD meets every Thursday at 7.00pm at 19 Elm Grove.
BUDD contact numbers:
Sara Bragg - 681166
Ben Messer - 720314
Keith Taylor - 389279
public meeting, Oct. 7th - Sainsbury's shoot themselves in
meeting, attended by more than 50 people (and many new faces),
aimed to raise awareness about the Community Planning Event.
in the day a jumbled fax arrived from URBED showing the plans
of the New England Consortium for a Sainsbury's store-led development.
All those present condemned this as an attempt to pre-empt the
planning event and force the focus away from the creation of a
new Planning Brief. In so doing they inadvertently fired up in
everyone present a sense of urgency about the importance of getting
the Planning Brief right.
was added to by the superb presentation from Jenny Bates from
Greenwich Friends of the Earth. She poured scorn on claims that
the new Greenwich Millennium Village Sainsbury's is "the
world's most environmentally responsible store". It provides
access to 1,150 car parking spaces, still flies in produce from
the other side of the world and its much-vaunted wind and solar
power generators are used to.... wait for it....power the lights
in the Sainsbury's sign at night.... and nothing more! Nuff said.
thanks to Jenny for coming to Brighton and giving an extremely
informative and motivating presentation.
Community Planning Event, 8th - 10th October
Almost 500 people attended at some point over the weekend
although Seven Dials Councillors including Council Leader Lynette
Gwyn-Jones didnt put in an appearance.
18 workshops took place in which about 160 people participated.
So far the organisers have received over 300 comments sheets.
Much time and effort was put into displays by local groups including:
and The Brighton Society (joint display): The Prestonville Community
Association: The North Laine Community Association: The London
Road Traders Association.
RH Partnerships and the Bioregional Development Group provided
excellent concept displays .
Representatives of URBED defended the new Sainsbury's plan and
their involvement in the New England Consortium in a way that
many found dismissive and patronising. They appear to have forgotten
their own arguments for seeking collaborative working between
professionals and communities and the need to avoid foisting projects
on local people.
It was clear that local people's concerns about a large food store
were well founded and difficult to dismiss simply as a knee-jerk
Local people grasped the environmental, social and economic aspects
of sustainability better than the experts expected. What became
obvious was the advantage local people had in understanding the
area and the potential impact of development on the London Rd.
and traffic in particular.
are interested in adding your comments to those gathered at the
Planning Event BUDD has some comments sheets and there are others
available at the Public Library (now at the Vantage Point, New
England Street). Call us for more information.
Community Planning Event continued...
sees the event as a step in the right direction but one from which
lessons must be learnt. It was poorly publicised with money wasted
on posters providing little pertinent information and no use made
of the local media (papers or radio) in the week before the event.
had previously questioned the experience of the consultants, Drivers
Jonas and Colin Buchanan, in community participation and our doubts
were confirmed during the event. They showed themselves to be
poor workshop facilitators asking leading questions with inadequate
explanation of their importance and excluding some people by using
workshop groups that were too large.
was very little continuity between sessions leading to the feeling
that a momentum was never allowed to build up over the weekend.
Many people felt that we were being given a taste of participation
only to have it snatched back once again before anything really
important could develop.
as local people, want to ensure the outcome of the planning event
forms the basis of the new planning brief it appears that we will
have to do it ourselves. The consultants made it clear that having
handed their report to the Council officers and the executive
councillor John Ballance, their work is done. Far from continuing
to facilitate the on-going participation of local people in the
decisions that are made they will leave it up to the Council.
The Council's apparent readiness to accommodate Sainsbury's in
development of the station site, against the wishes of local people,
obviously raises concerns. We must continue to call for involvement
in the process and ensure that the planning event is not simply
used as a window-dressing exercise. The consultants will, apparently,
recommend that a working group or task force, which includes representatives
of local people and other stakeholders, should be established.
We must ensure that this happens sooner rather than later and
that participants in this working group are properly chosen to
represent the voice of local people. Graeme Tulley of Drivers
Jonas stated that he felt that Sainsbury's and their consortium
partners (other than the landowners Railtrack) should not be considered
as 'stakeholders' and therefore not be included in the working
group. Sounds sensible.
what happens next?
consultants will write a report on the findings of the planning
event to which participants in the event will not officially have
access. This is sent, along with Council Officers summary and
recommendations, to executive councillor John Ballance. When this
happens is unclear. What then happens is up to John Ballance!
to ensure that any new application for development of the station
site is judged against criteria laid down in the new planning
brief. We need to put pressure on the Council, by writing to Executive
Councillor John Ballance, asking him to:
establish a robust new planning brief based on the outcomes and
findings of the community planning event
stop allowing Sainsbury's and their development partners to bias
the planning and development process
establish the proposed working group/task force to show local
people that their voice is not only heard but acted upon
is keen to build on the momentum of the planning event. If you
can offer any advice, provide any assistance or know of anyone
who may be interested in supporting BUDD please contact Sara,
Ben or Keith (see numbers overleaf).
vote of confidence in BUDD's approach
participants at the planning event represented many different
communities from the local area and a wide range of interests.
Yet, common themes and principles emerged from the workshops and
themes from the planning event
Development of the Station Site should aim to benefit local people,
the local economy and meet local housing, employment, retail and
Development should be founded on principles of sustainability
incorporating environmental, social and economic dimensions of
Detailed and exacting standards for emissions, energy efficiency
and environmental impact must be set in the planning brief.
Development should be innovative, at the cutting edge of urban
development and design.
Development should improve accessibility and pedestrian linkages
between the Seven Dials the London Road and the North Laine.
NO SUPERSTORE. Development should not include a large food retail
Any retail component should enhance rather than detract from existing
retailing on the London Road and North Laine and contribute to
an overall strategy for regeneration of the London Road area.
Development should be based on a fully integrated mixture of uses
and tenures building on the example of diversity in the North
Piece-meal or incremental development should be properly considered.
Traffic should be reduced in the immediate area if not excluded
(a car free development).
A continued participatory planning process should be employed
concerns and aspirations effectively endorse BUDD's approach and
the concept that has developed over the past two and a half years.
can no longer be dismissed as a vocal minority based solely on
opposing a superstore.
boost to BUDD's credibility came recently when the Council
Small Grants Committee awarded us a grant to register as an Industrial
and Provident Society (IPS) for the benefit of the community.
In recommending our application Council officers described BUDD
as having had "a significant impact on planning issues by
providing a process for disparate communities of interest to develop
their views and become involved in the planning and decision-making
thanks to Tub Collins for all his hard work on the application.
More on this in our next newsletter.
SOCIAL: pre-millennium knees-up, Sunday 19th December, 8-11pm,
at the Pub With No Name, Southover Street see enclosed
flier, and come!
BUDD has just heard that Sainsburys have deferred
for three months their High Court appeal against the Planning
Inspectors rejection of their original application. The
reason? to enable alternative development proposals
to be progressed with the Council!! The wolf is still at
future of the station site is in your hands - don't let go!