10 years ago today

10 years ago today, Brighton & Hove Building Green had its very first meeting.

The first meeting agreed to establish a forum, and set out some success criteria. Here’s how we think we’ve got on.

“The forum would look to achieve the following:
* the mainstream establishment of green buildings in Brighton and Hove as a contribution to a healthier City

Green roofs and green walls are certainly more mainstream, with links in planning policy. Some of the ambitions – for London-style planning requirements – have not been achieved and there is work to do to encourage better quality installations that last and perform.

* greater public awareness about the role of green buildings, through practical demonstrations, guidance and media attention

Building Green has been central to promoting green buildings in Brighton & Hove – we’ve run many events, and contributed many stories to the media.

* generate pride in Brighton and Hove’s existing green buildings through open days etc

We have run tours of green buildings in the city, and were a partner in Eco Open Houses – many of the houses featuring green roofs and/or walls.

* the growth of small (household) projects – especially sheds, garages, dormers – through the provision of practical advice and demonstrations

Building Green established the UK’s first training course in how to ‘do it yourself’, and has gone on to run events

* demonstrate new, locally appropriate techniques such as vegetated shingle roofs”

The UK’s first vegetated shingle roofs are currently being constructed at Brighton Marina. Building Green is planning a tour to see how they’re getting on.

Madeira Drive – further designs published

New designs have been published for Madeira Drive – attempting to address the restoration of the Victorian arches whilst regenerating the seafront between the Pier and Marina.

This is the latest in a number of ideas – see Michael Doyle’s and the Council backed ideas of Sea Lanes and the ‘Lockwood Project’ that aims to retain and enhance the historic green wall.

Paul Nicholson (Chalk Architects) favours luxury flats and a park at the level of Marine Parade modelled on the New York High Line.

Visualisation here.

Clearly it would mean the end of sections, at least, of the historic planting and established biodiversity on the Madeira Drive Green Wall, but to remain open minded it may create additional valuable habitat and open space for people and wildlife.

Whether this will remain a fanciful sketch, or a vision fulfilled, remains to be seen. Building Green will want to be involved if this gets off the drawing table.

City plan – consultation open

Consultation on the scoping for the second part of the City Plan is open.

It’s a bit like pre-planning the planning before the plan, but it’s the most influential document the city will produce in the next decade, so we think it’s important to engage with it.

From a Building Green perspective, there are a number of relevant questions. We don’t want to lead you, but the following seem particularly important to the future of Brighton & Hove’s environmental infrastructure.

Question B3 Should the City Plan Part Two include a Green Infrastructure landscape scale approach that reflects the joint work led by the South Downs National Park Authority with other authorities?

 Question B6 Should the City Plan Part Two update the locally designated SNCIs in accordance with the 2013 SNCI technical review and rename them Local Wildlife Sites?

 Question B7 Are there any other sites or features that should be included or specifically addressed through planning policy? (e.g. Ancient woodland, aged/veteran trees, local geological/geodiversity sites?)

 Question P5 Is it necessary to have a detailed policy to protect the quality and potential yield of water resources to guide all future new development?

 Question P9 Given the existing national guidance and approach, is it necessary to have an updated policy on sustainable drainage in the City Plan Part Two?

You can comment using the online survey at: http://consult.brighton-hove.gov.uk/portal/bhcc/ldf/city_plan_part_2/city_plan_part_two_-_scoping_paper

Here is the official blurb.

“Work on Part Two of the City Plan started on 30 June. It is in an early stage of consultation on the document and an opportunity to shape the Plan.

 ·         The Part 2 Plan will deliver the aims and targets set out in Part One (e.g. housing targets, business space, community facilities) – it will allocate sites for development, contain detailed development policies (e.g. design, accessibility within buildings and travel, public realm, safer places). At this stage there are no detailed policies or site allocations – instead the issues are outlined and key questions asked.

 ·         The scoping document outlines a number of policy topic areas for Part 2 – like housing, employment, transport and natural environment. It outlines the key issues under these topics that will need to be addressed and invites comments via a number of questions. A leaflet is attached.

 ·         The consultation period will be for 3 months from 30 June to 22 September. 

 ·         Next steps – draft Plan by Autumn 2017.”

Green roof course taking bookings for October

The DIY Green Roofs course is open for bookings, and takes place October 29-30.

It’s a highly successful weekend course that gets great feedback, and draws participants from across the UK and beyond.

More information, and bookings, here.

The ‘Lockwood project’ – securing the future of the Madeira Terraces and green wall?

The Council have announced this week the ‘Lockwood project’ – the repair and restoration of Madeira Terraces alongside the continued regeneration of East Brighton seafront.

This is very welcome, especially for Building Green the statement from Leader Warren Morgan that …

"Importantly, we are looking for ways to preserve the unique and
historic Green Wall which predates the Terraces themselves, building
around it just as the Terraces were, allowing the Green Wall to breathe
and grow."

This is a win for Building Green, who have been working for years to ensure that the value and importance of this unique feature of our seafront is protected for future generations.


We have written to Warren, offering our continued support for making this dream a reality.

The project is named for tte Brighton Borough Surveyor who created the Terraces and our famous Birdcage Bandstand, Phillip Cawston Lockwood. The architects are Wilkinson Eyre and the engineers Mott MacDonald.

Update: Warren has replied with his thanks for our offer of help, and will be putting Building Green in touch with the Project Team. Watch this space!

Bookings now open: Parks and Open Spaces Summer Conference 14 June – Celebrating the power of volunteering!

Open Session: Parks and Open Spaces


Community Works Members’ Summer Conference:

Celebrating the power of volunteering!

Tuesday 14 June, arrivals and networking from 1.15pm

The Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD

Bookings are now open for our Summer Conference, due to take place on Tuesday 14 June.

Book your place by Monday 6 June at the latest (early booking is recommended to secure your place):http://bhcommunityworks.org.uk/members/services/events-networking/

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