Planning application number: BH2012/01598 now looks like it won’t be considered until at least 8 August due to the continuing furore and plethora of objections.
The absurdity of the situation is that here is a plan to move the skatepark north that was conceived by Labour, pursued by the Conservatives, and delivered by the Greens – in other words the entire council is behind it, and now a dozen of those self-same councillors who have all endorsed the plan are now going to sit in judgement and decide whether to grant permission for it to proceed! Why wouldn’t they? None of them have objected to the crazy idea up to now.
Are the seven opposition members going to have the balls (and the organisational ability) to give the Greens a bloody nose and make them re-think their Grand Meisterplan with the skatepark left where it is? Don’t hold your breath, despite the grounds for refusing the application being clear, straightforward and entirely legitimate: that to build the skatepark in the new location would radically alter the character of The Level, both north, and south, and would be an entirely inappropriate development in the Valley Gardens Conservation Area. It’s bad enough that the much trumpeted “heritage” element of the HLF bid – the restoration of some of Bertie’s Bits – should in fact destroy the very soul of MacLaren’s design: that the whole of the south end be entirely devoted to children. But to add insult to injury by wrecking the north end as well! It still doesn’t get any easier to contemplate.
Brighton Society continues to brown-nose the Council with its deplorable bs policy of backing B&HCC to the hilt over The Level restoration plans. In her letter to The Argus –A Level outcome – Delia Ives of BS has a go at the Regency Society, who oppose the skatepark move and with whom the BS has a long-running feud, by regurgitating that dishonest mantra of “consultation fair, consultation won”. Doubtless BS was one of the “stakeholders” who connived with B&HCC right from the start to railroad the residents of Brighton into “voting for” the destructive HLF plans.
The cluster of youngish trees (some of which can be seen in the header above) which were planted to replace the hurricaned elms around the northeast entrance to The Level are dying. One must suppose that this is due to the proposed destruction that they’ll shortly be having to witness once the dirty diggers move in. No other explanation springs to mind.
None of the HLF lucre will be available to spend on them because they fall neatly outside the HLF zone – despite the heritiginosity of the elms featuring heavily in The Bid.
Friends of The Level, which doesn’t exist due to the AGM fiasco failing to produce a committee – an essential part of its organ, is holding a meeting tonight at 1900. They intend to discuss ways of opposing the skatepark planning application – you know, the one where B&HCC applies to B&HCC for permission to build B&HCC’s new skatepark – you know, the one for which B&HCC admit that B&HCC’s funding is £250,000 short.
So if you fancy a surreal time, go round the back of the Sally Ally’s café this evening and pretend that you’re a Friend of The Level – why don’t you.
Good debate; to be commended: ARealBessie vs. Quedula, the one with many hard facts to back up her (?) opinions versus the other whose opinions seem to stem from a touching faith in the righteousness of local government. [Comes from being a retired civil servant. Ed.]
And Mat Cook, the pretender to the chairmanship of Friends of The Level, finally enters the fray with a sound and cogent summing up of the what is surely the nub of the issue (and to which there has never been any credible explanation) : Why did the council not develop plans with the skatepark where it is and thereby have no opposition to its Grand Meisterplan? Answers on a postcard please to…
Lee Skiffinton, the elderly Chair of the BHSA, and who has not only been an ardent supporter of the council’s plan from Day One but is also the only skateboarder to campaign specifically for the move north, repeats his call to arms to skaters to support the council. He has demonstrated here, not only that he has studied in depth the Sociology of Skateboarding (doubtless a degree course at the University of Peacehaven) but also how selfish boys (skateboarders are 90% male with an average age of 13 to 14) can be made to appear by their elders – but no way betters. Skiffinton is peddling the council line, not that of the skateboarders he purports to represent – they don’t give a monkeys where the new skatepark is on The Level.