Clean streets

Hampden Road makeover

Last week some residents of Hampden Road got together to repaint a grotty looking wall – and here’s the result! Excellent work by those involved and thanks to the council for sorting out paint for the junction box.

St Martins Place Community Cleanup

On Weds October 25th, University of Sussex is organising a streetclean on St Martins Place and anyone wishing to join residents, students and city clean staff sprucing up the street is welcome to attend. Lucy Walker from the university says it will be “a very informal hands on, sleeves up call to action. We’ll be sweeping pavements and clearing any recycling or rubbish.” For more info contact Lucy Housing@Sussex.ac.uk

If you think your street needs sprucing or you and your neighbours would like to do some work on your street and would like some help or advice, do get in touch.

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U of Sussex seeks residents Views

University of Sussex Private Sector Workshops

We have finalised dates for our Private Sector Housing Workshops we will be running, aimed at giving students who will be starting to think about private sector housing for next year, the information and advice they need.

We have changed the format this year to include interactive workshops around different aspects of living in the private sector.

I will be helping to run our community workshop desk and part of this we hope will include a member of the community from different areas around Brighton to chat to students about living in their area, what’s good about it and general advice about settling in to the area.

We would be very interested in having someone from the LAT to attend one or more of the workshops.

The dates and location on campus of the workshops are:

November

  • Monday 21st November- 5.30pm- 7.30pm – Fulton 104
  • Thursday 24th November- 1.30pm- 3.30pm –Fulton 104
  • Monday 28th November- 5.30pm-7.30pm- Jubilee 118

 

December

  • Thursday 1st December- 5.30pm-7.30pm- Jubilee 118
  • Tuesday 6th December- 5.30pm-7.30pm- Futon 104
  • Thursday 8th December- 1.30pm-3.30pm- Fulton 104
  • Thursday 8th December- 5.30pm-7.30pm- Jubilee 115

Please can you let me know if this is something that would be possible and if so which one you will be able to attend?

Kind regards,

Lucy Walker,

Housing Officer (Information and Advice),

University of Sussex Information Centre,

91 Lewes Road,

Brighton,

BN2 3HZ

Open Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm

E: Lucy.Walker@Sussex.ac.uk

T: +44 (0) 1273 690405

www.facebook.com/UoSInfoCentre

www.sussex.ac.uk/accommodation

We welcome your feedback, negative or positive as we work to improve the service we provide.

We are part of The Student Accommodation Code

Student Housing and HMO Update

Thanks to Liz Hobden from the council Planning Strategy & Projects Team for this update.

The council is undertaking two separate consultations relating to student housing and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

1.      Article 4 Direction for Student Housing and HMOs

A consultation is underway on a proposal to control changes of use from small houses to small houses in multiple occupation. This is known as an Article 4 direction. The purpose of the direction is to prevent over-concentration of student lets and HMOs in the five wards most affected:

  •  Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
  • Hanover and Elm Grove
  • Hollingbury and Stanmer
  • St Peters and North Laine
  • Queen’s Park

The consultation runs until 20 July and we would like to receive your views. This link will provide you with further details and access to the Consultation Portal: http://tinyurl.com/article4direction

2.    The City Plan

The City Plan has a new policy on student housing and houses in multiple occupation (known as HMOs). The aim is to promote new purpose built student accommodation in suitable locations and to help manage the concentration or clustering of student lets and other HMOs in established residential neighbourhoods.

New purpose built student accommodation

Five sites are identified in the Plan for new purpose built student housing. This will help encourage students to choose managed accommodation over HMOs and is particularly important for first year students. The five sites are:

  • Varley Halls, Coldean Lane, Brighton
  • Preston Barracks, Lewes Road, Brighton
  • Pelham Street, Brighton
  • Circus Street, Brighton
  • East Slope, University of Sussex

The policy also sets out clear criteria against which any other new student housing schemes will be assessed.

Controlling the concentration of HMOs

This part of the policy will work in tandem with the proposed Article 4 direction. This means that planning permission would be required for changes of use from family homes to small HMOs. At the moment these changes can take place without planning permission. Planning permission will not be granted where more than 10% of neighbouring properties are already in HMO use.

You can find out more about the City Plan and you can make comments online at: http://tinyurl.com/cityplanone

The draft City Plan and supporting documents area also available to view at Brighton Customer Service in Bartholomew Square, Hove Customer Service Centre, Hove Town Hall, Portslade Customer Service Centre and all local libraries.

You can use the council’s consultation portal to send in your response online, or you can download a response form from the council’s website. Forms are also available from the council’s Customer Service Centres or the Library.

Completed response forms and all other comments must be received by no later than 20 July 2012.

Being NOISY: An Open Letter To Our Local Student Community

Hi all!

When you are settled come and say hello to us. While you live here we want to enjoy being with you – and if you are too busy to meet us and join in with our community life, which would be fair enough, we want to be untroubled by you being here! Think about noise, how noise at night may affect someone with an illness or someone who works a split or late shift: how the sound of shouting in the street may wake and disturb the sleep of someone who is operating on your gran tomorrow or driving a bus to school. Think too about how an elderly or very young person may be frightened by your party noise or a shout or loud conversation in the street, during late hours.

If you are thinking of having a party we wish you a very happy birthday, Halloween, Christmas or graduation! But please think about going to an outside venue for your party (there are many low cost ones) rather than having it in your home. We live too close together here. If there are six of you in one house (or fewer perhaps) and there are many homes in the streets with the same kinds of numbers, think about how each of you each having ‘just one party’ in celebration, impacts on the place where you live. In previous years with a party almost every night in our particular street, your neighbours were desperate and their furniture was getting badly shaken by all those booming bass speakers!

Seriously, when things were that bad, many people who had raised families here moved away to other areas to  preserve their health and their children’s well-being. Small businesses have been affected too. Because we are lovely here in Hanover few of us liked to complain….Things got very bad so in recent years we’ve become more proactive about the problems and have linked up with students union and our councillors and local PCSO’s to get a strategy together for dealing with it. The noise patrol and environmental health teams do get called in to address noise issues, as you will perhaps already be aware. Fines can be very heavy and we prefer to tackle things in a friendly way. We want young people to live with us (in fact some of us are young too.)

I want to emphasise that not all noise is made by students and many students are themselves the victims of noise disturbance.

A small destructive minority will always cause problems here. These are people who for whatever reason, seem not to care about anyone else. We won’t hesitate to call in the authorities when this happens and this can result in very hefty fines and in some cases legal sanctions. If someone is causing you problems call the environmental health team on 01273 292929; or from Friday to Sunday at night the noise patrol on;

Ways to be quieter and still have fun:

  • keep speakers away from shared walls and also from open windows.
  • Keep the bass down on music you are playing in the evening – it is more penetrating than you realise and Hanover has high walls which cast echoes.
  • Be quiet in the street at night. Even conversation carries clearly and disturbs when there is no other background hum to cover it.

I don’t have the time to greet each new arrival with a packet of custard creams and some tea bags, as I used to when there were fewer of you; so I’ll offer instead a very warm, ‘hello and welcome to Hanover’.

Best Wishes & Success in your studies

A Hanover Resident

P.S. Thanks to Martin and all those in UOB students union who contributed to the provision of two extra security guards to help curb problems during fresher’s week. We are very grateful here that things were much better and quieter during that period.

September meeting in brief part 2 – Houses in Multiple Occupation

The other main topic this month was Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s). Large numbers of properties being coverted from family into shared housing in the area brings pressures.

Previous meeting have looked at night noise, refuse and recycling issues and parking as being particularly impacted upon by an increased and more transient population.  Additionally – and harder to quantify – are worries that the ‘liveability’ of the neighbourhood changes with greater population churn, that people become less likely to know their neighbours and that short term residents have less of a commitment to the area and community.

With these issues in mind, the meeting was pleased to welcome the Head of Operations at BHCC Housing Strategy – Martin Reed and Liz Hobden from the BHCC Local Development Team.

Martin focussed on HMO licencing.  At present all HMO’s shared by more than 5 people and comprising three stories or more need to be licenced by the council. Being licenced means that the quality of the accomodation is checked and poorly converted or badly managed properties can be refused a licence. Penalties for breach of licence can be significant and more details about the current regime – including a register of HMO’s can be found on the council website. Martin is currently looking at changing the licence conditions to include properties of two stories or more rather than three, which will bring a lot more local properties into the licencing regime.  To make this change, Martin needs to carry out a full consultation, and the likelyhood of this going forward will depend on the outcome of this. More information on this process will be posted here as it becomes available.

The second strand of the HMO debate came from Liz, who is looking at the potential of a planning tool called an  ‘Article 4 Direction‘. Currently, if a property is extended to to provide extra bedrooms as a viable HMO, so long as it it doesn’t excede its permited development rights it would not normally need planning permission. An Article 4 Direction can be made which removes permitted development rights in some circumstances; this doesn’t mean that properties cannot be extended, but would mean that developers would need planning consent for these changes. This process is being adopted at the moment by other local authorities for similar reasons. If an Article 4 Direction is made, Liz is exploring a precentage level of HMO’s per street – the example given was 10% – which could be established via planning, meaning greater local control over the proliferation of HMO’s in the City.

Contributions from both officers were warmly welcomed and much appreciated. More details will be placed in the minutes, and updates will be posted as they are available.

Back to school with the Bike Train

Duncan from the excellent  Bike Train & Lewes Road for Clean Air has been in touch:

“We have a very busy autumn/winter & 2012 ahead with many rides to schools, universities and events, also developing a cycling vision for the Lewes Road, public information on air pollution and feeding into work around the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Maintaining links with the LAT on this would be excellent.

I’d be grateful if you could include the following information & photos about Bike Train & Lewes Road for Clean Air.Also could you include a link to both our websites: www.biketrain.org   www.lewesroadforcleanair.org

Certainly – happy to be of service.

Catch the Bike Train to school, college, university & events this autumn

Bike Train is a group cycling project which creates an assertive, hi-vis, safety-in-numbers presence on busy roads, to enable more people to get on a bike and make cycling more friendly and fun.

This Autumn, we are running rides every Friday to Dorothy Stringer & Varndean Schools & Thursdays to Patcham school. From Mon 3rd Oct, we resume daily rides to Sussex University & Brighton University sites along the Lewes Road as well as to various forthcoming events. See dates and other details below.

The School Run:

To Dorothy Stringer & Varndean Schools, every Friday from 9th September

  • Depart 8.10am (meet at The Level from 8am)
  • Return Ride 3.20pm from Dorothy Stringer entrance

To Patcham High School, every Thursday from 29th September

  • Depart 7.45am (meet at The Level from 8am)
  • Return Ride 3.00pm from school entrance

The University Run: To Sussex & Brighton University sites – daily from Mon 3rd October

  • Depart from The Level at 8.30am &  9.30am
  • Return Ride departs 5.45pm from Falmer House entrance

Events

Apple Day at Stanmer Park – Sun 25th September

  • Depart from The Level at 11am & Noon
  • Return rides depart from Stanmer Park at 4pm & 5pm

White Night Bike Train :Sat 29th October: Cycle into the City Centre and around key White Night sites

  • Depart Sussex University Falmer House at 7pm & 9pm
  • Depart from Moulsecoomb Library at 7.15pm & 9.15pm
  • Hourly rides between from Old Steine to The Level & via North Laine & Cultural Quarter departing on the hour every hour from 7pm

Bonfire Bike Train – Sat 5th November : Mass cycle ride to Lewes for Bonfire Night

  • Depart from The Level at 4pm, 5pm &  6pm
  • Depart from Sussex University at 4.30pm, 5.30pm & 6.30pm
  • Return Rides depart midnight & 1am from Lewes Prison

 www.biketrain.org  07944 152706

Bike Train is a sustainable transport project of Lewes Road for Clean Air