On 10 May 2010 at 11:12am Fay Millar wrote:
A while back there was a thread running on this forum about the planned demolition of the Meridian Pub and its replacement with five townhouses.
I work on behalf of the developers from time to time to make sure information in the public domain about them is fair and accurate and as the planning application for this development is due for discussion I would like to make one or two points to clear up what has previously been said.
*One poster suggested the developer, Creative Developments, had a reputation for unsympathetic developments in conservation areas. This is categorically not true. They are an independent developer, this is only their fourth project and previous housing has always been very well received. Indeed last year, they won the Sussex Heritage Small Scale Residential Award for their sensitive redevelopment of the historic Star of Brunswick Pub in Hove. They were also finalists in the responsible business category in the Brighton and Hove Business Awards.
*The new public footway they are creating was labelled "muggers alley" by another poster. The current alleyway is only 1.2m, unlit and overlooks existing gardens of neighbouring homes. The new public footpath will be wider 1.5m and well lit, straight and level.
*There has been argument the pub has historic importance and should be retained as it is. But 90% of it was demolished and rebuilt in the late Eighties using nondescript building materials as the then council did not see it worthy of retention. What little does remain of the original flintwork facade will be retained and used in the front and rear garden walls.
*Some argue the development will look out of place with the other buildings. However, the Meridian Pub is currently the only single-storey dwelling and the development will replace it with two storey homes. In addition the homes will be built with traditional brick facades, slate roofs and cast iron downpipes, typical of the character of the existing terraces.
*Finally, in every development Creative Developments has ever worked on there has always been much thought given to the environmental impact of the homes. In this instance the houses all have extremely high levels of insulation, large glazed areas to ensure the best use of natural ventilation and light, solar panels for hot water, in built recycling facilities including for rainwater, and secure bicycle stores.
On 10 May 2010 at 11:21am easily led wrote:
Can I buy one please?
On 10 May 2010 at 11:32am Clifford wrote:
Someone paid by a developer comes on Lewes Forum and tells us the development will be wonderful. Whatever next?
On 10 May 2010 at 11:51am Off-Message wrote:
I think the community has a right to make representations if they don't like what's proposed but I do not think the plans should be opposed for the sake of opposition just because what's proposed isn't perfect in their view. We've already got one massive derelict eye-sore in the area (the Canon O'Donnell) and don't need another right next to it because of a stand-off between the developer and the council. Unlike cynical Clifford, I don't see why the developer (or their PR bod) shouldn't come on here to present their case. If it contributes to informed and better decision-making I'm for it.
On 10 May 2010 at 12:53pm Clifford wrote:
I don't see it as 'cynical' never to be completely convinced by what is said by someone who is paid to say it.
On 10 May 2010 at 3:21pm Down and Out wrote:
Clifford - fair enough not be convinced, but I think fair play to the developer for coming on here. The trouble is, though, that a developer can't possibly win in a place like this. There is nothing to stop anyone posting on here: 'I've been told that the developer is a registered sex offender'; then the developer comes on and says, 'No, I'm not'; then the original poster just says, 'Well you would say that, wouldn't you?'.
Fay - I suppose all you could do is post sources for all of your statements?
On 10 May 2010 at 3:25pm Clifford wrote:
I take your point Down and Out. But PR means PR - that is, being paid to put the best complexion on a bad case.
On 10 May 2010 at 7:17pm Father Ted wrote:
Well the good news is that the footpath is wider, 1.5M!!!! and well lit as well you lucky people! I'm just moist at the thought of it! Thank you Mr Developer my life is complete, will there be a pub providing local employment? I'm also excited by the fact that there will no "nondescript building materials" I've always hated them! :|
On 10 May 2010 at 8:31pm jrsussex wrote:
It is unfortunate that pubs are continuing to close at the rate of about 30/35 a month. The licensed trade has become such a disastrous trade in which to try and operate a profitable business that fewer and fewer are willing to even attempt it. The brewers/owners of the licensed premises are winners whatever happens. They, in the main, refuse to give realistic help to their tenants or lessees, whilst charging artificially high rents and incredible prices for their beer etc, knowing that if and when the licensed business fails and sinks into insolvency they will have a property developer waiting with a cheque book to purchase the property at top dollar. It is then demolished, then developed producing a nice profit. Nothing wrong with making a profit, that's what business is all about but in this case the practice is playing a major role in closing down pubs. The power to stop this cycle lies with local authority planning committees, they simply have to refuse permission for the proposed development thereby, hopefully, making the brewers/pub owners give positive assistance to licensees in keeping pubs going as an alternative to having an empty building. I may be in La-La land on this one as I cannot see any positive help for the licensed trade on the horizon.
On 10 May 2010 at 8:48pm TeeHee wrote:
The only unfortunate thing about pubs closing is that it is probably not due to lower alcohol consumption levels amongst our population.
On 10 May 2010 at 10:30pm The Landlord wrote:
There are many reasons why pubs are closing at such a high rate. Pubs have been hit by a number of chanegs including the smoking ban, heavily discounted alcohol in supermarkets, the recession, Government meddling and perhaps most of al a cultural shift in which people tend to socialise more at home rather than in the pub. The problem with the pub companies is not that they have been historically over charging on supplies and rent but that they have not adapted what they charge to the new circumstances in the trade. This is because they need all this money to service their very high debt levels. While the behaviour of the pub companies has exacerbated the situation the real problem is the fundamental cultural change (as evidenced by the fact that about half of the pubs which are closing are freehouses). hat is really needed is a package of measures to try and attract people back to the pubs e.g. a lower rate of VAT or duty on drinks bought in pubs rather than in supermarkets etc. It isn't going to happen but it probably should.
On 10 May 2010 at 10:47pm jrsussex wrote:
Landlord - Good points. The latest injustice to pubs is the introduction of mandatory conditions from the 6th April. Under those licensees can no longer organise promotions such as Happy Hours in their pubs but supermarkets can continue with their Happy Hour on a 24/7 basis selling alcohol at similar prices to that of their water. Where's the level playing field in that?
On 11 May 2010 at 9:28am Clifford wrote:
I agree jrsussex - and there is a strange logic at work here. The former government seems to prefer the idea of people drinking at home rather than in pubs, presumably on the basis that the few troublemakers who have taken too much drink won't be out on the streets for the police to deal with but will be happily beating their wives up at home.
On 11 May 2010 at 10:51am Dave wrote:
I have to say I applaud the intention of the original post, not knowing of the developers previous projects, getting both sides of the story is always a good thing in my book.
The meridian has always been a bit of an out of character eyesore, it always felt like a mobile home inside.