Old Royal Alex Buildings safe… for now.

I am rather late in reporting this good news, this week has been super-busy both at work and in political life.

The Planning Inspector found against Taylor Wimpey's appeal meaning that the original Planning Committee's decisions to refuse permission to demolish and build stand. This is absolutely the right decision and fabulous news. All credit to the local residents associations, particularly the Montpelier & Clifton Hill Association and the Brighton Society who put together the most remarkably professional and well argued case in favour of saving the old buildings. Without them the Council would have undoubtedly lost the case.

I was extremely apprehensive about this appeal due to the resources Taylor Wimpey were willing to throw at it. When I spoke to the Inquiry myself Taylor Wimpey's barrister was rather persistent in trying to catch me out with his questions, desperate to show improper behaviour by the planning committee. I think I dodged all the verbal traps!

So for now the buildings are safe, but we must all keep a watchful eye on them to prevent them falling into disrepair. We must now wait to see what Taylor Wimpey's next move will be – a challenge to the inquiry, a new application to the council or perhaps cutting their losses and selling?

My Green colleague Cllr Amy Kennedy is newly a-blogging, and doing so with impressive gusto as well as an eye for design. So do have a read of her post on the Alex. Amy is one of the Greens on the planning committee and our built environment spokesperson.