18 July 2013

Arts venue and garden idea takes root on old market

A community garden and arts venue will take temporary root in a Brighton market hall awaiting redevelopment, following planning permission from the city council yesterday (July 17 2013)

Developers the Cathedral Group want to create the garden in the former wholesale fruit and veg market in Circus Street.  The project will include removing a 288 sq m section of the roof, allowing a 12m elm tree to protrude from the building.

The move would allow in more light for planted beds inside.  These would be supervised by a professional gardener, with help from the community and council

Organisers are promising ‘intimate cultural events’ around the garden, including art exhibitions, lectures on sustainability, poetry, film and performance.

There would also be 10 ‘enterprise pods’ aimed at start-up businesses.

Apart from the roof, there would be no other physical changes to the site.  No cooking would be allowed on the premises – and no additional parking.

The number of days when one-off art events could be held would be restricted to 85 – fewer than under a previous approval for temporary use in 2010.

Arts events can only take place between 9am and 11pm.

Planning committee chair Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said: “This use of the old municipal market on Circus Street will hopefully glimpse a better future for this area. Putting the building to good use while the conversation about development continues with the city makes complete sense. The new design will bring the community in this area of the city a garden and will provide a calendar of cultural events.”

The planning permission is temporary, for two years.