12 August 2014

Work to start on city centre 'oasis' as part of London Road regeneration

Work will start next week,  August 18, on permanent improvements to the public space in front of St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton.

A package of measures being carried out by Brighton & Hove City Council will include opening up Providence Place Gardens for people to sit and relax, a new street frontage along Providence Place, and the creation of a ’pocket square’ at the bottom of Ann Street with public seating.

The aim is to create an oasis for people living, working and visiting the area, which is an important pedestrian route between Brighton Station and London Road. The move follows extensive consultation with the local community and a two week experiment carried out in 2012 when temporary changes were made to the area to encourage more people to use it.

Councillor Lizzie Deane, deputy chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “We had a fantastic response to the two week trial in October 2012 and we are delighted that, with the input and ideas of the local community, work is about to start on permanent improvements.

“It’s an under-used part of the city which many people don’t know about and enhancing it will help bring people in, and contribute to the economic growth of London Road.”

She added: “Improving the area in front of St Bartholomew’s Church is part of the wider regeneration of the London Road area which includes the newly restored Open Market, The Level, the redevelopment of the former Co-Op department store, the Portas pilot in London Road and the Brighton station area developments.”

Improvement work in Ann Street and Providence Place is being carried out with funding obtained from various planning permissions in the locality, as well as European funding. It is due to be completed by December. Measures will include:

•             Removing railings and creating terraced steps along the length of Providence Place Gardens - the small park in front of the church - making the park more open and easier for people to access
•       A 'shared surface' for pedestrians and vehicles in Ann Street and alongside the gardens in  Providence Place, similar to the approach used in Brighton’s New Road
•             New seating in the gardens and along Ann Street
•             New trees along Ann Street
•             Creating a ‘pocket’ square at the bottom of Ann Street
•             New lighting, including illumination of the park trees after dark
•             A restriction on HGV movements through the area, to improve safety and create a more pleasant environment, while allowing deliveries to local shops

•       Relocating parking spaces.    
Parts of Ann Street and Providence Place, between the crossings with Ann Street and St Peter’s Street, will be closed temporarily during the works. Every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum while work is in progress.