LCE Presents at Constructing Excellence Sussex Club AGM
Nick Lomax of LCE Architects was asked to present at the Constructing Excellence Sussex Club AGM under the topic of ‘Bringing Brighton’s Buildings into the 21st Century’.
Nick focused his presentation on the early stages of two projects that are famous landmarks within the city, and which the practice has been fortunate enough to be involved with, the West Pier & the Brighton Hippodrome.
Determining the building ‘use’, Nick argued, is a key driver both in terms of establishing a business plan, but more importantly in working within an existing building stock where heritage and conservation is a paramount concern to the residents and local authority.
This was presented in the context of the conservation environment of the city. Brighton & Hove has 3400 Listed Buildings, the largest number of listed buildings outside London, and 34 conservation areas. The importance of the Conservation lobby is epitomised by CAG (the Conservation Advisory Group, a collective group of predominantly local conservation groups and amenity societies) that have a seat at the planning committee and can participate in debates, an unprecedented position not replicated elsewhere in England.
Nick explained the importance of working with the Conservation Department within the Planning Department, Historic England and the local Conservation Societies. Key to a scheme success is a balance between an appropriate and sustainable use that respects the principal features of the existing building, and provides a proposal that is financially viable, where the enabling works are understood to be a necessary addition in preserving and enhancing a heritage asset. This must be encapsulated in a business plan that will sustain the building use for the enjoyment of the general public for generations to come.
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