Hove Civic Society seeks to increase its relevance to people living and working in Hove and Portslade.
Within our overall objective we have therefore widened our activities. We are not only looking at the past, but are increasingly interested in influencing the way our city develops in view of pressures such as population growth and climate change challenges.
We believe Hove (and Brighton) has enormous potential to become an even better and more exciting place to live, work and play in and we wish to play our part in bringing this about.
In our planning work we work both on a strategic and detailed level. We make representations on strategic planning documents such as the City Plan and the Waste and Minerals Plan. We also monitor planning applications and seek to draw out strategic topics where we can help the council to improve performance.
For example, in 2010 we focused on new residential developments and came to the conclusion that dwelling sizes in new private developments are often far too small – we have launched a campaign on this to encourage the council to adapt a better standard for new private sector residential developments. We attend the city-wide Conservation Advisory Group meetings to discuss and comment on conservation and historic building applications.
We realise that our infrastructure in the city will need to be dramatically adapted if the city is to become more sustainable from an energy point of view. Our renewable infrastructure group seeks to highlight the issues that need to be dealt with and lobby accordingly. Currently we are advocating a close examination of the scope for utilizing the waste heat from the Shoreham Power Station. We also feel that the city lacks a plan for renewables that can be implemented speedily.
We take a keen interest in matters relating to the history and archaeology of the city and are represented on the Blue Plaque panel. We have dialogues with the city council on the future of archaeological finds relating to Hove.
Our representatives regularly inspect street furniture along the sea front promenade for vandalism and other damage and report these to the council. We also seek to influence the authorities to improve access to the sea – with a strong admiration for the facilities which existed in the early 1900.
We believe strongly that the natural environment and particularly our street trees are an important part of our heritage and townscape. We therefore intend to help restore our Victorian Street Tree Heritage and are in the process of setting up a fund to make this possible.
We also believe that Hove is sadly lacking in public sculpture and are currently discussing ways we can promote this more.
Our work is underpinned by our membership activity, continuously recruiting new members. We produce a newsletter three times a year to keep members informed and organize public lectures during the winter season on matters of local interest.