Monday, 19 September 2011
The Strange Case of Dave Gilmour's Hove Beach Hut
Walking along Hove seafront, I often turn my ears towards Dave Gilmour’s house, hoping to hear a bit of guitar escaping from an opened window – maybe from Comfortably Numb, surely one of the all time great guitar solos? It has been interesting to watch progress at this splendid house, where Mr G has clearly spent a shedload of money restoring it to what appears to be its original splendour. I noticed a while ago that a slightly overgrown beach hut had been installed in the little off-road parking space by the side of the house, apparently for bike storage. Now, the powers that be have ruled that the beach hut is in breach of planning rules and it must go. Clearly, rules are rules, and planning is a contentious area, especially at the moment, as this article by Simon Jenkins on the government’s proposed changes to planning guidance points out. But the beach hut ruling seems like overkill, especially when you look at what’s next door to Dave Gilmour’s house – the scarcely ornamental Spa Court, and then Benham Court. Both of which presumably received planning permission at some time. And it would be unfair to mention the other excrescences that mar the streets of our fair city – apart from the Jubilee Library, it’s hard to think of a single building in Brighton and Hove constructed since 1960 that has any merit. If in doubt, take a look at the King’s West Centre, or the Council’s very own Brighton Centre.