Street closed after sinkhole opens up in Bognor road Brighton News

Engineers are in Ivy lane, Bognor, trying to fix the gaping hole in the tarmac which measures roughly a metre across.

It is not yet known what caused the hole but the road will remain shut while repair works are carried.

The Argus: The hole in Ivy LaneREAD MORE: Sussex M23, A23 and A27 road closures from December 8 to 10

One bystander said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s just frustrating for the people that live here.

“Hopefully they can get it fixed soon.”

West Sussex County Council has been contacted for comment.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 16:45:00


Hove pub The Ancient Mariner one of the best places for a roast Brighton News

The Ancient Mariner in Hove was included in a list on National Geographic of the 15 best places to go for the British staple in the UK.

The television network described the community pub, nestled in Hove’s Poet Corner in Rutland Road, as a “boho hive of activity”.

“The Mariner also serves a knock-out roast,” it said.


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“Run by the Med restaurant team from neighbouring Brighton, the kitchen brings a cheffy élan to its roast chicken (brined for prime juiciness), or pork (dry-aged to create super-crispy, aerated crackling). Next-level trimmings include grilled hispi cabbage.

“Laine Brew Co. beers star at the bar (try its Sonar IPA), alongside ales from many of the best Sussex craft breweries. Roasts from £15.”

The pub placed fourth below The White Horse in Churton, The Culpeper in London and Balloo House, Killinchy, Northern Ireland.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 15:00:00


BRIGHTON AND HOVE: School closure petitions Brighton News

The council is holding a public consultation after announcing the proposed closure of St Peter’s Community School, in Portslade, and St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School, in Brighton.

Both schools’ petitions on the website have passed the threshold of 1,250 signatures to trigger a debate at a meeting of the full council next Thursday (14 December).

A week before the meeting, Reija Such’s petition to save St Bartholomew’s from closing had 1,887 signatures and Kirsty Moore’s petition to save St Peter’s had 1,676 signatures.

Ms Such’s petition said: “It (St Bartholomew’s) is a school who are committed to supporting pupils and families with additional needs.

“Closing it would deprive many of these children’s opportunities and it would have a detrimental impact for many of our families who rely on the support from the school.

“Children have had their education and their lives disrupted enough due to the pandemic. We do not need to add even more unnecessary and cruel uncertainty.”

Ms Moore’s petition said: “St Peter’s is not just a school, it’s an amazing community where teachers are kind, compassionate and understanding.

“The focus here is always on the families and children – an ethos that fosters well-mannered students who feel valued and supported.”

She said that small community schools like St Peter’s supported children with special educational needs but who did not have an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

As potential reception class pupil numbers plummet across Brighton and Hove, nine primary and infant schools are also facing a reduction in their published admission numbers (PAN) from 2025.

Consultations are under way for reduced intakes at Brunswick, Goldstone, Queen’s Park, Rudyard Kipling, St Luke’s, Stanford and Woodingdean primary schools and Patcham and Stanford infant schools from September 2025.

If all the proposals go ahead, this would be a reduction of 300 reception places – about two thirds of the 450 places that the council estimates need to go by 2026.

There are currently 2,610 primary school places in reception each year but the council forecasts that there may only be 1,959 children requiring a school place in 2025 and 1,948 in 2026.

Schools receive a set block of funding from the government through the “dedicated schools grant”, with the rest of its income based on the number of pupils.

If a school takes 34 pupils, it must employ two teachers and run two classrooms for them but with funding for only 17 pupils a class.

The trend of falling reception class numbers has led Brighton and Hove City Council to try to reduce intakes since 2019.

An early warning was given to councillors in September 2017 when schools were dealing with a much larger number of pupils but “bulge” year groups were moving on to secondary schools.

The 2021 census recorded 22 per cent fewer children under four in Brighton and Hove compared with the 2011 census – and the effect of this is already being felt in some schools.

In November 2019, councillors were asked to consult the community on reducing intakes by one class at Mile Oak and Hangleton primary schools, West Hove Infant School’s Connaught Road site and Hove Junior School, in Holland Road, from September 2021.

In September 2020, Balfour, Benfield, Brunswick, Goldstone, Moulsecoomb and West Blatchington primary schools and Downs and Stanford infant schools were all the subject of consultations on proposals to cut a class from September 2022.

Brunswick, Goldstone, Downs and Stanford successfully appealed to the school’s adjudicator, staving off the threat to the number of children who could be offered a place.

In November 2021, consultations were carried out on reducing the intake at Bevendean, Carden, Coldean, Queen’s Park, Rudyard Kipling, Saltdean and Woodingdean primary schools starting in September 2023.

Parents campaigned against the prospect of reductions and, in January last year, the council dropped the proposals.

The meeting of the full council is due to start at 4.30pm next Thursday at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 09:44:39


Brighton student flats up for sale with £67m price tag Brighton News

The 450 apartments at 5 Circus Street are spread across four blocks, with rent starting at £239 each week, and a large amount of retail space available.

And while the flats are currently fully let and the scheme overall staying with Kaplan as student accommodation until 2040, owners Scape Living has put the complex up for sale.

“Brighton has one of the highest student rations of all university towns and cities across the UK,” said Merelina Sykes from sales agency Knight Frank.

READ MORE: Rockwater in Hove’s new ‘speakeasy’ style rooftop bar

“It means schemes like this one offer an excellent opportunity for investors, and we expect to strong interest following the launch.”

The complex comprises 81 studio flats, 366 en suite rooms and three one-bedroom flats, and was completed just three years ago. The build cost £70 million.

Current owners Scape are backed by Dutch investment group APG.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 11:15:00


Hove: Velvet unveils Christmas decorations shopfront Brighton News

The team at Velvet, in Hove, has pulled out all the stops for their Christmas window scene this year – with thousands of decorations expected to be sold.

And is not long until they travel out to the Netherlands once again to prepare for 2024’s Christmas celebrations.

The Argus: Velvet's Emma Draper and Gemma VaughanVelvet’s Emma Draper and Gemma Vaughan (Image: Velvet)

Managing director Gemma Vaughan said: “Our over-the-top and elaborate display makes a change from all the chain stores on the high street.

“We are known for this in Brighton and Hove. People come to see it, they tag us in on social media, it’s just a bit of magic on the high street.”

The team fly out to the Netherlands in January to pick the decorations they want for the following December, and place an order in February.

By August the first boxes of baubles and tinsel start to arrive – and in November they spend four or five days decorating the window.

“We even get electricians to put the lighting installation outside as well. It draws people in for not only business but to take pictures.

“We pick what we think would do well. Fashions change and trends change, so we do a different window every year to make a bit of a spectacle.”

The Argus:

This year’s window is called Disco Kitschmas with a blend of tradition with modern changes – and even disco balls.

This year’s window marks the 23rd year of Velvet and the 16th at its store in Church Road, Hove.

Gemma said that 10,000 baubles were sold at the shop last year – and that “everyone in Hove must have a Velvet bauble somewhere.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 15:00:00


Flood alert issued for Bognor Regis as more heavy rain arrives Brighton News

It has been issued for the Aldingbourne and Barnham Rifes, near Bognor, where between 15 and 30mm of rain is forecast from 1pm to 8pm on Thursday.

Typical rainfall in November in Sussex is around 80mm, so more than a third of the month’s rain could hit the county in just one day.  

The government’s Environment Agency, which issued the warning, also mentioned more rain coming on Saturday.

A spokesman for the agency said: “From 3pm on Thursday, December 7, flooding could affect a small number of riverside properties in Marshall Close, with Lake Lane and Barnham Road also affected by flood water.

“From 10pm, flood water could affect parts of the car park at the Tesco Superstore on Shripney Road and land around caravans at Riverside Caravan Centre, as well as fields near Shripney Lane.

“Friday should remain mostly dry, but another 10-20mm of rain is forecast Saturday morning.

“Flood protection products are recommended to be installed in Barnham, if you have them.”

The Tesco had previously been closed for three weeks due to flooding after Storm Ciaran at the end of October. 

The Environment Agency will clear grilles in Barnham and run pumps which take away excess water in Felpham to reduce flooding.

Much of West Sussex is still being battered by heavy rain and winds of up to 35mph.

And a yellow weather warning for rain is in place from 11am until 10pm tonight, from Steyning to Chichester.

The weather service has warned of the possibility of flooding of a few homes and businesses, as well as disruption to bus and train services.

A spokesman from the Met Office said: “A band of rain will move eastwards across the area during Thursday before clearing during the evening.

“Rain will be heavy at times, especially over hills, with 20 to 30mm likely in places. Rain will be accompanied by strong south-easterly winds.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 13:27:00


Portslade man accused of 75 sexual offences against boys over 25 years Brighton News

Ian Silvester, of Locks Hill, Portslade, is accused of several offences between 1986 and 2019.

Silvester, 59, is charged with 42 incidents of indecent assaults against boys under the age of 16 and 26 incidents of engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with boys aged between 13 to 15.

The non-penetrative sexual activity and indecent assaults are alleged to have happened between 1986 and 2011.

Some of the charges are for boys under the age of 14.

The accusations are alleged to have happened in Hove, Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham, Portslade and other locations in Sussex.


One of the accusations was said to have been in an unknown field.

Silvester has three charges of making indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child. One of the images is category A, the most serious category of illegal photos.

These charges are alleged to have happened between 2009 and 2019.

He also faces three accusations of sexual assaults against boys by intentionally touching them without consent. Silvester also faces one charge of sexual assault against a male aged over 16.

As part of his bail arrangements, eighteen names were read out in Brighton Magistrates’ Court who Silvester is not allowed to contact.

District Judge Amanda Kelly said he is to not have contact with any young people under the age of 16.

The case was adjourned until January 10.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 16:05:00


Three injured in crash at A259 and A27 junction in Pevensey Brighton News

Emergency services responded to a collision involving two cars at the junction of the A259 and A27 in Pevensey at around 12.30pm today.

An air ambulance attended and multiple fire engines.

Read more: Updates as crash closes A27- air ambulance on scene

An elderly woman has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

All lanes have been re-opened following the two-hour closure.

Any witnesses or anyone who has dash-cam footage is asked to report online or call 101 quoting 515 of 07/12.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 14:50:00


Date for debate for conversion therapy ban bill set Brighton News

The Conversion Practices (Prohibition) Bill was presented in the House of Commons yesterday for its first reading.

The legislation, proposed by Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, has the backing of several Conservative MPs.

A second reading, which will allow MPs to debate the bill, will take place on March 1.

His bill is one of 20 private members’ bills being presented in the House of Commons, proposed by backbench MPs.

Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity to fit in with heterosexual and cisgender norms.

This can include “counselling” sessions, threatening a person with homelessness, corrective rape and exorcisms.

Plans to ban the practice were at one stage scrapped, before being reinstated without including a ban on practices aimed at transgender people.

However, proposals were not included in the latest King’s Speech last month.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he has been “overwhelmed” by the support “from all sides” for his bill.

He said: “Some of the biggest social reforms in this country have happened via private members’ bills.

“Too many have suffered for too long; we have a responsibility to ensure no one else must suffer from this practice.”

It comes as women’s and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch confirmed that the government still plans to bring forward its own bill to ban conversion therapy practices, but said the legislation has to address issues with gender-affirming care.

Ms Badenoch claimed that conversion relating to gender identity poses a “threat to many young gay people” and described gender-affirming care, which supports transgender people, as “a new form of conversion therapy”.

She said: “Attempts at so-called conversion therapy are abhorrent and are largely already illegal.

“What a bill would do is identify this as a particular threat to gay people and confirm the illegality of harmful processes intended to change someone’s sexuality.

“In the time since this bill was first promised, this issue has developed. Now the threat to many young gay people is not conversion therapy relating to their sexuality, but conversion relating to gender identity.

“I believe this is a new form of conversion therapy.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 11:35:00


Brighton: Valley Gardens development ‘paused’ by council Brighton News

The project is set to provide a transformed public space in Brighton city centre, as well as a new sustainable transport corridor.

Plans include replacing the Brighton Palace Pier roundabout, the provision of new bus stops and an improved road layout in the Old Steine.

However, the £13 million project has now been “paused” whilst an internal review by the Labour administration takes place.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “Upon completion of the review and any associated work the scheme will enter into a procurement phase so that the principal contractor can be appointed.”

Once the project is resumed, an early contractor involvement procurement process will be carried out, which is due to take up to six months.

Construction would be expected to start as soon as possible afterwards, with work due to last around 18 months.

The Valley Gardens project began in September 2018, aiming to radically change the space between St Peter’s Church and the Palace Pier.

The first two phases of the scheme have been completed, with new road layouts, green spaces, bike lanes and pathways introduced between The Level and Old Steine.

The final phase, known as Valley Gardens 3, will include replacing the Aquarium roundabout with a T-junction, as well as new separate cycle lanes and an outdoor events space.

Art Deco Bus shelters at Old Steine will also be converted into cafes, kiosks or art galleries under the plans, with bus routes heading northbound stopping to the east of the war memorial, rather than the west.

The Argus: An artists' impression of new pavements and cycle lanes as part of the £13 million Valley Gardens 3 project An artists’ impression of new pavements and cycle lanes as part of the £13 million Valley Gardens 3 project (Image: Brighton and Hove City Council)

The Green Party has criticised the council for “potentially risking council funding through intentionally delaying the project”, pointing to the impact delays may have on the cost of delivering the project in some form in the future.

Green Party leader on Brighton and Hove City Council Steve Davis said he was “appalled” by the revelation that the project was under review “without informing the transport committee or residents”.

He said: “Given Labour has now had control of the council for more than six months, this review cannot be understood as anything other than a pause to a project Labour has previously voted for.

“Residents are not informed of the criteria for this so-called review, nor a timeline for its completion.

“The longer they fail to take leadership on major projects, the more they will rack up costs – construction work is not getting any cheaper.

“After months of important consultation, and with over £6 million committed to the project by external funders, Labour’s prevarication could put the project at risk.

“Worse still, their hidden review is delaying vital active travel improvements that would make the area near the Palace Pier safer for all road users, particularly pedestrians.

“After the successful implementation of phase one and phase two brought a new park, hundreds of new trees and flowers, wider walkways, cycle lane and an event space to the city centre, Labour must urgently explain their rationale for continue delays to the final piece of a previously agreed major project.”

The decision is the latest project to be changed or put under review by the Labour administration since taking office in May.

Renovation plans for Madeira Terrace were scaled back from 40 arches to 28 after a review over costs by the administration, with plans for a seafront cycle lane on the A259 changed – causing anger among some pro-cycling groups.

Labour has been approached for comment.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 09:44:00