Seagull Weekly Briefing 11/09

The Gardener closes, wind farm proposals, playpark reopens and more

Seagull Weekly Briefing 11/09

Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Weekly Briefing. We hope you've been able to enjoy the sun and not suffered too much in the heat; next week looks like it'll have far more reasonable temperatures; maybe autumn will have arrived at last and that cinnamon-scented candle our editor bought a week and a half ago will see some use again.

News This Week

Council preparing response to Rampion Offshore Wind Farm proposals

Source: The Brighton Seagull

Plans to add 90 new wind turbines to the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm are due to be considered by the government’s Planning Inspectorate later this year.

Following an initial consultation carried out by Rampion last year, Brighton & Hove City Council has been asked to comment on the proposals now that the application has been formally submitted. The proposals will be voted on by the Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Development Committee this Thursday.

The current proposals made by council officers are that the council’s response supports the principle of the development and its benefit to climate change.

However, it is recommended that it will make a strong case to secure benefits for the city in relation to the visual impact upon the city’s seafront and heritage features.

Currently there are 116 turbines on a 7o square kilometre site, 13 to 20 kilometres off the coast. The proposals would expand the site, doubling the size of the farm, with the new turbines between 1.5 and 2.3 times the height of the existing Rampion turbines.

If permission is granted, the development could provide green energy to around 1 million homes, saving around 1.8m tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

If councillors approve the proposals on Thursday, its executive director of Economy, Environment and Culture and the chair of the Culture, Heritage, Sport Tourism and Economic Development Committee will submit representations on behalf of the council.

This will ensure that the council’s views on the scheme, and its potential impacts on the city, are taken into account when the Secretary of State determines the application. It is in their hands because Rampion 2 is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), a scheme so big and nationally-important that permission must be given at the national level.

Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Bella Sankey said:

Brighton and Hove is proud to host a nationally significant offshore windfarm on our beautiful coastline.

We know that the future of our city - and our world - rests on sustainable energy production and we want to play our role in meeting our Carbon Neutral objectives and providing clean energy to potentially 1 million more homes.

Renewable energy also holds the key to bringing down energy bills and putting money back into the pockets of ordinary people.

We’ll be making the case that this should go ahead, but that Brighton must be recognised for the contribution we’re making and that the benefits of the scheme must be directly felt here in the city.”

The deadline for comments is expected to be in early November.

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🖋 News in Brief 🖋

  • Three playparks closed for refurbishments have now reopened: Top Park in Whitehawk Way, Saltdean Oval Park, and Rottingdean Recreation Park. Woodingdean Central Park and Knoll Park are expected to open in the coming weeks, while Queens Park and Hollingdean Park are expected to be finished this winter. The focus of the refurbishments have been to provide inclusive and accessible play areas, including a fully accessible multi-play unit and a tipi carousel with a top brace, which aim to welcome children with mobility issues to join in, in Queens Park, and a wheelchair accessible multi-play unit in Hollingdean Park.
  • This Sunday is North Street church Chapel Royal's harvest festival, and they will be collecting donations of goods for The Clocktower Sanctuary. Especially needed is: tins of soup, fruit and vegetables; pasta and pasta sauces; breakfast cereals; instant coffee and tea; toiletries; tin openers; and instant noodles. If you are able to donate, especially as the colder months are not far away, please do.
  • Strike action from the UCU continues today: support the fight against mass redundancies at the University of Brighton at the UCU picket and rally this morning. Join UCU members and MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle in Village Way, Falmer campus, from 8-10am. Solidarity! ✊
If you have a story for Seagull, please get in touch with our editor at [email protected].

Dog of the Week

It's just a bit of fun!

This is Longboi, the resident dog of the Jolly Brewer in Ditchling Road. She's around twelve, she likes big punks and doing pub-clearing farts, and she will calmly lick your face while shaking. Oh, and we love her.

The Big One

The Gardener cafe closes its doors for the last time

Source: The Brighton Seagull

What's happening? The Real Junk Food Project's permanent cafe space, The Gardener, closed its doors for the last time on Saturday 9th September.

What is The Real Junk Food Project? Established in 2014, it's part of an international group dedicated to intercepting food waste destined for landfill, and using it to feed people who need it on a 'pay as you feel' basis.

Food waste? Landfill? The food is perfectly safe to eat, don't worry! It's food that supermarkets and cafes are throwing away as 'surplus'—think the bags of croissants you see outside chain cafes, or the vegetables that have reached their best before but are still perfectly edible.

So people paid whatever they wanted for it? Yes! In fact, the organisers said:

The innovative ‘pay as you feel’ concept encourages people to think about what that plate of food means to them, and value it in whatever way they can.

By choosing not to segregate people based on financial circumstances we are able to not only fund the project, but do so in a way that does not patronise those who need it and those who want to support it.

Those in need are not degraded or shamed for taking a free or cheap meal, likewise those who can afford it are not pestered into more and more donations. Everyone is equal in getting fed, it is up to the individual to pay what they feel.

Where does the money go? They are a community interest company, which means that the money they make from serving food goes back into running the project. They pay rent, buy petrol, have vehicles to maintain and many more costs to account for.

Why has The Gardener closed? One week after they signed the lease, we entered the first Covid lockdown. Their business model depended on sufficient numbers of people paying a full price (and hopefully a bit extra) so that others who couldn’t afford it could still eat and enjoy the space. Unfortunately, they were never quite able to make that work.

What did they do on the final night? The team, volunteers, and manager Adam Buckingham enjoyed Fatto a Mano pizza—'a last hurrah from some of the team who have made this a special place in Brighton's food scene'.

What have the team said? They said:

The Gardener was not meant to be a soup kitchen. It had to operate as a commercial venture in a competitive world. It didn’t work. And in the words of Sir John Harvey-Jones , "sometimes you have to kill your favourite child so that others may thrive".   Harsh but true.

Taking on the Gardener was [Adam's] dream:  a permanent kitchen which meant we weren’t nomads popping up, packing down and moving on every day. Here we could remain in one place to develop and flourish.

So farewell Gardner Street. It’s been real. We’re down but not out.

Where can I find The Real Junk Food Project now? You can still find them at pop-up cafes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at St Luke’s Church Prestonville, Old Shoreham Road, Thursdays at Hollingdean Community Centre, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at The Fitzherbert Community Hub in Kemptown.

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