15 North Street, Brighton (Timpson) might seem a fairly unremarkable 18th century commercial premises on the face of it, but it is still a fine example of the vernacular and one of the few remaining in the city centre. Behind it, hidden in an internal courtyard, nestles an even older commercial premises, Puget’s Cottage, formerly an annex of the late Hannington’s department store.
The developer’s idea is to bulldoze both to create a ‘Hannington Lane’ additional access into the world famous Brighton Lanes and to convince everyone that that is the only option to create an additional thoroughfare.
BHHC’s idea is that an alternative passage could be created just a few feet to the east through the ground floor of 16 North Street (preserving the upper floors of 16). This would achieve the same aim of an additional lane, but would be a more sensitive and far less costly solution.
In addition two historic buildings would be preserved to enhance the attractions of the Lanes if a rear access was opened up to Puget’s cottage and it was brought back into commercial use or even used as a tourist attraction.
An unsympathetic modern square (Brighton Square) has already been incoporated into the historic Lanes (or Laines as they were formerly known) and with disastrous consequences. It is virtually deserted and with most of its premises closed. It is simply not what people come to Brighton to enjoy and it has done nothing to enhance the Lanes. You will find it on no Brighton postcard.