Residents and Green Councillors save historic Adelaide Crescent feature from decay

A crumbling Grade 2 listed structure in Adelaide Crescent is set for repair after years of campaigning from local residents and work from Green Party ward Councillors.

Residents and local ward Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty have been pushing the Council for help with renovating the retaining wall at the foot of Adelaide Crescent, a listed feature dating back to the 1830s. Years of deterioration have left the wall in a state of disrepair with many of its rare and unique features at risk of being lost to decay. After many years of lobbying and work from residents and local ward Councillors, the wall is set to get the repairs it desperately needs.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, ward Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, commented:

“Residents through the amenity society, the Friends of Palmeira and Adelaide, have repeatedly raised concerns over the state of the Grade 2 listed retaining wall which has fallen into disrepair over the years with many of its original features in danger of being completely lost. For almost six years we have been pushing for assistance with repairing the wall so it is fantastic news the city council will be enlisting skilled technicians to undertake much needed renovation works.

“I am thankful to the structural engineers in the city council’s property and design team who executed a survey of the site. With council surveyors and residents we will be meeting to discuss the detail of the project next week. The works will be commissioned by DBR who are a company of specialist technicians and craftspeople. I am excited by the use of DBR who have worked on specialist projects renovating St Peter’s Church, Brighton, the Royal Pavilion as well as the Palace of Westminster and Nelson’s Column.

“The sweeping features of Palmeira Square and Adelaide Crescent are important and beautiful parts of our city’s heritage. Many people come to Brighton and Hove to view these magnificent regency-era squares and elegant architecture. As ward Councillor of this beautiful conservation area I am delighted that thanks to hard work from residents- and a bit of pushing from me- the original design, including the unique retaining wall, now stand a strong chance of being preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Local resident Richard Hawkes, from residents association Friends of Palmeira and Adelaide, added:

“The retaining wall supporting the southern end of Adelaide Crescent gardens, facing the sea, was built as part of the architect Decimus Burton’s 1830 scheme for an elevated full crescent of houses. The wall is Listed Grade 2 and displays interesting detailing of the time – including ‘vermiculated’ blocks all executed in render and much of it still original.

“Since 1947 the wall has been in the ownership of the local authority, and in recent years has started deteriorate. Acceleration of this decay has concerned the local residents association for some time and now, with the help of local ward representatives, restoration will be carried out by the City Council. This structure can be clearly seen from the seafront and renovation will greatly enhance the setting of the important historic buildings of Adelaide Crescent.”


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