Vallance Gardens

Without doubt, the lives of the residents of Vallance Gardens will soon be massively affected by the gigantic King Alfred development on its seafront end. A new sports centre with plenty of affordable housing…the King Alfred’s good news for everyone, isn’t it?

The first planning application on Vallance Gardens, running from the seafront parallel with Hove Street, was approved in 1905. The application was for a single house on the east side of the road, which was developed faster than the west side. The wide road was declared a public highway in 1928; one year after the nearby Vallance Road was adopted. The houses are mainly red-brick with sash windows and generous gables. I in fact lived with my grandmother, Annie, for a while near the top of the road when I was waiting for a place on campus at Sussex University. Both Vallance Gardens and Road were built on the grounds of a building that was once known as Hove House. Hove House became Hove Manor when John Vallance bought the rights to the Lordship of the Manor in the 1780s. It was demolished in 1936 and a block of flats, also called Hove Manor, today stands on the site.

Aymer de Valance was a close relation to Henry III and the most famous of the Earls of Pembroke. He was buried in Westminster Abbey after suddenly dying in 1324 and Pembroke College, Cambridge, was named in his honour. The Vallances of Hove claimed to be related to this great character and named Aymer Road and Pembroke Gardens, Crescent and Avenue in his honour. The Vallances, a family of brewers, were responsible for much of the development in the area of which much was designed by Thomas Lainson. Lainson was also responsible for the Middle Street Synagogue, Norfolk Terrace, Adelaide Mansions and the Royal Alexandra Hospital

Despite the obvious benefits that the King Alfred project could bring, like many, I simply feel that the site is the wrong location for something of that scale and design. I would be livid if they wanted to put something like that next to my house. I really don’t think that we should accept any more towers until plans are in place to remove the bad ones of the past. Chartwell Court, Sussex Heights, Theobald House & co will simply have to come down if the city is to regain its architectural integrity