Does anyone know anything about the collapse of the Regency houses on the seafront at Percival Terrace in Kemptown (approx 10 – 15 years ago)?
From Matthew Thompson, e-mail sent to site on Tuesday June 5 2001
from Jan Croot, Kemp Town resident
e-mail sent to site on 9 September 2002
“There was a query about the collapse of No 10 Percival Terrace so I’m adding what I know. It fell down overnight and remarkably silently. I think there were people in it, as it was a student hostel, but as far as I know they all escaped unscathed. I also understand that the building wasn’t insured which is a bit surprising, but that is why it was years before anything else was built on the site. Rumour has it that the collapse was due to weakening of the Victorian drains, which riddle the cliffs coming down from Kemp Town.”
From Stephen Podesta, 13-05-2003
“I was a student at Brighton Polytechnic and was living in Percival Terrace at the time. You can see ‘one’ wall of my room in the picture (at third-floor level). The collapse happened at around 2 o’clock in the morning (Friday the 13th?). The facade wall fell down in a vertical plane. It was very lucky that the guys in the rooms at the front were not injured. We all left the building safe and sound, apart from the bursar’s wife who broke a leg.
“After a few hours, the council architect and engineers decided that the building was unstable and so they knocked it down the following evening (this is the damage you see in the picture). We were not allowed back into the building and so we lost all our possessions and so on that remained inside. I was in my final year and so I lost a lot of notes, which caused a bit of distruption to my course.
“The building was not insured as it was owned by the Council and they do not insure all their buildings because of the large annual cost that would entail. I got some money from household insurance and a fund that the Polytechnic set up to help us. The Polytechnic did all they could, and local people offered to put us up in their own houses while the Polytechnic found alternative accommodation for us.”