Permission granted for £80m scheme to build homes, shops and offices by Hove station

Posted On 11 Feb 2019 at 8:31 am

A planning inspector has granted permission for an £80 million scheme to build homes, shops and offices by Hove station.

An artist’s impression of the Hove Gardens scheme from the steps to Hove Station

Planning permission was granted by an independent inspector after the “Hove Gardens” project was turned down by Brighton and Hove City Council almost two years ago.

The council said that the developer Matsim should include 47 “affordable” homes among the 186 flats that it wants to build – 25 per cent of the total.

Council repairs

Matsim said that the costs of the scheme meant that it could afford to include only 35 affordable homes – or 19 per cent.

It even allowed the council to publish its valuation estimates to show its calculations and agreed to a review mechanism in the event that the scheme was more profitable than expected.

But changes in the housing market and higher construction costs led planning inspector Richard Allen to reduce the affordable housing requirement to just 10 per cent – or 19 flats.

Mr Allen said: “Being the first scheme to come forward I acknowledge that the proposed development could in effect kick-start this process of the wider regeneration of this area.

“It would provide much-needed new market and affordable housing and commercial space and has the potential to open opportunities for employment during construction and operation stages.

“I also find that the proposed development would result in an improvement to character and appearance of the area against the existing situation.

“I attach considerable weight and importance to these benefits.

“I acknowledge that the level of affordable housing provision where pressing need exists is undoubtedly on the low side.

“But as I have found on the evidence before me the scheme cannot reasonably provide more.

“However, the provision of a review mechanism in the legal agreement allows provision for payments to be made should the proposal demonstrate a surplus – and this reduces the any harm in this regard.”

Matsim’s plans include communal gardens, private roof gardens, shops and business workshops at street level and 21,500 sq ft of grade A office space.

Matsim has said that the scheme would provide employment space for up to 500 people, bringing economic benefits for the area and financial benefits for the council.

As well as £300,000 a year in council tax, the scheme is expected to generate £230,000 a year in business rates. In total the project is expected to be worth £850,000 a year to the council.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Shame they didnt have some joined up thinking with the propsed development at Sackville Trading Estate and built above some of the Railway even if it was community space.

  2. Robert D. Reply

    So the useless council rejected a scheme where 35 affordable flats would have been provided by the developer, and now due to the time taken to appeal, only 19 flats will be provided.

    Well done you utter numpties.

  3. Liz f Reply

    I feel so sorry to people who have to buy affordable housing. Such a shame people can’t buy a decent home and own all of it. Not 20% of a rubbish flat. Tough. I guess us home owners are lucky

  4. Hove resident Reply

    This is so unbelievable. The whole point of building houses in the first place is to relieve market pressure and allow people to get on the property ladder. The council recommended level of ‘affordable’ housing is 40% so how the hell can this Mr Allen be happy with 10%.

    It makes absolutely no sense. This is not the type of housing that is really needed and is a total wasted opportunity. It is genuinely unclear to me why the decision has been overturned as it is now worse than the original.

    Brighton and Hove really need to get their act together and work out what type of housing we really want and get it built before the city gets turned into a set of high rises for the rich, ruining it for the rest of us. We should all be very angry about this decision. The developers must be laughing over their champagne.

    • sarah W Reply

      No champagne for the developers, the cost of building it has gone up (one reason being Brexit no doubt and the fall in the exchange rate, and the cost of labour)!

      The council did their valuation, the inspector looked at them and agreed with them, any extra money will be clawed back, it says this in the article.

      Quote: “It even allowed the council to publish its valuation estimates to show its calculations and agreed to a review mechanism in the event that the scheme was more profitable than expected.

      But changes in the housing market and higher construction costs led planning inspector Richard Allen to reduce the affordable housing requirement to just 10 per cent – or 19 flats.”

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