Hove residents vow to fight eco housing scheme

Posted On 17 Feb 2011 at 11:56 pm

A group of Hove neighbours have set up a residents association to fight proposals for environmentally friendly homes on the edge of Shoreham Harbour.

They held a public meeting last night, with almost 140 turning out to hear about the PortZED plans and to have their say.

One resident, retired planning officer Sue Moffatt, of Derek Avenue, said: “The PortZED scheme is development but not as we know it.

“The scheme aims for a high standard of development and encourages residents to live a low or zero carbon lifestyle.

“It has funding for the inclusion of a visitor centre.

“It’s intended to be a role model for Brighton and Hove and beyond.

“It’s innovative and of local and national interest.

“Low carbon development will be statutory in a few years.

“The idea is getting a lot of support from people who don’t know our neighbourhood.

“The site is in the harbour but it’s also in our neighbourhood.


“It’s an innovative and imaginative idea.

“It’s a good scheme but it’s in the wrong place – it’s on the wrong side of the harbour.

“It’s out of scale where we are.

“Significant changes need to be made to make our new neighbour compatible with our neighbourhood.”

Referring to someone who says “Not in my back yard” – nicknamed a Nimby – she added: “I’m not a Nimby but I want something better on this neighbourhood’s doorstep.”

She was speaking to the newly formed Kingsway and West Hove Residents Association.

It met at St Leonard’s Church Hall in Glebe Villas, Hove, to discuss the PortZED planning application – the ZED stands for zero energy development.

The application is for 67 flats in six buildings in Basin Road North, with helical wind turbines between the buildings and an array of solar panels, predominantly on the southern side.

The scheme includes a host of other eco-friendly features and is even geared up towards creating a dozen or so apprenticeships for young people in Brighton and Hove.

Wish ward councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn said: “What a great scheme. What a wonderful concept. But it’s unproven and it’s a quart into a pint pot.”

A number of residents spelt out their fears and criticisms and asked questions about the project.


One of them was retired GP Mike Sharman, who lives in Kingsway and who chaired the meeting.

In addition to setting out his concerns, he said: “In the long term we’re going to have to reach a compromise with the developer.

“Hopefully we can have a scheme that is financially viable to them and acceptable to us.”

Residents were reminded that a four-storey building had been given planning permission on the old Caffyns site.

And another four-storey building had been granted permission on the site of the old job centre in Kingsway, next to the PortZED site.

Christopher Hawtree, of Westbourne Gardens, Hove, urged residents to object to the scheme and to try to delay it in the hope that the developer Boho Green would run out of money.

But the developer has recently been awarded a £100,000 prize after a competition held by the Technology Strategy Board.

The money is to fund attempts to adapt the building to cope with climate change.

The PortZED project has already been allocated separate funding for its visitor centre and green business hub.

The space will be used to showcase environmentally friendly ideas such as the Ultra eco – an energy-saving product distributed by Woodingdean company Blue Carbon.

The meeting last night was told that the planning application was supposed to go before the planning committee before the end of March.

  1. Jane Galvin Reply

    This development will be situated on the south side of Kingsway – only the car park is in Basin Road North. It will be five and a half storeys high, blocking out much of the winter sunlight from the houses opposite. The buildings may be eco-friendly in themselves, but they are not friendly to the environment of those who live opposite. We will have to turn our own heating up and solar panels will no longer be effective on our own roofs.

  2. John Welsh Reply

    What a disappointing and misrepresentative article. Your comments do not accurately reflect the size and mood of the audience and read more like a press release for the developers of this entirely inappropriate site. The article does little to promote the concept of a free and balanced press.

  3. S Smith Reply

    The site for this development is one of the ugliest places in the city. Its all old cars for sale and parked vans. I quite like the proposals and really don’t think we’ll get anything better so let it go ahead.
    A couple of years ago developers would have been trying for 10 or 15 floors of rats-nest flats. At least this development looks forward rather than backwards and could help to improve what is a very run-down corner of the city.

  4. Breda Jones Reply

    This article is a misrepresentation. The residents association was not formed to fight an eco housing scheme but to stop
    a development which is out of all proportion to the residential area north of Kingsway.
    In addition, the imbact on parking and the potential noise impact of the wind turbines would adversely affect the
    residential area.

  5. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    I’m sorry I was unable to accept the invitation to attend this meeting but would add a couple of comments here to those I have given the group’s Secretary by email:

    This development is far more about showroom provision to sell eco-technology and the eco credentials of the developers than about being neighbourly as a development or even a place anyone will be able to relax in and call home.

    The stress of all that helical bird-blender activity outside of residential windows is appalling to contemplate. The violation of amenity for prospective residents from them is contrary to Local Plan policy QD27. The hum, whine or whatever noise generated by the helicals will drive residents insane. No open windows for them!

    That site would be better utilised for the building of some houses. But not as profitable of course…….

    A new application has been registered by the Caffyns site developers to increase the size of their consented development by something over 100 sq metres.

    The cumulative effect of the 3 developments will change the character of the area. Sadly, it is hard to argue that this is a negative, given the awfulness of the south side of Kingsway.

    The greatest negative is that these are all flats in a city desperate for detached family housing.

  6. Derek Avenue Resident Reply

    I was at the meeting and felt the mood had been whipped up by an inflammatory flyer through my door.
    Mike Sharman did try to keep the temperature down and look for a rational case against the scheme and I understand completely why he and Jane Galvin oppose it.
    It seems to me a much better prospect than the dreadful state of the Kingsway at the moment in spite of Mike and Jane’s concerns but the meeting would not have been the place to say so.
    The article above accurately reflects the things said by Sue Moffatt and Mike and Councillor Gary Peltzer Dunn – they were all trying, as far as I could tell, to demonstrate the good things about the scheme while saying they opposed it.
    John Wells is way off the mark. I counted up the number of people who went to the meeting. He is right about the mood though and I think this was in part down to the inflammatory flyer. Still at least it spurred so many people to turn out and meet their neighbours.
    I actually hope the plans are approved as they will make the area brighter and more attractive. The dismal state of the place at the moment is one of the factors which will depress property values. My biggest fear is the added pressure to the parking problem pushde west by the unnecessary spread of the controlled parking zone cash grab which has gone under Labour and the Conservatives.
    I hope my neighbours will take a dispassionate look at the scheme and realise how much of an improvement it will bring to a long neglected part of Hove.

  7. garry.peltzer dunn Reply

    It is quite true that I feel that there are some aspects of the planning application which I admire – the green credentials etc., are to be applauded. I am however opposed to the planning application because I am of the view that there will be an adverse effect upon the immediate neighbourhood – there are major problems regarding the excessive height of the building ( and the wind turbines), overshadowing of properties close to the site, potential parking problems and an obvious increase of traffic in residential streets.
    I was very impressed by the manner in which the residents meeting was both arranged and organised. It wes a credit to the newly formed residents association.
    I will use my utmost endeavours to ensure that the overwhelming opinion of local residents is respected.

    Garry Peltzer Dunn
    Wish Ward Councillor

  8. John Welsh Reply

    In reply to the comment above from a ‘Derek Avenue Resident’. Would the anonymous resident please be kind enough to identify themselves as have all others on this page and to disclose any association they may have with the developer.

  9. Jackie Corbett Reply

    I am saddened that a developer can come up with such an unfriendly proposal amongst residential housing. A plan , albeit eco, will not go ahead due to it vast height and density in an over populated area already. The Caffyns site will have a struggle to get any young family members in the local school s so how on earth will any of these . The infrastracture is not there. It is of an over powering height and width and I am certain that the planners will apply the same stringent rules as they did to 331 Kingsway and this plan will not happen in it’s present state and protect the local residents from such an overdevelopment. Jackie Corbett

  10. Derek Avenue Resident Reply

    In response to John Welsh, there was such hostility among a few passionate opponents of the scheme that I feel more comfortable just giving the name of my street. I was impressed with the three main speakers who said why they opposed the scheme while acknowledging its good points.
    I have no connection at all with the scheme or the developers but I think it is better than the buildings going up on the Caffyns site and the Job Centre site. If this scheme is not approved I suspect different developers will come along with a worse scheme.

  11. Portzed Supporter Reply

    I think this looks like a wonderful development – beautiful and elegant and will add value to a rather unpleasant area. Any alternatives would be a failure compared to the Portzed development, and I strongly support their application. I can understand the concerns about blocking out winter light, but in reality this _is_ going to happen no matter what replaces this plan. It sucks – but thats life. No one else has put forward a good argument. Just get over it and welcome something that could really lift the area out of the doldrums!

  12. next door Reply

    Most of the pro comments are from the developer.

    This is too big and will cause great traffic problems for my road with people cutting down and parking for the area will be made worse.

    The road to the site cannot cope with the extra traffic.

  13. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    There was a terrific article in The Telegraph round about the 17th of March reporting on wind turbine findings….strobing of light that can cause fits is a major flaw that is beginning to get attention of substance. Seems one needs to allow quite a distance from them…..and not be prone to fits.

  14. Jackie Corbett Reply

    When will people realise that developers are out to get a profit. They are not a charity and will get as high and as many dwellings on to a site as they can – because the more the merrier = more profit.

    As residents we have the right to not just accept their plans and are asked for our opinions which are taken seriously by the Brighton & Hove Planning Dept.

    As an opponent of the Caffyns 331 Kingsway original plans for a 12/13 storey building with over 90 dwellings ….yes really – we fought this and will now have a more acceptable plan which fits much better into our environment thanks to the local people and the planning officers.Even the Inspectorate , which the developers sent an appeal to, rejected their original plans.

    As Hove residents we will be doing the same with the PortZED plans. Because the Derek Avenue resident thinks the area is , “dismal,” does not mean we should accept the first plans that come along.What a cop out!How pathetic.

    We will all continue to fight for an acceptable plan that will enhance the area.If the Derek Ave Resident thinks the parking is the worst problem arising from the plans ( difficulty parking – this is happening now with or without the PortZED development going ahead) they are lacking in knowledge about this vastly over developed proposal for a residential area.

    Go there . Stand there and think 3 x the lamp posts.Right on the pavements. Six huge blocks. so high etc.Not to mention flickering wind turbines between each block.
    Jackie Corbett Roman Road

  15. garry peltzer dunn Reply

    Jackie Corbett is so right when she states that we must try to get an acceptable solution in regard to the Portzed development. It must be only right and proper that residents have the right to oppose a planning application which they feel is inappropriate for their neighbourhood.
    Indeed such opposition can often lead to further applications which are better thought out and are appropriate to the area.
    The Caffyns site is indeed such an example, two applications were refused,an appeal against refusal turned down and finally an application submitted which reflected residents wishes for that site. Having been involved closly in the Caffyns fight ( speaking for residents at the Planning appeal ) I am determined that the Portzed fight is one which the residents can and must win.

    Garry Peltzer Dunn

  16. Jackie Corbett Reply

    Please also see on the Hove site letters about the Regency Society’s meeting with the PortZED planners and put your comments there.Jackie Corbett
    Roman Road

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