First council houses for 30 years to be built in Brighton

Posted On 28 Apr 2011 at 11:19 am

Brighton is to have its first new council housing for 30 years.

Planning permission was granted for 12 flats and three family houses by Brighton and Hove City Council yesterday (Wednesday 27 April).

The four-storey block of flats and a terrace of three four-bedroom houses will be built in Wellington Road, Brighton, near the bottom of Elm Grove.

Ainsworth House, the disused sheltered housing on the site, will be demolished.

The council said that Ainsworth House, containing 19 bedsits and a warden’s flat, would have cost too much to refurbish and had no architectural merit.

It was “decommissioned” in January last year and the council said that alternative sheltered housing had already been provided.

The site previously housed a maternity hospital until about 40 years ago.

Lack of parking

Neighbours spelt out concerns about the lack of parking, pointing out that there would be only six spaces for 15 homes.

Six neighbours in De Montfort Road, Wellington Road and Elm Grove wrote to object to the plans.

They complained about the size of the flats, the potential loss of light, loss of privacy and the density of the development.

There was one letter of support.

Dee Simson, the Conservative councillor for Woodingdean, said: “It will be the first council housing built in the city for 30 years.”

She said that she was pleased that it would include family homes, adding: “We’ve got such a demand for four-bedroom houses.”

Bob Carden, the Labour councillor for North Portslade, said: “They’re not the first council houses to be built in the city for 30 years. We built some in Drove Road (in Portslade) 17 years ago.”

Fantastic

Amy Kennedy, the Green councillor for Preston Park, said: “It’s fantastic to see the city council bringing this forward to the planning committee.”

She added that she was also pleased that it would be “code level four” on a scale up to six for sustainability.

Fellow Green Bill Randall, whose Hanover and Elm Grove ward includes Wellington Road, said: “The houses is much-needed – the family houses in particular.”

Carol Theobald, the Conservative councillor for Patcham, said: “My only reservation is that there isn’t enough parking.”

The ground floor flats will include a one-bedroom property and two wheelchair-friendly two-bedroom flats.

The block will also include six two-bedroom flats at  first and second-floor level and three one-bedroom flats on the third floor at roof level.

The terrace of three four-bedroom houses will be behind the block of flats.

A report to councillors said that the Ainsworth House site was identified by the tenant-led Building New Council Homes Project Working Group (BUNCH).

Planning permission was previously granted, in January 2009, to part demolish and convert the Church of England home next door and build a three-storey block.

The site would include a drop-in centre and 25 self-contained flats with 24-hour support for mentally and physically disabled people.

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