Plans have been revealed for a four-storey complex of offices, shops and flats on the site of a community garden created by “guerrilla gardeners” in Brighton city centre.
If they go ahead, the proposals would finally see the long derelict site next to the Earth and Stars pub in Church Street brought back to use.
The area, sealed off by metal fencing for several years, was briefly opened up to the public earlier this year by “guerrilla gardeners”, so-called because they broke in and beautified the rubble-strewn ground by planting flowers and growing produce.
Littlehampton-based developer Brockhampton Land Co Ltd have now submitted plans for 341 sq m of ground floor shop space, 631 sq m of offices and nine homes with 25 basement parking spaces in a brick and zinc clad building.
The proposed building is not as tall as unbuilt plan from Portfield Estate Company which was previously granted permission in 2002 but it lacks the decorative corner tower of that previous version.
The new scheme has three two-bedroom and six three-bedroom homes, in keeping with calls from city leaders to address a shortage of family homes.
It is not yet known whether any retailers have been lined up to use the shop spaces. Similar schemes have been favoured by supermarket chains for convenience stores.
Church Street and the surrounding area has been pivotal to the regeneration of the city centre in recent years, with the revamped Dome complex, improvements to New Road and the construction of the Jubilee Library and neighbouring buildings.
The guerrilla gardeners were evicted from “The Mound”, as the Church Street garden was known, at the start of the summer.
It was the second high-profile community garden to be created in the city, after another on the site of a derelict petrol station in Lewes Road which has now been developed for shops and housing.
Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee will decide whether to give the new proposals permission in the next few weeks.