Portzed scheme in Hove should be rejected, say planning officials

Posted On 15 Feb 2012 at 5:07 pm

Planners are being urged to turn down a green housing scheme on the edge of Shoreham Harbour when they discuss it next Wednesday (22 February).

The Portzed scheme, at the Hove end of the harbour, is for six buildings up to five and a half storeys high on the Kingsway side of the site.

A report to councillors said that the location was not suitable for such tall buildings although one of a similar height was approved for a neighbouring plot.

The Portzed scheme has, however, attracted opposition from people living in Kingsway and some of the roads off it.

Residents criticised the size and scale of the buildings and the potential noise of five sets of helical wind turbines.

Boho Green, the developer, offered to drop the wind turbine plans but Brighton and Hove City Council refused to accept the amendment and demanded that fresh plans be submitted.

The council’s planning committee will discuss the unamended plans, ignoring Boho Green’s concession.

The report to councillors added that the development would result in a significant loss of light that would affect people living opposite the site.

The scheme would also involve demolishing and replacing the existing Magnet showroom in Basin Road North and includes parking spaces.

  1. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    The council have not ignored BoHO Green’s concession. Planning is a legal as well as a policy discipline.

    Portzed without the helical turbines and with reduced building heights either end is more than just a concession. It requires a whole raft of documentation to support the design of the buildings without them (wind tunnelling especially given that the buildings were designed to attract maximum wind for the turbines.

    The applicants are free to withdraw the present application and submit a new one with new documentation to support the designs that do not include the turbines and which alter building heights either end.

    The legal on this is that the difference is great enough to require a different planning application with a different planning application number. End of.

  2. Jackie Reply

    I would just like to correct the previous comments. It is permissible and legal for a local planning authority to except amendments of this nature as long as they do not extend beyond the original site boundaries . There also needs to be adequate time available for proper consultation  with residents and other stakeholders. It is usual for planning authorities to try to get applications of their books as quickly as possible to keep to their targets. This is why some authorities refuse to accept amendments to current applications. In this instance assuming the applicant has provided the amended plans within a reasonable time frame they would have the right to appeal the decision and possibly claim costs from the council. One further sting in the tail for the applicant is that they may be expected to pay the council another fee for the application should they decide to withdraw and resubmit. This could run into tens of thousands of pounds for a major development. I expect that this is why they are not willing to resubmit the application and who would blame them. If the council wants to see this development proceed they could accept the amended plans..

  3. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Jackie, you support the developer with flawed arguments.

  4. Mike Sharman Reply

    It is important to establish the facts in this case.

    The council planning officers have decided that the PortZED development application should be considered in its existing state.  The developers have made numerous amendments over the last year, which the council had allowed for inclusion in the existing application. At the last moment the developers removed all the wind turbines and reduced the end blocks by one floor.

    On 22nd February the existing application will be decided without these last major changes which the council decided would require a new planning application.  In their submission to the councillors, the planning officers have advised that the scheme should be rejected and give their conclusions as follows:

    “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the site is an appropriate location for a tall building within the context of existing development to the north and south of the site, and emerging plans for future development at Aldrington Basin. (The proposal is therefore contrary to policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan and to Supplementary Planning Guidance on Tall Buildings.)

    “The development by reason of its constant and unvarying height and massing would create a sense of bulk that would appear excessively out of scale and create a visually overbearing relationship with adjoining development to the north. (The proposal is therefore contrary to policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan and to Supplementary Planning Guidance on Tall Buildings.)

    “The application has significant potential to expose future residents of the proposed development and neighbouring properties to excessive and unreasonable levels of noise.
    (The proposal would therefore be detrimental to residential amenity and is contrary to advice contained within national Planning Policy Guidance and policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan.)

    “The development, in the absence of sufficient justification for a development of this scale in this location, would result in a loss of light that would be both significant and harmful to living conditions for occupiers of neighbouring properties on Kingsway fronting the application site.” (The proposal is therefore contrary to the Brighton & Hove Local Plan.)

    The officers’ recommendations can be seen in full on the planning committee part of the council’s website.  These conclusions are generally in line with objections made by the Kingsway And West Hove Residents Association over the last year.

  5. Bill Jewell Reply

    PortZED – Misleading “Green” Claims

    It is unfortunate that the developer’s have consistently presented
    misleading information in their endeavours to obtain planning approval
    for a project that is totally unsuitable for this site. The correct
    approach would be to allow the Shoreham Harbour development plans to
    be completed and then evaluate the commercial and industrial opportunities that
    would best serve Brighton & Hove.

    The developers clearly decided to try and convince the public that if
    six large blocks of flats were built at this site it presented unique
    opportunities to install large arrays of wind turbines plus
    photovoltaic solar cells that would meet all the project energy needs
    and achieve an extremely green image. This unrealistic dream was
    based on a blaze of publicity that solely relied on artist’s
    impressions and architect’s inspiring text. Regrettably none of these
    unrealistic claims were supported by any design studies or
    engineering research.

    When design studies were eventually submitted to the planning
    department it immediately became apparent that the wind turbine design
    was seriously flawed, and would result in virtually no output and also
    present serious noise and vibration problems. The planning application
    being considered this week is not only based on the same flawed wind
    turbine configuration but now adopts an alternative wind turbine
    manufacturer who has not yet built any of these machines.

    What most people do not realise is that because the wind turbines will
    not deliver any significant contribution to the energy needs the
    developers have slipped in a very large wood-fired boiler that will
    truck in vast quantities of wood pellets from sources unknown. Its
    very large rating is capable of meeting all the electric and heat
    energy requirements.

    The local residents are concerned that no boiler chimney effluent
    dispersion studies have been carried out and world health
    organisations raise concerns of asthma and cancer from the fine wood
    fired boiler emission particulates.

    The substitution of grid supplies with inputs from large offshore UK
    wind-farms for wood-fired boilers is not considered a suitable model
    or image for Brighton & Hove.

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