Planners asked to approve hotel on site of old Brighton ice rink

Posted On 19 Jun 2012 at 3:36 pm

A revised scheme to replace the old Queen Square ice rink in Brighton with a five-storey hotel is due to be decided next week.

A report recommends approving the scheme for the Light Boutique Apart Hotel despite more than 130 objections, many from people living close to the site.

The report, to Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee, said: “A major concern of a large number of the objections received is the perceived use of the hotel as a venue for stag and hen parties and the term ‘non-stop party hotel’ is frequently used.

“The clientele using the proposed hotel is not a planning matter and does not form part of the considerations.

“The ownership of any hotel can change at any time without any requirement for planning to be involved.

“Any noise or disturbance issues that may or may not arise would be dealt with by other legislation such as environmental health or the police.”

The original plans for the scheme were withdrawn before they were due to go before the planning committee earlier this year after more than 200 people objected.

Among the objectors were people living in the distinctive 19th century properties in Wykeham Terrace in Dyke Road by St Nicholas Church.

Architects Conran and Partners, of Queen’s Road, Brighton, have modified the plans, although objectors do not believe that the changes have gone far enough.

The report to the planning committee said: “The proposed redevelopment of the site would provide a modern building of an acceptable scale, mass and design.

“The proposed hotel use is considered to be appropriate for the location and consistent with development plan policies.

“The detrimental impact on some views of the listed terrace, church and adjoining conservation area is considered to be acceptable when balanced against the advantages of an appropriate well-designed scheme.

“While the taller parts of the building may be seen from some sensitive locations, these viewpoints have already been compromised by other tall buildings such that any additional harm caused would be incremental.”

Councillors will be asked to impose conditions including one to keep the existing boundary walls on the north and west sides.

The hotel company is also expected to be told to deal with any potential comtamination on the site which was used by the Territoral Army before it became an ice rink. It has been empty since 2003. It has been empty since 2003 and is next to an old graveyard.

The planning committee is also expected to require a payment of £31,000 towards a local jobs scheme, £22,000 for transport improvements to Queen Square and £25,000 towards public art.

The planning committee is due to meet at 2pm next Wednesday (27 June) at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.


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