Planners have turned down a proposal to build 231 flats in a massive building opposite Preston Park in Brighton.
Five members of Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee voted against the scheme which involves demolishing Anston House. Four members voted in favour and three abstained.
The decision was made at a packed meeting at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 24 April).
The reasons included the height and scale of the proposed building which would be up to 15 storeys high. Anston House is nine storeys high.
Councillors said that they were concerned about the proposed flats overlooking properties in Dyke Road Drive.
They said that the new block would be too near the road and would lead to the loss of three mature trees. It also contained too few affordable homes.
But those in favour said that the scheme would bring much-needed housing, modern offices and more than 150 jobs.
James Breckell, of the Conservation Advisory Group, which advises the Planning Committee on behalf of local conservation groups, told councillors: “You’re being asked to vote on an application that should never have come before you.
“We see a building born out of meeting targets, not promoting good architecture.
“This is a well-respected developer that’s promoted notable schemes in the north of England so why have they dropped their standards when they’ve come to Brighton?”
He said that the plans should be taken back and redesigned.
The application was due to have been dealt with at the committee’s previous meeting on Wednesday 3 April.
The decision was deferred over concerns about the accuracy of the plans, in particular projections showing the extent of overshadowing.
The five councillors voting against the scheme were Denise Cobb, Penny Gilbey, Ken Norman, Alan Robins and Carol Theobald.
The four in favour were Bob Carden, Ian Davey, Christopher Hawtree and Phélim Mac Cafferty.
The three who abstained were Geoffrey Bowden, Lynda Hyde and Mike Jones.
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