A historical Brighton yard is again under threat from a developer which wants to build an office block on it.
Now owners Sussex Property Investments is making a tenth bid. After its attempt last year to secure permission was refused then turned down on appeal, it has now submitted a revised application for a part-single, part-two storey building to house eight office units.
The application, written by Ringmer-based Flint Architecture, says: “The North Laine area has enjoyed a renaissance over the last ten years, with many run-down or vacant sites being developed for new residential, commercial, retail and leisure uses.
“However, much of the traditional small office and workshop space that was prevalent in the area has been lost as a result.
“Also, the cost of renting space within the newly developed commercial space – e. g. in Jubilee Street – is prohibitive for the small business market.
“This proposal will play a small but nonetheless important part in redressing the balance.
It adds: “This site has a history of commercial use, it used to be known as Diplocks barrow hire and from 1915 to 1975 it used to hire out barrows and hand trucks by the hour or by the day to Brighton barrow boys or rag and bone men.
“The application proposes a continuation of that tradition in a new building that nestles in a site which is mainly residential to the west, with buildings predominantly in commercial use to the south and east.”
The previous application was turned down because its roof was too bulky and out of character with the surrounding area, and would result in the loss of light to neighbours.
The new one says it has addressed these points and should be allowed. However, the application has again met with stiff opposition from residents.
A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I just feel strongly that if nobody speaks out, it will be lost by stealth.
“I fought long and hard against the last application as it is a local resource, and very characterful, although it has been run down and now looks less valuable.
“Building yet more office space on our market will destroy more of the local character that makes North Laine unique.”