Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee voted to approve a new student block near the Vogue Gyratory on the corner of Lewes Road and Gladstone Place yesterday (Wednesday 26 August).
There will be 51 studio flats for students with a 24-hour manned security service, common room, laundry and some cycle storage.
Councillor Maggie Barradell said: “We absolutely need student accommodation in the city. I am not worried about parking as it is a problem across Brighton and Hove.”
Other councillors were very concerned about yet more pressure on parking in a busy neighbourhood.
While acknowledging the demand for student housing, Councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner said: “The buses are already full.”
Several councillors welcomed bespoke student accommodation which will ease the supply of other family homes and houses of multiple occupation.
Planning committee chair Councillor Julie Cattell said: “Some students have nowhere to live.”
Councillor Leo Littman congratulated McLaren Property for addressing concerns raised during the previous application by reducing the number of units and making other improvements.
The University of Brighton withdrew support for the proposals but the planning officer said that it is only one institution of several.
Councillor David Gibson was concerned about the Lewes Road becoming more densely populated and said: “Density is still a problem and it has an unacceptable impact on amenities.”
Planning committee members voted by seven to five to grant the application for student accommodation.
McLaren, the property developer, has built similar blocks at 112 Lewes Road as well as in Oxford, Cambridge and Bath.
Stuart Black, student housing director at McLaren, welcomed the councillors’ discussion and said: “We feel that Lewes Road is an ideal location to help meet the urgent requirement to provide new student accommodation in the city.
“We’re committed to working with Brighton and Hove members and the local community to ensure that our plans for 119 Lewes Road meet the same high standards of design and help meet the aspirations of residents in the local area.”