Plans for an £80 million scheme to build homes, shops and offices on land by Hove Station and the bus garage are to go on show in just over a week’s time.
The developer Matsim Properties wants to build 178 flats and 21,500 square feet of grade A employment space in place of three warehouses between Ellen Street and Conway Street.
Matsim director Simon Lambor said that the scheme – Hove Gardens – would also include 2,500 sq ft of small flexible ground floor units. These would be suitable for start ups and small firms.
The five core buildings would range in height from 5 to 15 storeys arranged around a central courtyard, with the possibility of the eastern half of Conway Street being pedestrianised.
Five neighbouring blocks of flats – Clarendon House, Conway Court, Ellen House, Goldstone House and Livingstone House – are 10 storeys high.
Mr Lambor said: “A lot of thought has gone in to the design of this scheme to ensure that it complements and enables the future development of the surrounding sites and area in general.
“We hope that this initial scheme will act as a catalyst to the regeneration of the area, providing desperately needed homes, employment space and much-improved public realm.
“There’s a housing crisis. We’re building housing and keeping a commercial base. This area could be the next New England Quarter.
“There was a backlash against the King Alfred with people saying the public weren’t kept informed. We want to do the opposite.
“We’re leafleting 2,500 of our neighbours and the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum is leafleting another 2,000 homes.
“They’re hosting the event on Saturday week (21 November) at CCK (the Church of Christ the King), in Clarendon Villas, Hove. They’re going to be displaying their vision for the wider area.”
Mr Lambor said that the architects – Brighton firm LCE – would be present at the public exhibition being held at the neighbourhood forum’s Have Your Say Day. The event is due to run from 11am to 3pm.
A planning application could be submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council next month or in January, Mr Lambor said. If all goes well, work could start in about August 2017.
The building work would be carried out over 12 to 18 months, with a view to the first people and businesses moving in at some point in early 2019.
Mr Lambor said: “Each apartment has its own balcony or terrace as well as access to five communal roof gardens and allotments.
“There is also a large roof terrace at 5th floor level for public use with pop-up bars and cinema likely to be keen to use the space during summer months.
“We hope that the section 106 payment can be used to improve the surrounding streetscape with the hope of Conway Street eventually being pedestrianised and the area having a pleasant village-type feel at ground level.”
The scheme includes 54 car parking spaces in an undercroft – many of them with electric vehicle charging points or for car club cars – and room for 211 bikes.
Mr Lambor added: “We’re calling it Hove Gardens because we’re using so much of the roof space for gardens. There will be five communal roof gardens and there will also be allotments on the roof.”
If the scheme is approved, it is expected to generate a new homes bonus worth £320,000 a year for the council for six years – almost £2 million in total.
It should also raise £310,000 a year in council tax and £230,000 a year in business rates.
Matsim owns a number of properties near by, including the Agora, and Mr Lambor said that he hoped that Hove Gardens would be phase one of a bigger regeneration of the area.
A website www.hove-gardens.co.uk is due to go live today (Friday 13 November).