Dozens of new homes in an eight-storey block of flats are to be built on the site of The Happy Cell in Davigdor Road, Hove.
The fitness studios – in a building which also includes 26 rooms let for emergency accommodation – is to be demolished and replaced by 47 flats.
The current building is four storeys high. It is next to the two-storey Hyde housing association office which is to be replaced by about 70 flats in a nine-storey block. And next to Hyde, permission was granted to put up flats on the Palmer and Harvey (P&H) site.
Brighton and Hove City Council said: “A total of 47 flats would be created on the site of a four-storey building at numbers 121 to 123, which would be demolished.
“It is currently used by a charity, with basement studios for fitness classes and 26 rooms let for emergency accommodation.
“Under the proposals the community facilities would be replaced on-site, with a 115 sq m room.
“The new building would range between five and eight storeys. It would contain 16 one-bed flats, 28 two-bed flats and five with three bedrooms.
“Eight of the flats would be affordable homes aimed at local people on the housing waiting list.
“Basement parking for 15 vehicles would be accessed from adjacent Lyon Close.
“The council has negotiated with developers financial contributions worth £226,000 to improve the locality.
“Just over £27,000 will be spent on transport. The Lyon Close bus stop will get a shelter, seat and real-time information board. There will be a new pedestrian crossing outside and improved walking routes to local schools and St Anne’s Well Gardens.
“The money will also pay for two years’ free Car Club membership for residents in the new flats.
“Developers would pay £100,000 to improve nearby open spaces, sport and recreation, £76,000 for schools, and £23,000 for local employment. At least 20 per cent of construction staff would be local.
“The building would have a two-tone brick finish with large grey windows. There would be 10 new trees with more planting at ground level and on roof terraces on floors five and seven.”
Just over a couple of dozen neighbours wrote to the council to object to the plans which attracted one letter of support.
Objectors said that the proposed building would be too tall, out of scale with other buildings in the area and add to the pressure on school places and local doctors’ surgeries. They also said that employment space would be lost.
The council’s Planning Committee gave permission for the proposal which was submitted by the housebuilding company Crest Nicholson.
Planning Committee chair Councillor Julie Cattell said: “This makes much more efficient use of a scarce site to provide vital new housing. It should also improve the look of a rather untidy street scene in that area.
“We would ideally have liked more affordable homes but the District Valuer concluded that would make the scheme financially unviable.
“Along with the financial contributions we’ve managed to secure, we feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.”
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