Brighton property agent spells out ‘huge challenges’ ahead

Posted On 11 Feb 2016 at 1:55 pm

A Brighton and Hove commercial property agent has written about the “huge challenges” facing the city.

Phil Graves, managing director of Graves Jenkins, told colleagues “we are sometimes victims of our own success” in a report to colleagues in the property sector.

He prepared the Brighton and Hove Estate Agents Association Commercial Property Report 2016.

Mr Graves said: “The economy at a local level is strong and pretty robust but we must plan properly for our future and huge challenges lay ahead.

Phil Graves

Phil Graves

“It has been another progressive year for the commercial property market although we are sometimes victims of our own success.

“More people want to live, work and socialise here but at the present time we are struggling to cope with the demand for space and facilities.

“The forthcoming City Plan adoption, or so we hope in early 2016, will pave the way for the city’s strategic vision until 2030 but already there are doubts.

“Trying to satisfy housing targets, which are never reached year on year, creating a dynamic workforce and employment opportunities, making the city ‘the’ place to visit against others and improving facilities and infrastructure will always be an extremely difficult task – and against a backdrop of severe government funding cuts.

“But there is no running away from our responsibilities and to deliver a city for the future then we must plan carefully and develop wisely.

“This involves sometimes controversial planning but, assuming there is quality design on appropriate sites, then we must perform.

Brighton i360 brasserie (1)

“There are good examples of this happening in Circus Street, Preston Barracks, the Station site and others, whereby each element of the design will add positively to the city’s economy, housing and way of life.

“Permitted development rights (PDR) have now come into play to allow a change of use on certain offices and commercial property to residential, which increases our housing stock and also office rental levels, which should stimulate further development.

“We must provide employment opportunities for our residents otherwise the fear is we will become a dormant city.

“Commercial buildings will have to be built at the same pace as residential to cope with demand and perhaps mixed use is the way forward?

“Due to our location and limitations on available land, we must also embrace the prospect of urban development and high rise buildings on our landscape.

“The evolvement of the Greater Brighton Economic Board should also be a positive step to meeting the needs of the greater area and encourage inward investment.

“Looking to the near future we have the i360, Black Rock, Brighton Marina, Churchill Square, King’s House, King Alfred and a number of other significant schemes to look forward to and to change the face of the city – for the better I am sure.”

  1. saveHOVE Reply

    Pity about the financial drag-chain BHCC is going to find a serious problem in the future…the i360 and that £36.4m loan, coupled with how the effect of defacing the beach area with it will negatively impact on visitor wishes to continue to use beach facilities on that part of the seafront .

  2. rolivan Reply

    I think one needs to look at Infrastructure first,which is getting worse,The City Plan and the City Planners past and present have shown very little foresight when it comes to providing a sound Transport System for the City ,Trams for example can also go down one way streets it is happening elsewhere.

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