Four blocks of flats for hilltop site in Hove win backing from planning officials

Posted On 05 Jan 2017 at 7:32 pm

A scheme to build four blocks of flats on a hilltop site in Hove, next to the A27 Brighton bypass, have won the backing of planning officials.

But a final decision on the £19 million scheme is due to be made by councillors at a meeting next week.

Thornton Properties, run by local developer Mike Holland, has applied to build 69 flats in four blocks at the top of King George VI Avenue – known as Snakey Hill – in Hove.

The scheme includes 28 affordable homes – or just over the 40 per cent required under local planning policies. And just over half of these would be for rent.

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The existing ranch-style Court Farm House would be demolished along with the outbuildings where various vehicles are currently kept.

Mr Holland wants to put up two three-storey blocks and two four-storey blocks, containing one, two and three-bedroom flats. There would be 107 parking spaces for cars and 132 spaces for bikes. Most of the cars would be parked at basement level.

An artist's impression of the scheme for Court Farm House in Hove

An artist’s impression of the scheme for Court Farm House in Hove

In 2012 Mr Holland submitted plans to build five houses and a three-storey nursing home on the site. Brighton and Hove City Council turned down the scheme but lost on appeal and was ordered to pay Mr Holland’s costs.

Planning consultant Simon Bareham, of Lewis and Co, has written to the council’s new head of planning Liz Hobden to make the case for the latest scheme.

Mr Bareham said: “The council’s housing supply problems are severe. The appeal proposals provide for (69 homes) in a well-designed scheme on a deliverable housing site.

“The benefits of the scheme are significant
• A significant contribution to the supply of housing – representing approximately 10 per cent of the council’s annual housing target
• A well-designed scheme that is visually superior to the existing piecemeal appearance of the site
• A scheme that preserves highways safety
• A scheme that takes account of ecological conditions
• A scheme that will provide for significant levels of infrastructure contributions

In an assessment of the economic regeneration benefits of the scheme, a former senior local council officer Scott Marshall said
• 38 construction jobs would be created by the scheme
• It would support 57 jobs in the national economy
• 14 extra jobs in the local economy would be created by the scheme
• The council would receive £125,000 in new council tax receipts
• The council would receive £127,000 new homes bonus receipts
• The scheme would add £1.1 million in value to the local economy each year
• The benefits locally would top £10 million in the local economy over ten years

The council can also expect to receive a sum of about £420,000 from the developer, known in planning circles as a “section 106” contribution. Much of the money will be earmarked for schools and transport spending.

An artist's impression of the scheme for Court Farm House in Hove

An artist’s impression of the scheme for Court Farm House in Hove

The site covers almost two and a half acres and overlooks Toad’s Hole Valley where hundreds of new homes are planned for much of the 116-acre space. Mr Holland only owns the hilltop site.

Both Court Farm House and Toad’s Hole Valley have been regarded as sensitive because they are on the edge of the South Downs National Park. And part of Toad’s Hole Valley is a site of special scientific interest.

The council has been sent seven letters of objection to the scheme saying that
• The area is already congested with traffic, the roads are insufficient and the roundabout is notorious for delays. King George VI Avenue is already saturated and a new junction to cope with the extra vehicles would add to the problems and lead to more air pollution. At times the traffic would be dangerously fast for pedestrians.
• The site is not suitable for a high-density development despite the need for new housing and the shortage of suitable land in Brighton and Hove. The proposal is massively disproportionate in size and scale for the Court Farm House site.
• The site is high on a hill at the edge of the South Downs National Park. The scheme “is a complete modern monstrosity”. Buildings several storeys high would detrimentally affect the outstanding views from Hove towards the Downs and also from the Downs towards the sea. Detached houses would be better.

Councillor Vanessa Brown also wrote to oppose the plans. She said: “As a councillor for Hove Park Ward which adjoins this site I wish to object to this application because of the problems with traffic accessing and leaving it.

“My residents live directly opposite the site and so will be more affected by these plans than the residents in Hangleton and Knoll Ward.

An aerial view with the Court Farm House site bordered in red

An aerial view with the Court Farm House site bordered in red

“King George VI Avenue is a very heavily used fast road directly off the roundabout at the junction of Dyke Road Avenue and the A27. It is the main road into Hove.

“This proposed entrance to (the flats) is just a short distance from the roundabout.

“The report states that a pedestrian refuge would be placed in King George VI Avenue for pedestrians to cross.

“This would be incredibly dangerous. The cars are supposed to travel at 40mph at that point but most travel much faster down this steep slope.”

A report to the council’s Planning Committee supports the scheme. The decision is due to made by the committee at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday (11 January). The meeting starts at 2pm and is open to the public.

  1. Michael Evans Reply

    Looks a good scheme. We need more homes. Design is quite attractive. Issues of access are there to be overcome.

    • Gizzy Reply

      Michael Evans great comment lha ha ha you sound like an estate agent after a contract to sell the homes ?? Funny there is an estate agent with the same name as you in Hove !!! What a joke you are

  2. Bill Reply

    So will this development ever get built, the site got planning consent previously, however, was not built out. What assurance is there that this time round, the “developer” will actually implement this scheme? I imagine similar benefits to those quoted now were stated last time round, since which, so far as I know, nothing was built, and zero economic benefits from development accrued. What will be different this time round, will this ever get built? What was wrong with the last permission obtained? I’d say no without some guarantee this would get built. I suspect, though could be wrong, this is about increasing the value for a sale.

  3. Rostrum Reply

    Talk about between a rock and a hard place – who would want to live there… Main south coast road on the north. Busy road on the south and a junction to the east.. Never a moment of peace. No easy \ foot access, no amenities…

  4. Jly Reply

    Agree with the above quote. Who would want to live by such a busy roundabout? Wouldn’t want to cross snakey hill on foot. Really difficult to get in and out of. What local school would the new residents apply for? Secondary schools in the area are already full. No local doctors /dentist etc, no bus route nearby.

  5. Mr chapman Reply

    Usual back handlers in play & more green areas lost ? When will the greed at the expense of others ever end. It will be an absolute joke if this horrendous idea gets the go ahead.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      You are disgusting. If you have evidence of “backhanders”, then you should go to the authorities rather than mouth off at a keyboard.

      The unfortunate thing about this Application is that the chance has been lost to work it alongside Toad’s Hole Valley.

  6. james Reply

    Does councillor v brown support any housing applications? Sometimes we need to support housing developments to protect the greenbelt.

  7. james Reply

    Can’t see how this affects the residents on the other side of the road negatively as they don’t have direct road access that side! Instead of the current eyesore they are going to have a new build.

  8. Dave b Reply

    I’m all for new housing but blocks of flats so close the South Downs ? Come on, surely we can do better than that ! Maybe some semi detached bungalows would look ok there.

    • james Reply

      semi detached bungalows would mean we need to build elsewhere to make up the shortfall!

  9. james Reply

    Some councilor, we know who, will challenge this. Where are people expected to live councilor?

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