Planners approve 125 homes for green space in Portslade

Posted On 13 Sep 2017 at 1:40 pm

Outline planning permission has been granted to build 125 homes in Mile Oak on open land between Overdown Rise and the A27 Brighton bypass.

More than 350 neighbours wrote letters of objection to Brighton and Hove City Council about the scheme proposed by developer Crest Nicholson.

Crest will pay the council almost £1.5 million in developer contributions towards a road widening plan, help for local schools and jobs, sport and open spaces – as well towards protecting wildlife.

German Doner Kebab

Forty per cent of the homes will be classed as affordable some of which will be for rent.

One of the objectors, Stuart Hodges, told the council’s Planning Committee that Crest Nicholson was trying to “ride roughshod over our local community”.

He criticised the company’s past form in revising down the proportion of affordable housing – in Davigdor Road – and its attempts to wrest extra public money towards its King Alfred plans.

Mr Hodges said that Crest Nicholson had cited a Graham Avenue shopkeeper in support of its scheme.

He said that the shopkeeper had not spoken to Crest and did not support the scheme.

Mr Hodges added: “Do you truly believe they will honour their promises on this proposal? Their past record suggests not.

“Crest has effectively told the people of Mile Oak: ‘On your bike!’”

North Portslade ward councillor Peter Atkinson praised the 400 residents who wrote in, with the overwhelming majority against the scheme.

He focused mainly on infrastructure issues, saying: “It can take up to 20 minutes in the morning to get from Mile Oak on to the A293 link road.

An artist’s impression of the Crest Nicholson scheme for land between Overdown Rise and Mile Oak Road, Portslade

“I note the application still has the proposal for Fox Way to be widened as it approaches the link road but with 200-plus cars from the new development this could still result in near deadlock for long periods of time in the morning.

“We will also see more and more motorists using Bush Farm Drive on the Downs Park estate as a rat run as they become frustrated with the delays in Fox Way.

“This is of huge concern to local people.

“I note that some extra traffic analysis has been carried out but remain unconvinced that this development will not cause major problems and had to smile at one document that suggested cars would emerge from the new development at one every minute in the morning!”

Councillor Atkinson remained concerned about the risk of flooding, particularly around the risk of flooding from surface water.

He said: “The Environment Agency website gives an indicative outline of the flooding risks from rainwater and, in relation to this area, suggests that the flow is mainly from the allotment area to the east of the proposed development with a small amount from Gorse Close.

“This then all eventually heads across to Valley Road and towards the Old Village both of which have seem significant flooding recently.

Councillor Peter Atkinson

“My concern is that by building at the back of Overdown Rise, we are going to risk even more rainwater gushing down into the drains rather than soaking away into the earth.

“I realise that there are preventative measures in the plans but I remain extremely concerned that we are just adding to the flood risk.

“I would also ask the committee to note Southern Water’s comments in Section 5.42 which says: ‘The proposal would increase flows into the waste water sewerage system (and) as a result increase (the) risk of flooding in and around the area.’

“Mile Oak Medical Centre is already running at full capacity. Two hundred more patients could overwhelm it.

“I can see nothing in the application that recognises that, in the morning particularly, the number 1 bus is often already full before it reaches Portslade Old Village, making life very difficult for those trying to get to work on the bus.

“The emphasis on public transport is welcome but we need a note of reality here.

“As I said at the first application, we need new housing but this is simply the wrong place for it.”

An aerial view of the Crest Nicholson site in Mile Oak, bounded by the A27 Brighton bypass to the north

Crest Nicholson’s project manager Jon Callcutt said: “It will meet the housing needs of the local area, providing 125 desperately need homes for families.”

He said that the new application sought to address councillors’ concerns after a previous scheme was turned down in April and followed a pre-application presentation made to the committee.

Crest Nicholson no longer wished to have access to the site from Mile Oak Road – just Overdown Rise – and the plans included more open space.

He said that the road widening proposal where Fox Way meets the link road was robust.

And he said that his company was putting up enough money to make sure that reptiles were transferred to a suitable alternative site on Whitehawk Hill.

There would, he said, be “a net gain for local biodiversity” although Councillor Lynda Hyde said that travellers frequented the Whitehawk site and had previously damaged wildlife there.

Mr Callcutt also said that soakaways, permeable paving and a cut-off channel would tackle the threat of surface water run-off and deal with the risk of flooding.

He added: “The scheme is fundamentally a sustainable form of development.”

Councillor Les Hamilton

Councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner had reservations about how trustworthy Crest Nicholson’s undertaking would be.

Councillor Les Hamilton, who has lived in Mile Oak for more than 60 years, said that the land was a water catchment area and was unsuitable for housing.

Southern Water was, he said, “at best lukewarm about this”. He remained concerned about the flood risks and potential water contamination.

He said that the proposed extra lane at the approach to the roundabout – where Fox Way meets the link road – would make little difference.

Councillor Dan Yates, who previously voted against the scheme, noted the need for family housing and the improved wildlife proposals.

And his colleague Councillor Tracey Hill said pointed out that the principle of building homes on the site had been accepted by the council.

Councillor Lynda Hyde said that she objected to building on the urban fringe. The council should prioritise brownfield sites.

Councillor Lynda Hyde

She also said that site was an ecological heaven and that the mitigation measures were not enough to change her mind.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty opposed Crest’s previous plans on ecological grounds and said that the developer had taken it much more seriously this time.

But he said: “There is a housing crisis in this city. We have to get on and deliver housing.”

Other members of the council’s Planning Committee also praised the changes made by Crest Nicholson in response to previous objections.

At Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 13 September) the Planning Committee voted eight to three in favour of the scheme.

  1. Ian Martin Reply

    As you can’t stipulate who can actually buy one of these new home’s, how many purchasing will actually be ‘locals’ or from surrounding areas?
    As for affordable, yeah right!

  2. Louise Reply

    As a gorse close resident i am absolutely mortified at this decision. I totally understand the need for more housing but this site is totally unsuitable and this corner of mile oak is already bursting at the seams with traffic. We are not all lucky enough to have driveways and/or garages so how will the already narrow roads cope with more parking! Plus i genuinely do not understand how the lorries will actually get along overdown or Thornhill rise! Mile oak is already a complete nightmare to drive around and get out of and with all the queues in the morning i can see alot of people arriving late for work/school. Crest nicholson you should be ashamed. Perhaps if you had employees living in this area you would have a much better understanding of this community and the difficulties we will now be facing.

  3. Janet Reply

    I feel sorry for anyone trying to leave Mike oak in the mornings, and everyone in The village who will suffer further flooding.If I’m honest I don’t care much about the wildlife which will die or become homeless however I do care if about the danger on the local roads and the utter chaos it will cause in the area during and after the build.What a shame for a gorgeous area- I doubt very much that the councillors have even been there to see the already heaving narrow roads.I can only believe that this was agreed on the basis of some ‘under the counter payments’ especially as all previous reports suggest that the council are unhappy with Crest Nichols other local projects.Thank you to the three councillors who were honest and tried to educate the others on the issues this will cause, and to all the locals who also tried to communicate the I think there will be several hundred votes in the next election that will not be going the ignorant councillors way!!

  4. Z Reply

    Let’s build houses in Stammer woods, all over the racehill, build any bit of green land in this city including Victoria gardens and our local parks.Turn Brighton into the world’s first concrete jungle then when we have so much housing we can see immigration rise here,homelessness not be sorted out, crime rates go up and so much more. I agree we need housing but build up on existing properties like apartments not into other parts.. I must admit this area does flood and I do hope whoever buys a property here you get good insurance as your going to need it on a regular basis or move.

  5. sylvia harwood Reply

    shame on you not caring about our wildlife

  6. Lisa Dilloway Reply

    I am totally disgusted that this greedy, capitalist proposal; disguised as ” a desperate need to for housing” has been given the go ahead.
    Many mention the word “shame” but the likes of Crest Nicholson and those who voted in favour cannot experience shame. In order to experience shame you need a good and clear conscious, morals and empathy – these people only experience greed.
    Do you think Crest Nicholson care more about affordable housing or their bank balance and profits? Do you think the counsellors who voted in favour care about affordable housing rather than meeting their quota and targets?
    I’m not clear how the 1.5 million will help: will it stop drivers using Fox Way? and what chaos will ensue while that work goes ahead(if it ever does) I know – let’s send more traffic into the village, or along Mile Oak Rd!! Will the money go towards more doctors, longer surgery hours, more teachers and more busses – just wait until it snows!!
    To whom will compensation requests be directed once the work starts; for damage to cars parked on roads which cannot easily get refuse collection lorries safely through, for damage to property caused by heavy lorries, dirt and associated noise pollution while the works in progress. Who is going to pay for the hospital/funeral costs when there will be an accident, how about the vets bills when our cats and dogs get injured or killed? Well – we all know who won’t be paying.
    Good luck to those who move into their “rented” “affordable” accommodation next to the noisy, polluted A27, you’re going to need your wellies when the rain starts (loss of habitat= global warming) and a snow shovel and provisions to see you through the winter!
    Big thanks to everyone who had a voice and an opinion and cared about our community.

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