A planning application to build 60 flats on the long-derelict old Sackville Hotel site on Hove seafront has been deferred.
The eight-storey proposal for the Kingsway site would include either five affordable homes for rent or seven affordable homes, of which four would be for rent and three for shared ownership.
But Councillor Joe Miller said that he had concerns about the way the figures had been reached – the valuation process – and the way that the developer’s financial contribution had been calculated.
The developer, Hyde housing association, would be expected to make a financial contribution of about £250,000 to the council, including £60,000 towards local schools.
Some councillors praised the revised design, which included input from neighbours, although others criticised the look of the north side of the building.
Councillor Leo Littman went so far as to say: “This dwarfs the buildings to the north. It looks like 1970s brutalism to me.”
The front and side were far more well received.
Councillor Carol Theobald said that she preferred an earlier scheme for townhouses on the site and added that she had concerns about parking pressure in the area.
An earlier 17-storey scheme proposed for the site, known as the Sackville Tower, attracted considerable local opposition.
The latest scheme attracted support from some neighbours. But although 76 neighbours contacted Brighton and Hove City Council to oppose the latest scheme, no objectors chose to speak at the Planning Committee meeting at Hove Town Hall.
Under the council’s own rules, this prevented Hyde from being able to address the Planning Committee and answer the many questions raised by councillors.
Had they had the opportunity, councillors might have heard that Hyde had previously offered to include 20 per cent affordable housing – about half for rent.
Committee members voted to defer the application – which is already past its deadline for being decided.
Hyde said: “Further to the deferral of the application at today’s Planning Committee, we will be discussing members’ comments with officers, who had formally recommended approval of the application in its current form, to seek to bring forward development of this long-term derelict site.”
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