Neighbours’ anger after flats approved in one of Hove’s most expensive roads

The bungalow on Tongdean Road


Plans for four flats in one of Hove’s most “sought after” roads were approved on the chairman’s casting vote amid cries of anger from neighbours.

About 20 people came to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee meeting to see the Tongdean Road plans discussed on Wednesday 12 September.

One man called out the council was “ruining” the conservation area by allowing larger buildings.

Neighbours had sent 61 letters objecting to the plan to demolish the bungalow, which property website Zoopla estimates is worth more than £1 million and replace it with three two-bedroom flats and a three-bedroom maisonette.

Representing the applicant, managing director of Yelo Architects Andy Parsons, told the committee his client felt “hurt” by allegations he was being greedy by redeveloping his home.

Mr Parsons said the flats were for the current owner Sean Maguire, his mother and two children.

It was confirmed the flats were not considered as a single family home after a request for clarification from Labour councillor Warren Morgan.

An artist’s impression of the proposed building

Resident Ed Ainsworth, who spoke on behalf of neighbours, pointed out the number of people who were against the scheme.

He said: “Any development in the conservation area should be in keeping with the character of the area.

“This is a gross over development of the site.”

Hove Park Conservative councillor Vanessa Brown  shared concern if the application went ahead it could change the character of the area.

She said: “This is one of the most sought after roads in Hove.

“It is the wrong place for a block of flats.”

Also speaking against the application during debate, Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said: “It is quite an ugly looking building.

“It is an over development and totally out of keeping with the street scene.

“We’ve had 61 letters of objection which shows it means a lot to people around that area.”

Labour Councillor Jackie O’Quinn was also against the plans.

She said: “I do not like the bulk of it. I also do not like the argument it is on the edge of the conservation area.

“We have this in licensing, if it is on the edge of the cumulative impact zone it is still in it. This is a conservation area.”

Planning Committee chairman Julie Cattell spoke in favour of the project.

She said: “This is not going to resolve the city’s housing problems and I don’t think it looks like a block of flats.

“The heritage officer has not said  it is out of character with the area and I will go along with what that person says.”

Voting for the application were Councillors Mac Cafferty, Littman, Gilbey, Moonan and Cattell.

Councillors Theobald, Hyde, Wealls, Miller and O’Quinn were against.

After the vote Councillor Joe Miller proposed adding a condition that the ground floor windows facing the house backing onto it in Tongdean Avenue be made of obscured glass, which was seconded by committee chairman Councillor Julie Cattell and approved by members.

  1. k Reply

    Such NIMBYs.

    • sally Reply

      I think SNOBS is more appropriate for them, shock horror a common block of flats near their posh houses. Get over it, you lost!

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    There are meant to be twelve people on the Committee. The total who voted were ten. Cllr Morgan is mentioned in the article, so persumable he abstained. But was the twelth person there? If so, was that an abstention? I do not see how a Committee member can abstain. It is, er, an abstain on the copy book.

  3. Valerie Reply

    The idea this is an overdevelopment is tosh. Wrong argument. It is out of keeping with the area and the builder will not always live there with family in separated quarters.

    A block of flats it is, in spite of the uninspired and dreary house-like design. One of the things that makes any town or city interesting is having different areas that each have a character of their own. This area is one of substantial houses. There is no merit in peppering it now with blocks of flats (in the wake of this precedent)which then lead to it becoming like the area around the cricket ground which is just block after faceless block of flats where family homes once stood not that many years ago.

  4. J Reply

    The last similar building Yelo spawned at the top of Nizell’s Avenue (St Ann’s Well Gdns area) also replaced a single home – 6 flats and 2 houses in the same plot. The application was widely objected to and was rightly rejected TWICE by the council. The developers took it to the Secretary of State and their surveyor unbelievably approved it! Then the developers had the audacity to go back to the council and make it even taller! It has been built. It’s a monstrosity, totally out of character and just exposes the developer’s single-minded greed for destroying an otherwise attractive neighbourhood

  5. Tailor Reply

    Valerie

    Have you considered these block after block of faceless flats are family homes to their occupants?

    • rolivan Reply

      Most of them have been there for decades I worked at one just by the entrance to the Cricket ground back in the early 70s and there others nearby.Expect more high rise buildings to be built wherever possible.As for this development it looks better than some of these white painted boxes that are popping up around the City.

  6. Susan Stiles Reply

    It would appear that such opposed approval disregards concerns to maintain the aesthetics and historical character of an established example of private housing.
    Once a precedence is set, all manner of development can occur.

  7. Burlington Bertie Reply

    Hove is officially finished. Get out while you can.

  8. james Reply

    More homes for people to live in. fantastic. sorry Val but people need homes not moans.

  9. Adam Inkpin-Leissner Reply

    Sometimes one feels, campaigners campaign only for campaigning sake.

Leave a Reply

*