Revamp on the cards for `uninspiring inner urban area of Hove’

An uninspiring corner of Hove could be transformed as a masterplan is drawn up to encourage landowners and developers to build hundreds of new homes.

The Conway Street area, near Hove railway station, could also be used to house dozens of businesses in brand new offices.

An official report said: “The overall built environment and public realm of the Conway Street area are uninspiring.

“And the under-utilised spaces and large areas of surface car parking provide significant transformational opportunities for a vibrant mixed-use high-density redevelopment in this inner urban area of Hove.”

The area, which includes the Brighton and Hove Buses depot, has been earmarked for a makeover for several years.

But various plans have fallen through, including an £80 million project known as Hove Gardens which was refused planning permisison last year.

Matsim, the developer behind the Hove Gardens scheme, has appealed against the decision to turn down plans for 186 homes as well as shops and offices.

The outcome of the appeal could affect the masterplan being worked on by Brighton and Hove City Council, according to Labour councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the council’s Planning Committee.

But last night (Thursday 22 November) her colleagues on the council’s Tourism, Development and Culture Committee approved a consultation on the masterplan.

The area is bounded by the railway line in the north, Ellen Street to the south and Ethel Street to the east.

A report said that many of the industrial buildings dated from when the site was redeveloped in the 1960s.

The area is made up of a mix of offices, warehouses and distribution centres along with the bus depot and offices and the Hove station car park.

The site of the proposed £80m Hove Gardens scheme

Conservative councillor Mary Mears pressed for a full consultation process with tenants.

Planning projects manager Alan Buck said that tenants and leaseholders had already been contacted.

He said: “There will be meetings open to all. As this unfurls further there will be workshops.

“We have written to tenants and stakeholders and need to make sure the next meetings take place.”

The government has given the council a £70,000 grant towards the cost of producing the masterplan.

Input is expected from the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum which has already out extensive consultations of its own.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Why couldnt there be a total joint development that includes the Sackville Trading Estate with walkways across the railway joining the two.

    • saveHOVE Reply

      I would think that – depending on how the MATSIM appeal pans out – there is a need to treat MATSIM the same way Taghan was treated over Medina House.

      MATSIM quietly acquired properties in the section south of the railway until they controlled a large block of them and in 2012 put a HUGE scheme together without reference to pre-planning advice. When they were about to put in an application they were put straight by planners about their scheme and they never bothered with the application.

      Next came the 186 flats and offices in tightly configured towers (tallest 17 storeys)for the single shed site boundaried by Ethel Street, Ellen Street, the bus parking by Fonthill and Conway Street. A TINY site. This was savaged at Planning but Cattell took the vote before added reasons for refusal were to be added and so it was refused ONLY for having a shortfall of 6 affordable units. It goes to Appeal on 18th December.

      But it is clear that if they win the Appeal, no serious Masterplan is possible for the area referred to by this Agenda item. Cllr Cattell raised the question of that appeal and we were given the date at this meeting Thursday. And it was agreed to wait for the outcome of it (December 18)

  2. Valerie Reply

    A simple reason, Rolivan, is different owners of different sites with different priorities, financial situations, etc. who clearly have no interest at this point in forming a cooperative consortium.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Yes I know they are owned by seperate entities just a shame they can’t get the architects and planners together for some joined up thinking.Pity a Company like Legal and General cant get involved and develop like their proposal at The New England quarter.With lots of Commercial properties suffering perhaps the swing will be towards residential as a long term investment strategy.

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Matsim is an embarrassment. When I Chaired the Planning Committee, there was a pre-Planning presentation by them at which their sole point – with scarcely a sketch of buildings – was that they should be allowed to go ahead regardless, in time to acquire the Bus Depot. This sacercely-articulated “presentation” brought disbelief on all sides. In any case, it is difficult to see how a Depot could have worked from Hollingbury. As others have said, the various land owners make this a difficult area to realise its potential – and it certainly could become more congenial (as the City Plan has mooted these past four years). When one looks at the remains of Conway Street, it is to have a glimpse of of how the area looked before it was condemned as “slums”. Has this housing been kept, it could have been another Poets’ Corner. An overlooked aspect of terraced housing is that it provides continual work for local tradesmen.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Christopher I can assure you that the condition of 3 of the houses in Conway St were to put it mildly in a state of Victorian living standards back in the late 50s and early 60s.I know this because My Grandmother and Aunt lived in one 2 Uncles and Aunts in the other 2.They had outside toilets and no bathrooms.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        True of many places since updated. Terraced housing is a good use of land.

        • Rolivan Reply

          Yes I agree Christopher that is why I suggested to some Councillors Andy Winter and the Planning Department that some of the intersections could be joined to form one long terrace,for example the central intersection between shirley st and livingstone and some of the wider roads and avenues like the top of Third Ave could be turned into a cul du sac as it has enough space to turn at each end .When I spoke to planning they said they would rather develop lage plots but as we all know they are few and far between.

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