Neighbours fight back garden homes

Dozens of neighbours have objected to plans to convert a family house into flats and build two more houses in its back garden.

Owner Ben Evans, whose family has owned the house in Preston Park Avenue since the 1920s, says it is now in need of modernisation and repair and the cost of its upkeep is too much for a single dwelling.

The house is currently a family home with a self-contained flat on the second floor. Under the plans, a side extension and garage would be demolished to build access to the proposed houses in the 40m-long back garden.

Neighbours sent 26 letters of objection raising concerns about the impact on the conservation area, increased traffic, overshadowing and over-development.

The Spearhead

An artist’s impression of one of the new homes

One objector wrote on the council website: “The build will take months/years causing unnecessary noise pollution, traffic pollution, dust pollution.

“As this is a conservation area and number 25 must be one of the only original Victorian properties still standing in Preston Park that hasn’t been developed it seems a shame to lose such an incredible piece of unique history.”

Another neighbour’s anonymous comment said: “The huge rear extension and the destruction of the garden to build new houses is gross and unnecessary over-development in a conservation area.

“The steeply raised rear garden makes this proposal materially different to other superficially similar developments further south on Preston Park Avenue.

“Here the new houses would be very elevated, overlooking and overshadowing nearby properties and gardens, ruining privacy and quality of life for many residents and reducing property values.”

Preston Park ward Labour Councillor Kevin Allen sent in a letter of objection.

He said: “Although a back garden development may in principle be acceptable, this is an over-development

“Residents of Flat 2, 24 Preston Park Avenue and of the Garden Cottage, 24 Preston Park Avenue would be adversely affected by overlooking and the extreme proximity of the drive.

“There is in fact no need for vehicular access or off-street parking as there is already a surfeit of on-street parking on Preston Park Avenue.

“The application would entail damaging alteration to the existing cohesive look of the two Victorian houses.”

If the application is given planning permission then the owner would be asked to make an affordable housing contribution of £182,250 and sustainable transport: a contribution of £6,900.

The planning committee meets in public from 2pm at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday, 6 February.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    ‘If the application is given planning permission then the owner would be asked to make an affordable housing “BRIBE” of £182,250 and sustainable transport: a “BRIBE” of £6,900’

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      It is not a “bribe” but part of written legislation. The decision is the Committee’s, and it can be refused on the day (and then Appealed in Bristol).

      You emphasise your paucity of argument by using capital letters.

  2. Howard Reply

    Why shouldn’t they redevelop, look at the Hughe block of flats that was allowed next door. I bet the owners of this property objected to that going up and lost, no wonder they want to convert theirs.
    As for noise and dust during a build, it’s short term inconvenience.

  3. james Reply

    one less home to build on green belt..

  4. Nicholas Reply

    If residents are concerned that they will lose one of the last single Victorian houses in the area, perhaps they should contribute toward the monstrous cost of it’s upkeep.

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