Anti-tower block campaigners invite residents to share vision for Hove

An artist’s impression of Crest Nicholson’s plans for Lyon Close in Hove

Campaigners fighting high-rise flats in Hove are inviting people to have their say on a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbours in the Davigdor Road area fighting tall buildings on the former Hyde Housing Association site and in Lyon Close have set up Hove Gold through the Hove Housing Futures Facebook group.

They are holding a public meeting at St Luke’s Church, in Old Shoreham Road, to encourage people to share their ideas and visions for the area which includes St Ann’s Well Gardens.

Hove Gold as a group is concerned about the size of blocks, which range from five to nine storeys, proposed for the area. They said that people did not want to live in them.

The group said that the Artisan block, in Davigdor Road, was a failure. It is still almost empty a year after it was built, the group said, although the flats have been on the market since last October.

The block was sold by Crest Nicholson to Southern Housing Association but campaigners said that the flats were too expensive for local families and unwanted by those that could afford them.

Campaigner Sam Goult hopes that creating a “neighbourhood plan” will help to build on the family-focused community.

He said: “The Lyon Close site could be used to create genuine family housing which people want to live in.

“The eight-storey Artisan block is a the perfect live test case that clearly isn’t working but developers are about to copy-and-paste this tower-block five times.

“The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting a different result.

“Alternatively, four-storey town houses, the type that can be found all over Hove, would actually have similar occupancy rates, while creating a real sense of community – something that attracts people to Hove in the first place.”

There are currently 110 objections to the Lyon Close development (ref BH2018/01738) on Brighton and Hove City Council’s website and 27 against the Davigdor Road plans (ref BH2018/02926).

Mr Goult wants people to speak out against more tower blocks in Hove, describing some as eyesores from the 1970s.

He said: “The Hove Gold Neighbourhood Plan is to ensure that local residents get the chance to be heard and be the custodians of Hove’s character before its lost forever to a quick profit.

“We would urge anyone wanting to save Hove from a high-rise future to have their say at the public meeting next Wednesday.”

Goldsmid ward councillor Jackie O’Quinn is backing the campaigners even though she is a member of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee.

When the Lyons Close and Davigdor Road applications come before the committee, if she is still a sitting councillor, she will have to leave the room.

She said that she was delighted people are taking a stand as she hopes it will encourage more people to get involved and make a difference.

Councillor O’Quinn said: “It is very exciting. I think it will be hugely successful because people are very frustrated by so much development.

“I don’t think they will be a pushover. There is quite a sense of ‘this is our city and we want to have a say’.”

The meeting starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday 20 February at St Luke’s Church, on the corner of Old Shoreham Road and Stanford Road.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Yes, terraced housing, rather than blocks, can house more people and more hsppily.

    It is a great shame that that the Ellen Road etc. terraces were demolished near Hove Station. Folly.

    I have no truck with Labour after its destructive attitude to Hove’s Carnegie Library but I do hope that cllr O’ (Mighty?) Quinn can do something about this. It is a fervent Ward.

    • Rolivan Reply

      I think we might have had this conversation before Christopher, the houses you refer to were not fit for purpose,My Grandmother and 2 Uncles and and Aunts and their Families lived in 3 properties and they were in a terrible condition.What would be nice is something like the Span houses in Foxes Dale Blackheath.

  2. Keith Reply

    We need more homes, and a tower block may be more ideal. If it has underground parking, this would help. If many tower blocks had underground parking, this would help.

    We can’t build 2 storey high homes everywhere. We can’t build south, we can’t build north, the only viable option – is UP!

    I have been waiting on a council list for 16 years, private is too expensive and usually consists of no heating or expensive electric heating, or no double glazing, and high rents. I can’t afford to work as long as I did when I was younger just to pay rent.

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