A row of 48 disused garages can be demolished to make way for three blocks of flats after councillors granted planning permission to a £3 million scheme today (Wednesday 3 April).
The flats, in Buckley Close, Hangleton, would be council-built and the rents would be affordable for people earning the £9-an-hour “Brighton and Hove living wage”, councillors were told.
In total there would be 12 flats. Eight of them would be two-bedroom flats and four would have one bedroom. One of the flats would be wheelchair-accessible.
A car park for 11 cars is proposed for the entrance to the street, with cycle parking also included in the plans.
Conservative councillor Joe Miller said that it was unfortunate that a fourth block – originally proposed – was no longer part of the scheme because more affordable homes were needed.
He said: “We could do with those additional four flats. I would encourage (the housing department) to come back if it can be proved there is sufficient parking capacity around the area.”
Concerns were raised about the distance between the back of the blocks and homes in Chichester Close.
It was enough for Conservative councillor Carol Theobald to vote against the scheme at the final meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee before the local elections next month.
Councillor Theobald said: “There is not much room there and the homes are much too small.
“It has an unfortunate impact on houses in Chichester Close so I won’t be supporting it.”
North Portslade Labour councillor Penny Gilbey, who was attending her last Planning Committee meeting before she retires, said that a similar scheme in her ward proved there was room.
She said: “When those garages were to be developed, there was concern they would not be big enough.
“This is about the same distance as the houses in my ward. They are wonderful.”
Labour councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the Planning Committee, said: “I am really delighted this has come to the last committee.
“There are yet more units for use to offer as council properties. I like the design. It is simple, using patterns in the brickwork to give it some life.”
Councillors were split, with the four Labour, two Green and one Conservative voting in favour and two Conservatives voting against while one abstained.
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