Astoria site developer modifies plans as new building takes shape

The developer building 70 flats on the site of the old Astoria cinema and bingo hall in Brighton has applied for permission to modify the plans for the project.

Astoria Brighton – a joint venture between investment firm Cogress and developer Ktesius – wants permission to include more space – probably for storage – on the lower ground floor for the café or shop above.

And councillors are also being asked to approved louvred windows instead of obscured glass for the front of the new building.

Officials said that the changes were relatively minor but meant amending the plans approved by a planning inspector.

The scheme is in the Valley Gardens Conservation Area and next to the North Laine Conservation Area.

Work is well under way after the derelict grade II listed building was demolished after standing empty for more than 20 years.

In its place, a seven-storey building – to be called the Rox – will provide 70 homes in Gloucester Place, in the heart of Brighton.

Fourteen neighbours have written to Brighton and Hove City Council to oppose the latest proposals, including a nearby yoga studio.

The business said: “When they were digging before the whole building was vibrating. The sound was so loud we had to cancel treatments those days.

“The water in the floatation tanks was wavy. I asked for the construction manager to call me or come in for a chat but none of these wishes were granted.

“I was only told, ‘Don’t worry, love. It will be over in a few days.’ It wasn’t.”

The Astoria – image taken from Google Streetview

A letter on behalf of people living in neighbouring Blenheim Place and Cheltenham Place said: “Their properties have suffered damage and to increase the basement level will further affect their properties. Their boundary walls and water levels might be affected.

“We request further risk reports by planning to assess potential subsidence, water levels and floor risk prior to considering this application, particularly as North Laine houses are built with bungaroosh.”

The planning application is due to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday 10 July at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled to start at 1pm and should be open to the public.

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