Councillors reject £260m scheme for 800 homes in Hove

A £260 milion scheme to build more than 800 homes on a rundown trading estate has been turned down by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The proposal included 581 flats, ten live/work units and 260 retirement flats on the Sackville Trading Estate in Hove, as well as shops and offices.

The council’s Planning Committee ignored an official recommendation to approve the scheme which included a series of tower blocks up to 15 storeys high alongside Sackville Road.

Frith Road resident Clare Bennett spoke on behalf of her neighbours in the Artists’ Corner area to the west of Sackville Road.

She told the council’s Planning Committee that her community had tried to engage with the council’s Planning Department but felt unconsulted.

Neighbours sent in almost 200 objections, with parking pressure among their objections.

She said: “We do not feel we can accommodate any further visitors resulting from this development.

“There is a busy junction and there is only one way in and one way out which is not sufficient.”

Save Hove campaigner Valerie Paynter spoke on behalf of the freeholder of a garage in Newtown Road which backs on to the site. He was concerned that his new neighbours would complain about noise.

She said that an application at the corner of Newtown Road and Goldstone Lane was recommended for refusal because of “acquired noise rights” for the proposed residents.

She said: “That City Plan employment-led site gave way to a block of flats, a terrace of six houses and a tiny office.

“The car dealership next door has gone and an application in for two huge blocks of flats will end that City Plan designated site for employment-led development if granted.”

Goldsmid ward councillor Jackie O’Quinn spoke about the Old Shoreham Road crossroads with the Sackville Road and Nevill Road.

The Labour councillor said: “Sackville Road is one of the busiest in Hove. This will have an impact on the surrounding area.

“There will be a great deal of chaos there as there was last year when the traffic lights were down.”

Hove Park ward councillor Samer Bagaeen, a newly elected Conservative, spoke about the limited amount of affordable housing proposed as part of the scheme.

Ten per cent or 58 of the 581 flats would be available at “affordable” rents although the independent District Valuer Service said that the scheme might not be viable if it included affordable housing.

Yet, Councillor Bagaeen said, the build-to-rent market was booming.

He also said that he was worried about waste management, saying that Cityclean – the council’s rubbish and recycling service – already had problems reaching some homes to collect people’s rubbish.

Labour councillor Gill Williams commended developer Moda Living for paying the Brighton and Hove living wage but asked if people on that wage could afford homes there.

Moda director James Blakey said yes, adding that “per bedroom rates” worked out at £354 a month and the company did not ask for deposit.

Rent would include access to the gym, internet and reduced electricity costs, he told the Planning Committee.

Sackville Road scheme

Former Labour council leader Daniel Yates asked how much it would cost for a unit rather than per bedroom.

Mr Blakey said that a one-bedroom flat would be rented for about £1,250 a month, a two-bedroom flat for £1,600 and a three-bedroom flat for £2,100.

Councillor Yates said that people would have to sleep three to a bed to afford it – and with 25 per cent off it would still not be affordable.

He said: “I do not think we are doing right for Brighton and Hove to have to use up this one significant site and not deliver a single piece of genuinely affordable accommodation.”

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh said that she was disappointed at the lack of affordable housing and urged councillors who stood for 50 per cent affordable housing in their manifesto to “knock it back”.

She said: “Let’s try and do something with this site and knock it back. Let’s get something 100 per cent renewable and have something we can be proud of.

“This could be anywhere. We don’t want it in Brighton.”

Conservative councillor Joe Miller asked for the affordable housing to be protected by a covenant to keep it “in perpetuity” and voted for the scheme.

But a majority of the committee voted against granting planning permission for the application.

It was refused on the grounds that too many of the flats would be studio flats, the height and massing of the tower blocks would harm the heritage of the area, the lack of amenity space and the lack of daylight in the buildings for older people and the lack of work space.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    This is good news. I had to leave as this item had been moved down the agenda so that the county Ecologist could go home. As I remarked elsewhere, this Application was very much rentabox. And the Artists’ Corner residents made the point that they were disregarded as the Council appears to be in thrall to the Hove Station Neighbnourhood Forum (which also tried to muscle in on the Hove seafront group).

    • Rolivan Reply

      I think that a lot of people are now realising that they do not want all that goes with living in larger residences.Just a lock up and leave situation.Look at the way a lot of Japanese spend their week living in pods.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        No, terraced housing can provide as much as blocks, and indeed had the terraced housing not been demolished near Hove Station in the Sixties to put up blocks, it would now be as desirable as Poets’ Corner the other side of Sackville Road. The current Sackville sheds are a horror but a more imaginative use is needed than homes that look like self-storage. I continue to be amazed that all the space by Victoria Road in South Portslade is given to automobile lots; it would make excellent housing.

      • Ian T Reply

        Does Councillor Fishleigh live in the real world? No developer is going to provide 50% affordable housing…..and as for not wanting this in Brighton this development is in Hove luv! Saying all that £1250 a month for a one bed flat is taking the proverbial despite Modas slippery BS about the cost per bedroom and many similar developments (Artisan in Davigdor Road anyone?!) are artificially pushing up prices both to rent and to buy across B&H!!

    • saveHOVE Reply

      A lot if comments including my Correction are now gone. I represented the freeholder of Industrial use units 1-4 Newtown Rd – not a garage

  2. saveHOVE Reply

    Correction. I spoke on behalf of the owner of Industrial and office units 1-4 Newtown Road Trading Estate, not the sole garage further up.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Well done for that. More than ever, we need a plan for the whole area – and not dominated by the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum which seems to be trying to get its tentacles into West Hove Forum and the Hove Seafront gathering.

  3. Rolivan Reply

    I put forward an idea to link up existing terraced housing which could work around that area as I feel that the crossroads interlinking are not required in all cases so you could have a continuous terrace from Claredon villas to Sackville rd and the same from there through to Tamworth rd.The utilities are already in place.I have already put this idea through to Andy Winter and the planning Department 3 years ago and more recently to Cllr Gibson to do the same in areas of Brighton.The Housing could be prefabricated so not to cause too much disruption during construction.
    We need to be thinking more about housing people and less about whether they have adequate parking.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Can’t follow this! It is built up from Clarendon Villas to Tamworth Raod as it is. And I do not see how Andy Winter is a part of it. All to do with land ownership.

      • Rolivan Reply

        It is all Council owned land being as it is currently part of the road system.You do not need all of the crossoads.I put it to the Planning Department who thought it a great idea but they wanted to build bigger Council owned Developments and we know how well that has gone in the last 5 years at least.Are these 1000 Council properties ever going to be built?

    • saveHOVE Reply

      The Sackville Trading Estate is private property that the Council has a regrettable City Plan policy for, demanding at least 500 dwellings and 6,000sqm of employment space. Sadly the requirement for protected employment in Newtown Road to be considered is somewhat at odds with this policy as redev as residential gives new homes noise rights over existing employment uses in Newtown Road. Dilemmas!

      • James Roberts Reply

        Under the latest version of the National Planning Policy Framework, noise from existing operations would be protected due to the agent of change principle, i.e. the onus is on the design of any new development to take existing noise from operations into account – see paragraph 182 of the latest NPPF.

  4. Rolivan Reply

    It is all Council owned land being as it is currently part of the road system.You do not need all of the crossoads.I put it to the Planning Department who thought it a great idea but they wanted to build bigger Council owned Developments and we know how well that has gone in the last 5 years at least.Are these 1000 Council properties ever going to be built?

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