Developer vows to target professionals not students with new shared house in Brighton

A property developer told planners that he wanted to build a shared house in Brighton for young professionals not students.

Project manager Simon Lovering said that the owner had no intention of making the proposed five-bedroom house at Fiveways a student let.

And at Brighton Town Hall, the site’s owner, Jack Ravan, of Whylands Avenue, Worthing, was granted permission to build the shared house on an empty plot in Hythe Road, Brighton.

They were responding to concerns raised by neighbours that the HMO (house in multiple occupation) would be filled with students.

And Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee was told that permission had already been granted for a family home on the site – an option preferred by neighbours.

Mr Lovering said: “We can assure the council that this is aimed very much at the young professional.

“It has a value of £600,000. They want to take care of it themselves and have no intention of making it a student let.”

Green councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, who represents Preston Park ward, spoke against the scheme which generated 40 letters of objection.

She said: “This is a very small plot. It is barely the width of two cars.

“I question the change of use, before the building has been built, when permission was given for a family home.”

Three other properties out of 75 within a 50-metre radius of the plot were already classed as HMOs.

The Planning Committee was told that this was well within the council’s limit of 10 per cent limit.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said that she was unhappy with the application, adding: “In my personal view it is very unusual to have 40 people object to an application.

“I would prefer to see it as a family home as it seems to me there is not much privacy.”

The vacant plot in Hythe Road, off Fiveways, in Brighton

Green councillor Leo Littman said: “There is not a great deal wrong with it. I would prefer a family home but it’s not my choice.

“There is an extremely small amount of shared space for five people.”

Labour councillor Daniel Yates said that the plan was of a “higher quality” than some of the shared homes that had been approved in other parts of Brighton.

The Planning Committee granted permission for the proposal but said that it would have to be “car-free”. Future occupants would not be able to apply for a parking permit in the area.

  1. Garry smith Reply

    I hope it’s affordable housing for people on benefits.

  2. SamC Reply

    Since when does the Planning Department indulge in discrimination based on peoples’ occupation — allwing it to be the baisis of planning decision… young professionals not students = facism. Would be locked up if made the same distinctions based on race, relegion etc. Unbelievable.

  3. Sarah R Reply

    I think you’re confusing the planning department with local politicians. Usually, the planning officers’ recommendations are the accurate assessment of the planning policies in place. Errors/different interpretations can happen of course but there should be checks before reports are published.

    The councillors then decide on the political capital in approving or turning it down (they’d deny this of course). They always get a ton of objections related to student housing, turn it down, then it gets approved on appeal costing the council a small fortune each time. They can then point at the nasty planning inspector who approved it as they’re a separate relatively faceless entity who are easy to blame.

    Councillors can then pretend they’re publicly tough on the amount of student housing whilst blissfully aware there is very little they can do if it goes to appeal. It’s a pointless merry go round and costs a fortune but that’s politics for you.

    Maybe they just accepted in this instance there was no reason for refusal and decided to save us all some time and money for once?

    People need to educate themselves and object based on planning policy with sound judgements not just submit outrage like they’re commenting on Daily Mail forums.

  4. L K Honeyford Reply

    I live next to HMOs occupied by working age people, not students. Problems still arise with so many people in one dwelling- lots of disruption as people move in and out often,much rubbish as the tiny kitchen space is not suitable to cook fresh food.

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