Revised plans to build flats for more than a thousand people in Hove are to be looked at again by councillors next week.
The developer Moda Living has reduced the number of flats in its plans from 581 to 564 on the site of the Sackville Trading Estate, in Sackville Road, Hove.
Moda also wants to build 260 retirement flats on the run-down estate as well as shops, offices and community leisure facilities.
Brighton and Hove City Council officials have recommended that planners approve the £260 million project subject to conditions.
The original planning application was turned down by the council’s Planning Committee last July.
The committee said that there were too many studio flats, too little public space and the blocks were harmful to the heritage of the area as they were too tall and bulky.
Moda has responded by reducing the number of studio flats from 114 to 52 and increasing the number of two-bedroom and three-bedroom flats.
A report to the Planning Committee indicated that councillors had welcomed those changes during “pre-application consultation” but were still disappointed with the number of “affordable homes”.
Moda proposed that 10 per cent of the homes would be let at an affordable rent – or 75 per cent of the market rent.
The company came under fire last year when Moda director James Blakey said that rent based on “per bedroom” rates worked out at £354 a month. He said that the company did not ask for deposit.
Labour councillor Daniel Yates asked how much the rent would be “per unit” rather than “per bedroom”.
The rates were revealed £1,250 for one bedroom, £1,600 for two bedrooms and £2,100 for three bedrooms.
At the time Councillor Yates said that people would have to sleep three to a bed to afford it.
Tenants would have free use of an on-site gym as well as free wifi and reduced electricity costs.
Neighbours and councillors for the area have submitted 92 letters objecting to the scheme.
Hove Park councillor Samer Bagaeen has asked to address the Planning Committee next week after writing a joint letter of opposition to the plans with fellow Hove Park ward councillor Vanessa Brown.
Councillor Bagaeen, a professor of planning, objected to the design and added: “Having listened to residents in my ward, I am objecting to highlight the pollution that will ensue as an outcome of this development.
“The community has ideas and I hope that these will be listened to.”
One objector, whose details were redacted on the council website, said: “This is a massive overdevelopment, especially with regard to the building of 15-floor blocks that will have a major visual impact on Hove.
“The high rise will spoil the views in Hove Park and will change the nature of Hove.
“Traffic in Sackville Road is often at a standstill as this is a major entry point to the city and this will be much worse with this new high-density development.
“Add traffic from the development west of King George VI Avenue and this part of Hove will grind to a halt.
“We need lower-density development that has a human scale.”
Another objector, whose details were also redacted by the council, said: “This new application may contain amendments but still does not address the fundamental problems.
“The proposed buildings are out of scale with surrounding houses. They cause overshadowing and have a detrimental effect on the skyline.
“The density of buildings is too high and the site is too crowded. There is insufficient parking on site.
“There is only one exit on to an already busy Sackville Road. There is a lack of infrastructure – shops, schools, medical facilities and recreation – to cope with the needs of this influx of people.
“There is already considerable pollution in the area – traffic emissions, noise – which will be exacerbated by this development.
“Sackville Road and Old Shoreham Road cannot safely accommodate the anticipated number of cyclists.
“Regeneration of the area is vital but, while the design of some buildings is encouraging, others are ‘communist style’ blocks with little outside space.
“There is no community asset associated with this development.”
The council’s Planning Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall next Wednesday (4 March). The meeting, which should be held in public, is scheduled to start at 11am.
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