Housing approved for old housing office site in Portslade

The site of a former housing office can be turned into affordable homes for dozens of people on the council’s waiting list.

Councillors unanimously approved the £14 million project to build 42 flats for social rent in Victoria Road, Portslade.

The scheme is part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods project.

It includes 14 one-bedroom flats, 18 two-bedroom flats and 10 with three bedrooms.

The council is also covering the cost of moving Portslade Bowls Club across the road to the Victoria Recreation Ground.

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh criticised the design of the flats, saying: “Did you ask the architects to make something beautiful and iconic that we could all be proud of? Or just a brown block of flats that could be anywhere?”

Conservative councillor Joe Miller agreed, saying that the design needed “slightly more ambition”.

He said: “The north building has the worst elevation and that’s the one people are more likely to see.

“I would encourage the council to try to diversify its designs but this is a good use of a site for much-needed affordable accommodation.”

Labour councillor Nick Childs said that he understood the points about lack of ambition but it was a good use of a brownfield site.

He said: “It gives the council the opportunity to build council homes. They are affordable. It’s great.”

Green councillor Sue Shanks said: “This is a really good application in terms of being near a park and not far away from the shops. It’s a good use of space.”

The council will have to pay “developer contributions” of more than £250,000.

This would include £53,000 towards secondary and sixth form education at the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA), £175,000 for outdoor space, recreation and sports at the Victoria Road Rec and £25,000 for public art.

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