A £40m Gateway for jobs and homes on Hove seafront meets resistance

Posted On 18 Jun 2020 at 5:39 pm

A planning battle looms at the eastern end of Shoreham Harbour where a developer wants to invest £40 million in jobs and homes.

But the scheme, known as Hove Gateway, has already galvanised neighbours to speak out, saying that the buildings would be overbearing and out of place.

The company behind the latest plans, Synergy Developments, could make use of an existing planning permission for a series of six blocks of flats on the site, up to six storeys high.

Instead, it appears to be trying to address some of the objections to the earlier scheme, known as PortZed, while responding to official concerns about Brighton and Hove’s housing supply shortfall.

The plot occupies a narrow strip of land between the A259 Kingsway and Basin Road North by Aldrington Basin at the eastern end of Shoreham Harbour.

It includes the Magnet kitchens showroom which would make way for 172 homes, a roof-top restaurant, offices, gym and Brighton and Hove’s first new seafront square for more than a century.

But the Kingsway and West Hove Residents’ Association (KAWHRA) said that the two proposed buildings would be too bulky, too high and would clash with the long-established character of the area.

It would be more suited to East Croydon than West Hove.

But, with work having formally started after planning permission was granted for PortZed, and the principle of homes and businesses on the site already established, opponents’ options look limited.

Synergy Developments said: “We are keen to hear the views of local residents and businesses on our proposals before submitting any new planning application.

“Gateway Hove represents a significant opportunity to develop this outdated and under-used site into a first-class, mixed-use regeneration scheme.

“Our revised proposals will deliver more homes, more office space and a visitor centre with gallery space for local artists.

“Gateway Hove has evolved from an existing local project, known as PortZed, which secured planning permission from Brighton and Hove City Council in 2014 for a mixed-use residential and commercial development.”

Synergy said that that it would stick with PortZed’s “eco town” principles while aiming to provide

  • 172 flats in two blocks from seven to eleven storeys high – and as many as possible to be affordable
  • 24 of the flats would be studios, 65 would have one bedroom, 73 would be two-bed flats and 10 would have three bedrooms
  • commercial space totalling 2,108 sqm would include 1,029 sqm of office space, a 337 sqm roof-top restaurant, a 250 sqm café, a 220 sqm gym and a 182 sqm gallery space and visitor centre
  • an open space for residents and visitors would include a plinth for local artists to showcase their sculptures and
  • undercroft parking would have 174 spaces for cars and 192 for bicycles

Synergy said that scheme would bring significant socio-economic benefits including a £40 million capital investment, 171 new jobs and a further 26 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

The plans included offering 32 skills development, work placements and apprentice starts for young people.

The developer would expect to make payments to the council, known as section 106 contributions, for local education, health care and transport projects.

And the scheme was expected to contribute £573,000 in new council tax and business rate payments towards local services.

It was also estimated to be likely to inject a further £2.4 million into the local economy each year.

How the Hove Gateway scheme might look

After consulting the public and local organisations, Synergy said that it hoped to submit a planning application in late summer or early autumn.

If planning permission is granted, work could start next spring and be completed by late summer or autumn 2022.

KAWHRA chair Peter Reeves said: “We welcome developments that are well- designed and appropriate to the surroundings.

“While this proposal offers some appealing features, the feedback from local residents is overwhelmingly that it falls well below fulfilling either criterion.

“It is regarded as far too bulky, too high and clashing with the long-established character of not just the neighbourhood but West Hove generally.

“It would also seriously overshadow homes opposite for a large part of the year.

“Described as a Gateway, its ‘office block’ appearance is more suited to a dual carriageway into East Croydon. It is simply overbearing and out-of-place.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth, who represents Wish ward, said: “There has already been much discussion among residents about this scheme as Councillor Peltzer Dunn and I shared details at an early stage in this pre-application process.

“While it’s undoubtedly the case that many will be against, we do appreciate the opportunity to comment and look forward to much changing before a planning application is submitted.”

  1. James Billings Reply

    I quite like the look of a modern building which will surely enhance what is a very rundown area. Let’s face it there is very little in the way of valuable architecture along that end of the seafront and perhaps this will encourage others to come forward and help rejuvenate the whole area. We need the jobs and we need the homes and where else are they going to come from if not developments like this?

    • Valerie Reply

      Don’t be silly – the substantial housing opposite is part of a well-heeled middle class families area. The historic Western Esplanade villas, which these flats would overlook on the seaward side, is nicknamed Millionaires Row!

      The working port is not avaiable to be turned into a housing estate, apart from this basin end area.

      You don’t actually know the area, do you!

      • saveHOVE Reply

        Way back when Portzed ws a dream a Western Esplanade resident & myself sat down with a Port official who told us they would be looking to release the western arm fir housing & other redevelopment.

        Colin Brace & his eco partner were advised of this in a hat after a Regency Society opresentztion; but the eco man said it wd take 10 yrs to do the Portzed dream there so NO!

        So now their Portzed consent is unwanted & a gallon is proposed for the pint pot edge between the A259 Kingsway & Basin Road and others are redeveloping the wedtern arm of Shoeham Port

    • Stewart Reply

      James You have clearly never been to this part of hove, houses in this area run upwards of £750K… Its hardly a run down area.
      There certainly is no precedent to start building 11 story blocks like this, it is not in keeping with the area. The only blocks of flats in this area are in the 3-4 story range.
      Not to mention the fact that the area is already overtaxed in terms of schools and doctors’ surgeries. The council knows this and has no intention of doing anything about it, which means developments like this simply cannot be allowed until the wider issues are addressed.
      Wish ward only has about 2000 people in it, this development could potentially add another 500, it’s a complete overdevelopment of the area.

  2. saveHOVE Reply

    The lack of site permeability along with chunky heights proposes a utilitarian ‘designed’ Berlin Wall to overwhelmthe two storey dwellings opposite who will feel swamped.

    Overbearing heights in a long unbroken rabbit warren of flats is pure Benidorm without the sandy beach, on the edge of a working industrial port.

    I will trot out an old comment that I still have to grimly use: its battery chicken housing for humans. Its too bad.

    • Indy Reply

      If you have to resort to calling other people “silly” and consider our local area is only inhabited by those with larger gross incomes then you clearly do not understand the value that this development will provide for the needs of the middle class salaried families, who historically make up this area. Born and bred locals have been priced out of there area, we cannot build into surrounding green spaces and the port authority has been in consultation about these developments for at least 15 years! There are is a clear need and this is wasted unused land, money does buy you a lot but it does not buy you the right to stop others rights to have there housing and employment needs met too. I have worked with the west hove portslade community, I am a local resident and I am witness to the diverse mix of people from a variety of backgrounds that makes this area unique. It is not up to the richer classes to suppress social development. Everyone is equal, regardless of what the 1% believe. And this design is in keeping with the other new developments opposite the lagoon. This is a city and urban development is part of transition. I agree with James billings.

      • C Reply

        This building is not in keeping with other buildings in the area. It dwarfs everything around it by atleast 5 stories…

        The large apartment blocks in this area are 3-4 stories and sit barely taller than the houses. This looks like it will overlooks most of Hove from the top. I live in a nearby road a 3-4 story would be fine, but his will overlook our house completely. I dread to think what the people directly opposite will have to deal with.

        Other developments of cheaper residential areas in this part of Hove have been in keeping, this is flat or not. These apartments will not be affordable to poorer people anyway, brand new with a seafront view overlooking the millionaires walk… They’ll cost more than any other flat around here….

      • Valerie Reply

        1. It is not a rundown area
        2. Find out what flats will cost before getting too excited. Even if you are destitute & expect to get an affordable unit you will be unlikely to find it affordable. Costs are high for newbuilds & housing benefit is unlikely to cover rents in this scheme.

  3. Kez Reply

    Hideous, gigantic overdevelopment. Totally out of keeping with the area. It should be 3-4 storeys and no more. Definitely battery housing. Where are the schools and health facilities for the people who are there at the moment? Address that problem first.

  4. Helen Thomas Reply

    I understand there is a housing shortage but if you insist on building these flats, which I’m sure you will, please make sure they are in keeping with the area, are no higher than the surrounding buildings, that they are attractive with outside spaces, i.e. balconies and are not souless, ugly glass boxes!!!

  5. Steve Reply

    Another greedy for profit development. Just say no unless it’s scaled down. Brighton has many terrible recentish developments which deteriorate rapidly but there are some examples where they are actually in keeping with the surroundings. I challenged myself to look out for some. See the 2 recent developments on either end of York Avenue. I’m sure everyone came off happily in those including the developers.

  6. Jean Reply

    It looks much better than some of the other big blocks of flats further along Kingsway, even if it is a bit taller than I would personally like to see on this site. The owner can already build quite a tall building there thanks to an existing and live planning permission.
    Plus, the council has approved a number of big tower blocks in Hove lately, and I think the shortfall in housing supply is a factor in those decisions, and I think it will be a factor again when a decision has to be made about this site.

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