Hove offices could become home to more flats

A developer wants to build on top of an existing office block in Hove to make room for more flats.

The developer, Stonegate Homes, already has planning permission to convert Palmer and Harvey House in Davigdor Road into dozens of flats.

Now the company has applied to Brighton and Hove City Council for permission to build an extra storey and an extension to include eight more flats.

The application is due to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee next Wednesday (8 July).

A three-storey front extension would also create an extra 298 square metres of office space.

Stonegate’s agent Nova Planning said: “The proposed roof extensions would see a modest increase in the scale and massing of the existing building.

“However, the extensions would sit below the existing height of the building as defined by the service core.

“By setting the extensions back from the edge of the building, the proposed development will have limited visibility from ground level.”

But 13 people have objected to the scheme with concerns about overcrowding in the area, extra traffic and pressure on the local schools and doctors’ surgery.

One objector, whose details were redacted on the council’s website, said: “This development is, in itself, inappropriate on the grounds of adding further height to an already enormous and unsightly building.

“But it must also be seen in the context of Davigdor Road as a whole, which is a key thoroughfare in our beautiful city.

“This development, alongside the recent ‘Artisan’ flats and other potential developments, have the potential to physically transform, dominate and overshadow this and the surrounding areas.”

Another person wrote: “The P&H building is already a dominating eyesore in the local area, being far larger than surrounding buildings and very poorly designed.

“Given the large number of empty flats in the development neighbouring it, I struggle to see the need for further excessive building works.

“Moreover, the pressures on local amenities (GP, schools, bus, roads) is already strained and the addition of more flats would be inappropriate.”

Campaign group Hove Gold has opposed high-rise developments in the area, including in neighbouring Lyon Close which backs on to the site, and the former Hyde Housing office next door.

But officials have supported the scheme in a report to the Planning Committee, subject to Stonegate, based in Dorking, Surrey, paying a “developer’s contribution” of £364,500 towards affordable housing elsewhere.

The former office building used to house grocery wholesaler Palmer and Harvey.

The business collapsed in 2018 with debts of £700 million, having calling in administrators in 2017.

The Planning Committee is due to hold a “virtual” meeting starting at 2pm on Wednesday (8 July). It is scheduled to be webcast on the council website.

  1. Argusnot Reply

    The area is gridlocked a lot of the time anyway; I doubt the extra traffic would make any difference!

  2. saveHOVE Reply

    I feel claustrophobic just thinking about the density & heights of the various schemes accumulating in this stretch of Davigdor before it becomes Cromwell Rd. Hive will one day become a Canyon Town. A monoculture of vulgar tower blocks – dreary soviet Russia & Benidorm will look classier than where we are heading.

  3. Noname Reply

    The area is never gridlocked what a load of rubbish

    • JimBob Reply

      Agreed,have driven around Brighton & Hove thousands of times up and down this road (used to live just off it too) over the years, hardly ever gridlocked except a bit of traffic at the usual start/end of the working day and sometimes on a Saturday.

      Some people just like to moan because THEY personally don’t like that sort of architecture. Suck it up, it isn’t going away.

  4. Rolivan Reply

    I would imagine far more people used the building before than will do so when it is turned into apartments.
    Unfortunately the City has become a victim of its own success and I am sure there will be many more developments throughout the City as long as people are prepared to pay what I think are extortianate prices for 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.

    • MYSELF Reply

      You’re of course right. Much better it sit empty doing nothing adding to the housing shortage which drives prices up.

      The extortionate prices of 1-2 bedroom flats, which I agree tends to price local people out of the market half the time, is unfortunately the going rate. I assure you if a three bed semi was viable for people they’d probably buy that instead but as the prices of those are even more extortionate your point is moot.

  5. Lel Reply

    I hope is all affordable housing c50k for three bed for people on low incomes and benefits. Not designed for people with fancy jobs.

    • Paul Reply

      None of them will be affordable, for some reason the council is letting developers get away without providing the required number. We lose out but at least the developers get more profit. The council is letting them provide affordable properties elsewhere… Why not in the development itself? I bet these affordable homes never materialise. Either the council is stupid to let developers escape the requirements for a percentage of development to be “affordable” or there’s corruption going on

  6. Peter Gates Reply

    Croydon by Sea! It’s already here so if you don’t like it, get out of Hove.

    As a reminder :-
    Davigdor road 11 stories
    New Church Road Pembroke / Westbourne 7 stories
    Aldrington hospital will be next
    Kings esplanade Hove lagoon 11 stories
    Kings esplanade – old texaco site
    Hove station neighbourhood
    Old Halfords / Sackville estate – how many stories – 8? 11?
    Conway street
    Braemore development (to look like Embassy court)
    and many more to come …

    • Noname Reply

      This Croydon by Sea term is rediculous. Brighton and Hove can not build outwards, the only possible way is to build up and that is what they are doing in areas where there are already multi story flats and on brown field sites. The max height you have listed is 11 stories if you had even been to Croydon you would know that A. They are much higher than 11 stories and B. They are mainly in the central business district and C. They do not look bad despite what mad Val keeps spouting

      • Peter Gates Reply

        Hove council has allowed the neighbourhood, to become boxed in overshadowed and generally exploited by greedy developers. It’s the sacking of our city, now the mirror image of Croydon CBD.

        the CBD (Central business district, for those not familiar with the waffle gaff Noname is writing about).

  7. Paul Reply

    None of them will be affordable, for some reason the council is letting developers get away without providing the required number. We lose out but at least the developers get more profit. The council is letting them provide affordable properties elsewhere… Why not in the development itself? I bet these affordable homes never materialise. Either the council is stupid to let developers escape the requirements for a percentage of development to be “affordable” or there’s corruption going on

  8. Gilliananne Reply

    More housing for this area is really important, and a decent affordable element is crucial. Planners should be guiding good design, and forgetting the NIMBYs.

  9. Gaz Reply

    Houses should be free for people on benefits and on under 20k not for people who earn hundreds of grand

  10. Jane Taylor Reply

    Big recession coming.. no one will have the money or jobs to afford these ugly slums of tomorrow.. let the greedy developers go bankrupt. Then maybe council could start building homes people will want to live In

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