Neighbours hold protest over plans to replace five period homes in Hove with two blocks of flats

Posted On 31 Aug 2020 at 9:53 pm

Dozens of neighbours held a protest in Hove over plans to replace five period homes with two nine-storey blocks of flats.

Hove Gold supporters protest against plans to demolish five period houses and build two blocks of flats on the corner of Cromwell Road and Palmeira Avenue

Community group Hove Gold said: “Residents in a Hove neighbourhood are fighting plans for a fifth large apartment block development in their area.

“RKO Developments Ltd proposes to demolish five period homes on the corner of Cromwell Road and Palmeira Avenue in order to build a massive block of 94 flats.

“Over 40 residents and councillors gathered (wearing face masks) to protest on Sunday morning (30 August) outside some of the homes that are due to be demolished to make way for a nine-storey building if plans go ahead.

“Permission for hundreds of flats has already been granted in the Lyon Close area and a nearby office block site is earmarked to be converted to residential use.

“Locals fear that this already busy section of Cromwell/Davigdor Road will become even more overdeveloped and overcrowded, putting greater pressure on an already overburdened schools and health services.”

“Surely,” one neighbour said, “someone has enough common sense to recognise that, with all this happening on a 440-metre stretch of road, this is a gross over-development of this tiny part of Hove?”

Hove Gold said: “Many also question how this build will benefit those living in Brighton and Hove.

“The project gives zero provision for affordable housing on site and sales prices are predicted to range from around £300,000 to £500,000 – well beyond the reach of average earners in our city.”

Another neighbour said: “It brings absolutely nothing good to our community.

“It’s a problem-causing eyesore which will only adversely affect the lives of all those who live here.”

Hove Gold added: “In addition, protesters are angry that RKO has made no effort at all to engage or consult with the community outside the statutory planning process.”

A visualisation of the £32 million RKO scheme for 94 flats on the corner of Cromwell Road and Palmeira Avenue in Hove

A local construction consultant said: “The design does not appear to reference the area accurately.

“For example, a newly refurbished detached building is inaccurately described as ‘a former nursery building in a bad state of repair and potentially in need of demolition.’

“So far, there are nearly 200 strong objections lodged on the council planning website against this scheme, with only three respondents in favour of the development.”

Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee is due to decide whether to grant planning permission on Wednesday (2 September).

  1. Miroslava Mlcochova Reply

    Don’t demolish and destroy our neighbourhood

  2. Matt Reply

    So they protest when it’s being built for residential use although when it comes to student housing they stand by. Shocking. That’s 5 houses to be turned into 94 homes, if you object you’re as selfish as the council. Same category as those renting a room for a ridiculous amount. Greed.

  3. Howard Risby Reply

    I’ve less than no objections to massively energy-inefficient housing stock (however ‘pretty’ some may consider it) being either upgraded of replaced. Where I do take issue is with hideous edifices, which barely meets with current pathetic energy reduction targets (and mysteriously frequently fail to end up containing such ‘affordable housing’ as the original planning approval stipulated, but that’s another matter entirely) …. and that’s before whatever changes the current Westminster administration intends foisting on planning departments nationwide.

    Newsflash: The paltry existing ‘20% reduction in emissions’ which UKPlc obviously can’t manage is so ridiculously unambitious as to be, in any other circumstances, laughable. Practical and achievable improvements to even Victorian housing stock can readily result in that ‘20%’ being nearer the comparative total energy use figure, rather than a ‘reduction’. Don’t take my word for it, go have a shuftie for ‘Pasivhaus’ and zero energy architecture ….. then consider where priorities need to lie.

    I’ve lived in several of those ‘period buildings’ so many are keen to preserve at almost any cost, many of which were, in reality barely fit for human habitation, often riddled with mould (which is seriously detremental to health), almost falling apart and invariably cost an absolute fortune to heat. Clearly, aesthetics don’t represent the whole story.

    Do please take a look at where our nation’s energy use occurs, as the proportion involved in keeping superannuated domestic edifices going will (I guarantee ) come as a serious surprise. So will the energy costs being borne in trying to keep old houses acceptably warm every winter.

    If many insist on keeping us all living in a museum of past architecture, let’s for Bob’s sake, at least ensure we’re not collectively ignoring the manifold issues surrounding energy reduction and climate change strategies, or of our health for that matter. Do that, conservation minded folks, and you’d get rather more support from yours truly than by perpetuating attempts to fossilise our city’s appearance, to the benefit of who, precisely?

  4. Michael Taylor Reply

    The planning officers (who know a thing or two about planning law, or should) recommended the committee to grant consent.
    Having watched the committee’s deliberations, – such as they were – they seemed to me to be more concerned with the number of objections rather than the guidance and legal criteria for refusal.

    As one of the officers observed, the number of objections is not a matter for the committee, but rather whether the application meets the conditions set out in the local plan and various building regulations.

    Residents are entitled to express a view, of course, but if the guidance to developers is to be ignored for the sake of politics or popularity, then nothing would ever get built.

    The applicant will appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and in all probability succeed. And who will pick up the legal costs?

  5. Teresa Lipson Reply

    To Matt…these are not homes for local people in housing need. 2 bed flats with no outside space do not and should not house families. We want to see homes that are lived in, not second homes for hedge fund bonuses.

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