Councillors have approved a £67 million scheme to build more than 200 flats in blocks up to 18 storeys high close to Hove station.
The company behind the scheme, Watkin Jones, said that it hoped that the warehouses currently on the site could be demolished later this year.
And it hopes that the “build to rent” scheme, in Ellen Street, backing on to Conway Street, could be ready for its first tenants in April 2023.
Watkin Jones’s application for 216 flats was approved by Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee in a “virtual” meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 2 September) by six votes to four.
The scheme – known as Hove Gardens – also includes a community area and space for shops, offices or cafés.
Neighbours and Goldsmid ward councillors praised Watkins Jones for the way that it had engaged with the people locally.
Green councillor Sue Shanks and the former council leader, Labour councillor Daniel Yates, said that good community engagement resulted in improved schemes.
Members said that the Watkin Jones proposal was better than a previous project, granted permission by a government planning inspector in January last year, even though the new scheme was taller.
Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum representative Mike Gibson said that the design and streetscape had been improved thanks to public consultation.
Mr Gibson said: “A big plus is that this is the first virtually car-free development in the Hove Station Quarter.
“It is a first and will hopefully fit into the master plan for the area and ensure the whole area is car-free in accordance with the neighbourhood plan.”
Watkin Jones’s planning consultant Nick Green said that no parking would be available on site and that tenants would not be able to apply for parking permits in the area.
Mr Green said that an independent report found that it was not viable to include “affordable” housing on the site but the company appreciated the community’s views on the subject.
It had therefore agreed to provide 10 per cent of the flats for “affordable” rent, at an average 25 per cent discount to market rents.
The plans include 31 studios, 101 one-bed flats, 73 two-bedroom flats and 11 with three bedrooms, making 216 in total, providing homes for about 600 people.
At least 10 of the flats are expected to be wheelchair accessible.
One councillor asked for details of rent levels for the scheme compared with homes in the area and was told that the new flats would cost hundreds of pounds a month more.
But Watkin Jones said that rents included Sky TV, high-speed internet and access to an on-site gym.
Labour councillor Nick Childs voted against the scheme, saying that he objected to the loss of parking spaces in the area and the lack of affordable housing.
He said: “Once again we have a wealthy developer developing in our city and providing insufficient affordable housing.
“A 75 per cent reduction is not affordable for the 9,500 people on our housing list.”
Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh said that she had looked at the viability report which suggested that the scheme would make an £8 million profit.
She said: “If this scheme cannot deliver more than 10 per cent affordable homes then we should reject it and ask them to come back with a different scheme.”
Green councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones said that a one-bedroom flat would cost £200 a month more to rent than the “local housing allowance”.
But she voted for the scheme because it would be car-free and next to Hove station.
Independent councillor Tony Janio voted against the plans because he said that it was “nonsense” to suggest that a scheme of more than 200 homes would be car-free.
Conservative councillor Joe Miller said: “The housing is much needed in the city as we are living through a housing crisis. People are struggling to rent and this area is crying out for development.”
Labour councillor Chris Henry, who represents neighbouring Westbourne ward, was also happy to see the “industrial” site turned into housing.
He said: “For those of us who live and work in this area, it’s a real dump. It’s a very unpleasant area and this regeneration is really welcome.”