A government inspector has been asked to decide a planning application to build a four-storey block of flats and offices in place of a car and van hire business in Hove.
Perth Group Holdings, run by local developer John Bacon, wants to put up nine two-bedroom flats at 77 Holland Road, next to the old Pickfords building which was turned into housing.
But Perth’s latest application was turned down by Brighton and Hove City Council earlier this year, prompting the appeal.
Perth said that its plans would be a vast improvement on the current site but the plans were rejected because of their impact on the neighbouring Palmeira Yard.
Palmeira Yard, a grade II listed building, was previously used by Pickfords and built in 1893 for the Brighton and Hove Co-op.
The council said in its rejection letter: “The extent of the frontage of the proposed building is considered excessive.
“The proximity to Palmeira Yard in particular would result in a cramped appearance due to the scale of both buildings.
“The proximity, together with the height of the proposed building, would obscure views of the unusual roof of the listed building from the north and compete with it as viewed from much of Holland Road both north and south.”
The rejection letter also said that Perth’s plans would cause “significant harm to the character and appearance of the street scene and wider conservation area”.
They would also significantly detract from the historic and architectural character and setting of the listed building, the council said.
Next door – to the north of the Choice Vehicle Rentals site – is the Hove Hebrew Congregation synagogue.
ECE Planning said on behalf of Perth: “In determining the application (the council) failed to recognise the following
- The proposal has been designed to the highest design quality and it is appropriate given its relationship with the adjacent listed heritage asset and other nearby assets.
- The proposal responds to the key parameters outlined within our study of the site and context. The proposal successfully fills the gap between buildings with a form that complements the street scene in scale, architectural aesthetic and materiality.
- The proposal will make use of brownfield land and provide much-needed residential and commercial facilities.
“The council has been inconsistent in their advice and decision-making, placing insufficient weight on the merits of the scheme.
“The proposal, in our view, is entirely appropriate in terms of form, mass, siting, height and prominence in the street scene, contrary to the reason for refusal.
“In architectural design, the proposal has sought to draw reference to and complement the existing development within the conservation area.
“The proposal represents a high-quality scheme which will enhance the character of the area.
“It would cause no harm to the conservation area nor other heritage assets and has been designed with a thorough consideration of the character of the conservation area.
“We consider the scheme to be a significant improvement on the existing poor-quality building situated on the site.”
Perth lost a previous appeal. A planning inspector will hold a “virtual” hearing next Wednesday (16 September) which is expected to last no longer than a day.
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