OPINION

It’s time to move on from Brighton’s shipping container homes

Posted On 20 Oct 2020 at 8:55 am

Media reports regarding the future of BHT’s shipping container homes at Richardson’s Yard say that councillors have expressed concern for the future of the residents once the Council’s planning permission comes to an end in 2023.

Andy Winter inspects one of the original Brighton shipping containers

Firstly, I want to reassure residents that there is no change to what you were advised when you moved in – nothing will happen to your homes until 2023.

I was very reassured that Brighton and Hove City Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said there was a political commitment to ensuring residents did not end up homeless.

I look forward to working with the council to find the alternative accommodation that our residents will require.

I am very proud of the partnership between the landowner and developer, QED Estates and Brighton Housing Trust.

Since the project was first opened in 2013, we have provided 36 self-contained studio flats for over 100 people who might otherwise have been sleeping rough.

Ross Gilbert, managing director of QED, said: “We are passionate about Brighton and making it a better place to live and work. Our plans will help deliver this.

“Regrettably, it does mean the deconstruction of Brighton Housing Trust’s Richardson’s Yard development.

“Richardson’s Yard was the UK’s first ‘meanwhile’ housing scheme. It has provided move on accommodation for over 100 people and has acted as a catalyst for other housing charities, associations and local authorities to think differently about how they use land and provide for housing need.

“We are proud to continue to help Brighton Housing Trust provide vulnerable people with safe and secure accommodation.”

A kitchen inside one of the shipping container homes

Richardson’s Yard was never intended to be a permanent housing development.

Originally we were granted planning permission to have the containers there for just five years but they proved so popular that QED applied for, and the council agreed, a further five-year extension of the planning permission.

At that time the council’s Planning Department made it very clear that there would not be any further extension.

It is right that councillors want there to be proper move on provision. BHT looks forward to working together with council officers to evolve a move on plan.

Andy Winter is the chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust. This post first appeared on Andy Winter’s blog.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    In the time they have been there how much has it cost to accommodate those 100 people.I think the only real winners have been QED if my memory is correct.

    • NotAGammonLikeSome Reply

      A lot less than putting them in other rented accomodation I’d wager.

      Can’t you just be happy that the people there have had somewhere warm and safe to live, rather than going on about the cost which the council would have had to pay to any private landlord anyway?

      But then people do like to moan about things!

  2. Rolivan Reply

    Well £2.8m minimum over 10 years could have bought a block of apartments which would have been an asset.Not forgetting the minimum £280,000 p.a that they will be paying until 2023.
    Unfortunately The Green Party and Labour Group only know how to spend money not create wealth, and before you mention it no I do not vote Conservative.

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