Family home in Saltdean to be demolished and replaced with flats

The proposed new flats in Withyham Avenue in Saltdean

Plans to knock down a house and build seven flats were granted planning permission despite concerns about the design.

Councillors granted permission to demolish the house at 1 Withyham Avenue, Saltdean, and replace it with a four-storey block.

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh called on fellow members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee to reject the proposal because of its design.

She shared a picture of an art deco building designed by Richard Jones in nearby Chichester Drive East as an example of Saltdean’s style of buildings with rounded corners and white render.

The architect was also responsible for the Saltdean Lido and Grand Ocean Hotel.

Councillor Fishleigh, who represents Rottingdean Coastal ward which includes Saltdean, said: “This could be the case where we push back and say ‘no’ we demand higher design values.

“We want something that actually fits in with Saltdean, not just something that could be plonked anywhere in the country.”

Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett agreed, saying: “It’s a hideous-looking building. It seems a shame to keep ripping down beautiful family homes with gardens which are proper family houses to put seven square boxes in there.”

Green councillor Marianna Ebel said that she found the design acceptable, adding that it would provide more living space.

Labour councillor Daniel Yates agreed that the design was not in keeping with the best of Saltdean but said: “That also looks like Timor House or a finger of Grand Ocean.

“Both have been given planning permission relatively close to that site recently to put flats on to sites in west Saltdean.

“It is not to my mind attractive. There could be better solutions. But it is not out of keeping with recent design decisions this committee has taken in and around Saltdean.”

The house to be demolished in Withyham Avenue in Saltdean

At Hove Town Hall, six councillors voted to grant planning permission, with three against.

The scheme has 20 cycle parking spaces and the committee agreed to add a condition so that they included cycle parking for cargo bikes and other alternative bicycles.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    There’s not enough development in the outer areas of B&H. People need homes and these areas are the only option..

    • Hove Guy Reply

      But they don’t have to be hideously designed. What do the Green Party know about design anyway?

  2. Liz Wrigley Reply

    Government announcement recently suggests local Design Guides are prepared. Perhaps time for Saltdean to step up and prepare a local guide?

  3. Jon Ray Reply

    This looks hideous. If it were to be needed at all, then why not make it more sympathetic with the vernacular?

    Cllr. Fishleigh is right.

    Just because there have been other buildings, that look equally hideous,and have been granted planning permission, does not mean that a green light should be given to other similar atrocious monstrosities.

    This whole trend towards characterless boxes is eroding the look and feel of Saltdean.
    I have been here for more than thirty years, the character of the place is being lost.
    It’s all for profit without regard to heritage.

    People attracted to the idea of living here should realise that buildings like these are destroying the very thing that they like and are attracted to about Saltdean.

    Shame on you planning for consistency allowing the spoiling of a village, once described as ‘Brighton’s fairest sister’.

  4. Bear Road resident Reply

    It isn’t just Saltdean though is it? Brighton council seems determined to change the look of the town into ‘Croydon by the Sea’ with carte blanche permission seemingly given to endless ‘monstrous carbuncle’ boxes littering both of the main arterial roads into town.
    Perhaps it wouldn’t seem so bad if these developments were even for the benefit of local residents rather than rich new comers and students. Brighton council has always had a tradition of destroying the town’s architectural heritage but the process seems to have accelerated enormously in the last few years.

    • Some Guy Reply

      Do you genuinely prefer the look of the house currently on the site? Just another generic last-century house? Modern buildings are better “machines for living in,” and no amount of nostalgia will make old buildings cheaper to heat or more efficient to make. Not to mention the fact that Brighton and Hove is lousy with a million carbon copy railway-era terraced houses which are exactly equivalent to the tiny flats of today with worse materials.

      • Bear Road resident Reply

        Whilst some may find Le Corbusier’s concept of “a machine for living” the absolute bee’s knees for many he remains a highly controversial figure and a lot of of his urban planning ideas have been criticized for their indifference to pre-existing cultural sites, societal expression and equity. Certainly for those rich enough to be able to afford an architect designed ‘one off’ building in the suburbs the concept could work. However when applied to mass urban housing we ended up with the disasters of the 60’s and 70’s with horizontal slums being replaced by vertical ones instead – many of which had to be demolished.
        And of course the average person does not want what the architects think they should have. According to the 2001 census the most popular type of home in England is semi-detached (more than 27% of all homes), closely followed by detached then terraced. Soulless tower blocks don’t even get a mention.
        I was also amused by the term “railway era” as far as I’m aware we still have railways so technically we are still in a railway era. By installing modern doors, windows and insulation my Edwardian terraced house is, in fact very economical to heat and the rooms are, on average, larger than those in many modern flats. Also it comes with a reasonable sized garden which has been transformed into a haven for wildlife. Not at all like the concrete wastelands with the occasional wilting, token tree that surround many modern developments.

        • Some Guy Reply

          Brighton and Hove both underwent a significant period of development with the arrival of (and subsequent changes to) the railways from about 1840 to 1900. Several neighbourhoods in the area stemm entirely from the need to house railway and construction workers. Hence “railway era” although I admit that’s my term rather than one from a book.
          The rest of your post is just ill-informed rubbish with a weird dose of misplaced snobbery, as if efficient housing benefits the rich unduly.
          I love the way you’ve equated older houses with your own (commendable) ecological efforts. An old house with a naff 80s patio and a mildewy trampoline in the back garden is no more or less wildlife friendly than a concrete wasteland. Unless you’re a big fan of mildew.

  5. Matt Edwards Reply

    I live in London but am looking to buy a few investment places down this way – any ideas how much and what rent you get for small places like this? Is it near Rockwater? Thanks, Matt

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