Planners reject scheme to convert Portslade station offices into homes

Planning officials have refused permission to convert empty railway station offices into share homes.

Freelance architect Jonida Murataj, 33, wanted to turn the old offices at Portslade Station into a pair of shared houses.

But her plans for the grade II listed Victorian building fell foul of a policy of protecting employment space.

She wanted to create a five-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) and a four-bed small HMO in what was once the stationmaster’s home.

Mrs Murataj also applied for retrospective permission to strip out suspended ceilings and fit stud wall partitions, kitchens and shower rooms.

In a decision letter, Brighton and Hove City Council said that Mrs Murataj had not given enough evidence “to demonstrate that the office space is redundant or unfit for purpose”.

The building was damp-proofed in 2019 because leaks and mould left it unlettable. But still the offices have remained vacant and have now stood empty for the past 10 years.

The council also said that the proposed four-bed shared house had too little communal space.

And the five-bedroom shared house lacked “defensible space between it and the station platform”, had a lack of outlook, a poor layout and no private outside space.

The council added: “Proximity to the railway line and station platform would provide an uncomfortable and oppressive standard of accommodation for residents.”

And the lack of cycle parking for residents also came in for criticism.

Eight people sent written objections to the planning application.

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth, whose ward includes Portslade Station, said: “As councillors for Wish ward, Garry Peltzer Dunn and I have expressed concerns from the outset about plans to turn the station’s office accommodation into two HMOs.

“The idea seems to be highly inappropriate given the setting. The location is busy, noisy and disruptive generally. Office is use is acceptable but not housing.”

Mrs Murataj’s agent was approached for comment.

  1. Sab Reply

    It is a shame that we can not get housing.

  2. Anony Reply

    There’s less need for offices with people working from home, but a dire need for a fast expanding population in the City. I just don’t understand how this Council makes its decisions!

  3. MARC HOWDEN Reply

    The Council made the right decision. Who wants to live in a house of multiple occupancy with no outside space bang on top of a railway line. It’s ideas like this from profiteering developers that make people’s lives miserable.

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