An eight-storey block of flats can be built on an old office car park in Hove after the £14.5 million scheme was granted planning permission by councillors.
They voted narrowly in favour of the planning application submitted by developer Stonegate Homes for 39 flats in the northeast corner of a plot in Davigdor Road.
The site includes P&H House, the former offices of the grocery wholesaler Palmer and Harvey.
An appeal has been lodged because Brighton and Hove City Council was unable to decide another application there – for a six-storey block of 43 flats – within the legal time limit.
Planning officials backed the latest proposal – and a report to the council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (5 October) said that tall buildings had been approved at other nearby locations.
P&H House itself is in the process of being turned from offices into 78 flats. And a block of 52 flats and offices fronting Davigdor Road is being built on the neighbouring plot on the site of the former Hyde Housing offices.
To the north of the site, on the Peacock Industrial Estate, in Lyon Close, 152 flats are under construction in four blocks.
Labour councillor Clare Moonan said that there was no “masterplan” for the numerous schemes under way in the Lyon Close area.
She said: “My broader concern is there is no overall view. One scheme doesn’t really relate very well to another – and the finished product that we might end up with when it’s all built out isn’t really going to adhere to good design principles.
“The public realm is probably going to be compromised and I’m sure the biodiversity as well.”
Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said that eight storeys was too high for the area and the flats would overshadow homes in nearby Addison Road, Montefiore Road and Old Shoreham Road.
She also had concerns about insufficient affordable housing on the site.
Green councillor Leo Littman, who chairs the council’s Planning Committee, said that it was a “tricky” application.
When the committee met at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon, he said: “I haven’t seen anything that suggests we have reason enough to turn this down.
“It is part of a wider scheme because the choice is in the hands of the developers … how they bring these schemes forward to us.”
The application was approved by three votes to two, with one abstention.