Brighton Gasworks developer changes plans to include affordable homes

Posted On 24 Nov 2022 at 5:48 pm

Changes to a major proposed development near Brighton Marina have been revealed.

The revised plans include the delivery 40 percent of the development as affordable homes.

The number of homes has also increased, adding eight apartments and four townhouses to bring the new proposed total to 565 homes.

The heights of the blocks on the northern end of the site and Boundary Road have been reduced, and more parking spaces have been added.

Spacewords Brighton

Residents will now have another chance to have their say on the new plans.

A map showing where the affordable rent and shared ownership homes will be

Councillor Nancy Platts, who represents the neighbouring East Brighton ward, welcomed the commitment to providing affordable homes.

She said: “I’m pleased that the voice of local people and their representatives have been listened to, in particular that there are now 40 percent of affordable homes in line with council policy.

“I look forward to having the time to review the planning application in more detail.”

Councillor Bridget Fishleigh, who covers the Marina to Rottingdean, says that the council is on the verge of a wasted opportunity.

She said: “In a meeting I had with Berkeley Homes I said I wanted to see a footbridge from Roedean over Marina Way so that bikes and people had easy access to the site from the east.

“It’s highly predictable but disappointing not to see that in the plans.

“Brighton and Hove City Council own two plots of land which adjoin the gasworks site to the north and south.

“Berkeley Homes wanted to buy them to include them within the development but they couldn’t get a sensible answer from the council.

“I’ve asked on numerous occasions what the plan is and there doesn’t seem to be one.

“It’ll be very strange for this development to go ahead without including these plots because the council as part of its negotiations could ask for additional council-owned homes to be built there.

“The plot to the south includes the access bridge from the A259 on Marina Way.

“They’re missing an opportunity for a pedestrian walkway into the city and also for more homes.

“I’ve submitted a question on this to ask on 15 December at a meeting of all 54 councillors.”

The developer, The Berkeley Group is working with the National Grid to regenerate brownfield sites across the south of England.

Public concerns over remediating the toxicity of the land, formerly used as gas storage and exchange, have not been addressed in the revised plans.

A consultation with the UK Health Security Agency in January pointed out that “no details have been provided” on the proposed remediation strategy and construction proposals.

The site will include a mix of one, two and three bed flats alongside 14 three to four bed townhouses – 226 of which will be affordable homes.

The planning application states: “The applicant believes that the delivery of affordable homes on the Site is desirable and has been exploring funding options to allow the proposed development to respond to the council’s affordable housing targets.

“The extent of progress that the applicant has made in collaborating with funding partners is such that when built the proposed development will deliver 226 (40%) affordable homes, delivered in partnership with a registered provider with Homes England funding.

“Out of the 226 affordable homes, 115 (51%) homes will be for affordable rent and 111 (49%) will be for shared ownership.

“The refined design retains the areas of the masterplan which have been received well by key stakeholders.

“The amendments focus largely on the northern area of the site where we have revisited the form and architecture of these buildings, alongside further refinement of massing along the western edge of the site.

“We have also looked in further detail at how the proposed development can take more opportunities to integrate public art and be enlivened with more colour at the ground floor level.”

The Berkley Group was contacted for comment.

You can see the whole application by searching for BH2021/04167 on the council’s planning portal.

All the revised planning application documents can be found here.

  1. Charles U Farley Reply

    And exactly how long do we believe those “affordable” homes will remain part of the development? As will every other developer they will apply to remove or reduce the number once they have all of the permissions they seek.

    It was ever thus.

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      You would be a bit more confident about the ‘affordable homes’ if the developers had actually named the registered provider who had agreed to buy these properties (if they have) and provided some evidence that there was a concrete agreement, but there is no mention of who the provider might be or any information about the type of properties they are describing as affordable. Other than that, the scheme looks much the same as it did before, except that the number of units has been increased (a substantial decrease would have been welcome, given the massive issues with infrastructure/parking/public transport etc in a very constricted area).

      Additionally, there is still no detail about the crucial issue of decontamination of the site. The overall impression is that the developers are hell-bent on this highly inappropriate scheme (in the context of the constricted site) and all they want to do is tweak bits of it. Back to the drawing-board is what is required.

      • Mark Fry Reply

        Oddly enough, affordable homes are created when there is enough supply to meet demand.

        By trying to prevent new homes being built you are directly responsable for the lack of affordable housing which you claim to be in support of.

        Engage brain before taptaptapping away dear keyboard warrior.

    • James Reply

      “Affordable homes” are a tax on 1st time buyers. They put up the price of the other homes. The developer still gets the profits.

      • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

        If you look at their massive development at what they call the Southall Green Quarter, the prices are astronomical (for example, a one bed 9th floor apartment is listed at a purchase price of £450k, studio apartment at close on £1500 per month to rent), whether buying or renting. There is no way that anything in this proposed development will be affordable for the average Brighton person looking for a much-deserved home, given that Brighton salaries are not generally great. The developers might well say that Southall is in the London area, which is why the prices are so high, but I know the town and it is pretty run-down and unattractive, which is undoubtedly why they prefer to say it is in Ealing. It would be educational if the developers came up with some numbers on purchase prices, rents etc, but they have a track record of withholding vital information on this project. Even now, having used Covid restrictions as an excuse for not holding proper public events and showing models during previous ‘consultations’, they do not seem to plan on holding any public event so that people can at least see for themselves what this thing would actually look like in the context of its surroundings and ask the pertinent questions in person. Instead, once again we are confronted with hundreds of pages of online documents, most of which are incomprehensible to the layperson. Transparency is not a word that these people are familiar with.

        • Mark Fry Reply

          Houses become affordable when there is enough supply to meet demands. You’ve seen the prices for bedsits in London, Brighton isn’t far behind. This isn’t a result of the bricks becoming more expensive or the area more affluent, it’s a direct result of failing to build enough houses for the millions of under 40’s in this country who’ve been systematically striped of a viable home by nimbys.

          It’s as simple as that. Those who engage in this extremist antisocial behaviour and action need to be named and shamed.

          Everyone objecting to new property should have their name and address published on the public record so communities can see exactly who these antisocial people are and where they live. The endless anonymised objecting to building homes for hard working people to live in must end. These people have too much power, waste huge amounts of money and do nothing for society at all, they are only in it for themselves and their own intolerance. It’s disgusting and selfish anti-British behaviour which falls far short of what makes this country great.

          • chris

            I guess a solution is replace older homes with blocks of flats as there is not enough square area in Brighton to meet needs.
            Too many people in Brighton and Hove. That’s the real issue.

        • Mark Fry Reply

          And by the way, the average house price in Brighton is now just short of half a million pounds, thanks to a lack of supply to meet demand.
          The prices will only come down to affordable levels when enough are built to meet the needs of under 40’s struggling to find some kind of stake in society and god forbid a home they can pay off before they retire. Time is running out.

  2. Car Delenda Est Reply

    “The heights of the blocks on the northern end of the site and Boundary Road have been reduced, and more parking spaces have been added.”

    Parking for what I wonder?
    I think we all know the answer.

    • Mark Fry Reply

      EV’s and bikes.
      By the time the development is finished, the ban on new ICE cars will be in place.

  3. mike Reply

    What’s the point adjusting rents when the issue of toxic ground needs years of planning and agreement with local residents who will have to live with the air

    • Mark Fry Reply

      My goodness you’re right.
      How on earth could the council and the developers miss this fact so helpfully highlighted by you in your armchair?


  4. Mark Fry Reply

    Here we go again.
    Generation “have” doing their utmost to ruin the lives of generation “have not” with their endless whinging and campaigning against their direct decedents having a stake and security in society by way of owning their own home.

    • Bear Road resident Reply

      Mark, according to a recent House of Commons report.
      “The most commonly referred to definition of affordable housing is set out in Annex 2 to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This is the definition used by local planning authorities when making provision within their areas to meet local demand/need for affordable housing. The NPPF definition incorporates social rent, as well as a range of intermediate rent and for-sale products. The Affordable Housing Commission (2020) concluded “many” of these products “are clearly unaffordable to those on mid to lower incomes.”
      So it seems unlikely that your ‘have not’s’ as you rather quaintly put it will benefit from this development anyway. The only way for truly affordable homes to get built is for us to reverse decades of government policy of leaving home building to private developers always looking to make as much profit as possible and return it to local councils.
      Unfortunately I wouldn’t trust the current council to build a Lego house – Bike hangers is about their limit…

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