Councillors prepare to decide £87m plan for 212 council homes on Brighton estate

An £87 million scheme to build more than 200 new council homes is due to go before councillors for a decision this week.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants to scrap the “Moulsecoomb Hub North”, in Hodshrove Lane, to provide 212 “affordable” homes, sports pitches, a skate park, public open spaces and community buildings.

The eight-acre site to the east of Lewes Road currently includes the empty Moulsecoomb hub, which used to be a base for social workers.

It also includes the Hillview Contact Centre, the 67 Centre, a boxing club, a children’s centre, a playing field and a multi-use games area. The boxing club and children’s centre are expected to be retained at the site.

The council worked up its plans to revamp the site, off Hodshrove Road and Hodshrove Lane, over the past seven years.

A planning application is due to go before the council’s Planning Committee tomorrow (Wednesday 7 December) and councillors are asked to support it.

The proposed buildings include blocks of flats up to eight storeys high and a row of eight semi-detached houses. Some 15 homes will be wheelchair accessible.

The scheme includes a neighbourhood hub containing a library, doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, community café, youth centre, adult learning area and community meeting space.

Neighbours have sent nine objections to the application, raising concerns about the impact on wildlife, overdevelopment and the “ugly blocks”.

One objector, whose details have been redacted by the council, said: “We have so much wildlife, hedgehogs, squirrels, bats, birds, not to mention our own pets that will be terrified and probably killed or die through lack of habitat.

“This is totally the wrong place for such a huge, ugly project and will have a massive impact on the neighbouring area, but who cares? It’s only Moulsecoomb residents after all.”

Another objector, whose details were also redacted by the council, said: “Moulsecoomb already struggles to meet 20-minute neighbourhood criterion and these plans show a lack of imagination and ambition.

“A supermarket, entertainment, parks, office space or cinema should have been included in such a huge development.

“Instead, green space has been destroyed when it should have been increased to accommodate the new housing. There are no new cycle routes which, in my strong opinion, is a huge oversight.”

The council said that the plans would provide “significant” benefit to the area and to the wider city.

It added: “The proposal has been carefully designed to ensure that the proposal creates an attractive and functional environment for residents and visitors. This is in terms of the massing, scale and design as well as the public realm.”

The Planning Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall at 2pm tomorrow (Wednesday 7 December). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Sd Reply

    We do need these homes.

    It’s such a shame that student accommodation was prioritised in this City.

    Their flats dominate the skyline in that area, so any new builds will go as high.

  2. Daniel Harris Reply

    Not just student properties, its investment properties also, a lot of London/tax haven investment coming into Brighton and Hove. I would like to see other areas taking dense housing also, like Woodingdean.

    Many of the old homes have issues with mould and damp ATM, I went to meet a family with 5 children in Moulscoomb yesterday.

  3. Al Reply

    Student accommodation hasn’t been ‘prioritised’. It is merely the low-hanging fruit for developers. Student accommodation was/is sparse in the city, and much more was needed, so the developers have obliged.

    Put it this way, they wouldn’t bother if there was nothing in it for them.

    It also frees up family housing stock.

    • mart Burt Reply

      It’s been all student accommodation, Lewes Road various sites including Moulescoombe Way, barracks, Gyratory, old budget rental, next to carpet right, Lewes Road co-op, London road co-op, then we have another going up at Falmer Station taking away FAMILY homes.
      University itself has built more accommodation, sorry it’s far from sparse more like very excessive.

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      There is no evidence whatsoever that all this student accommodation frees up family housing stock. I have asked for such evidence several times on this forum, but nothing has been forthcoming.

      In my street we have a lot of HMOs – some are divided up for ‘professionals’ and there are three or four or maybe more opposite/next-door occupied by students. If they come on the market at all, these ‘family houses’ go for close on half a million and no average family could afford them. Not that we are aware of average families sticking around in this city struggling to buy something. THey’ve been priced out.

      There is also anecdotal evidence that students prefer the freedom (read mayhem and disruption – not all of them, but many of them) of HMOs to ‘official’ student accommodation but, once again, despite my plea on this forum for evidence/numbers, nothing has been forthcoming. The fact is that the planners who approve these hideous student developments – and they are hideous – have no clue whatsoever if this policy of building student blocks has the effect of freeing up family homes. I very much dobt it, but as is usual with this inept council, nobody asks the questions or demands answers.

      So, mart Burt is right and you, Al, need to do a lot of homework on this subject before putting forward a facile opinion, unsupported by any evidence at all.

      • Mary Reply

        Planning policy is set nationally. If the council reject student accomodation, the developers win on appeal which costs the council a fortune in legal fees. Most, if not all, of the student accomodation is built on land where local families would not want to live in any case, such as next to a busy main road (Lewes road) or above shops (London Road). They are also often on sites that have been derelict for decades (Barracks)…if local people wanted to live on this site they had plenty of opportunity to purchase it.

      • Some Guy Reply

        >There is no evidence whatsoever that all this student accommodation frees up family housing stock. I have asked for such evidence several times on this forum, but nothing has been forthcoming.
        These buildings make no money standing empty, and do not rent rooms to non-students. Unless they are mostly vacant, they’re holding students. Presumably, if the blocks were not there, the students would live elsewhere in the city, taking up HMOs. I don’t see any other way the situation could be unfolding, so what evidence would you like to see?
        The argument that there are too many HMOs is more compelling, because they are converted family homes and not empty land, but the fault lies with greedy homeowners unwilling to settle for the rental of the property as-was and insisting on an optimised return.

        • Jessica Reply

          I don’t think it has freed up other accommodation as the universities have expanded their numbers. I think one of the big draw backs with this student housing it is not designed to be repurposed into flats if the demand for student hutches changes.

  4. Maria Reply

    Saying that these hideous student blocks free up family homes is rubbish .. it is a lie sold to people so as not to object !!
    As I understand it students can only stay in the accommodation for a year max then where do they go for years 2 or 3 for their courses? All of those students currently living in these eyesores will have to find places to live in house !!!! It’s all a con . This council does not care about families or ordinary people anymore .. Eastbourne puts Brighton to shame on this front . It’s all students while our own children cannot afford to live here when they leave home . This monstrosity that is being planned for Moulsecoomb is awful and will cause misery and stress to residents already in the area. It has been put through without people knowing that actually live in the surrounding area . The residents who attended the so called meeting were not from the area as they didn’t know about the meeting!! And the original plans have changed so that these high rise buildings are actually almost in peoples gardens !! The council should be ashamed !
    There are not many objections because it’s very hard for people to object online and to look at drawings that mean absolutely nothing to most people . The people I have asked have said thetes no point in objecting as Brighton council will do what they like they always do and to hell with how unhappy it makes people , just look at the parking permits on almost every street now , so greedy !!!!. This project will be 4 years of torture while it’s being built and then misery when it is built .
    It’s the wrong project for the small site . Way too big and intrusive and the way it had been done is underhand from the start !!
    I understand that this planning meeting is not going on tomorrow anyway so there is still time to get comments / objections in to the council .

  5. Dave Reply

    At £420k a house it’s all a bit pricey I think. The area should have a train station also.

    As for the students, obviously there is a massive shortage of student housing so more sky scrapers are needed not less. That whole stretch for 3 floor flats from moulscoomb station to the bridge should be flattened and rebuild like Preston barracks now looks. Would bring a bit of life to the area

    • Bear Road resident Reply

      I’m confused that you say that the area would need a train station when it is only ten minutes walk from the Moulsecoomb station you mention in your comment.

      In the second paragraph are you suggesting that the Bates Estate should be flattened making 100s of people homeless to make way for student housing?
      You’re not a green councillor in disguise by any chance are you that’s the sort of thing they would happily espouse…

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