Waste water concerns delay decision on £87m housing scheme in Brighton

Planners delayed a decision on an £87 million scheme to build more than 200 new council homes because they need more information from Southern Water.

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 council’s planning application for the scheme was due to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee yesterday (Wednesday 7 December).

The council said: “There is a slight delay while we resolve a technical detail relating to Southern Water. We’re now aiming for it to be discussed at the next Planning Committee in January.”

A report released before the meeting today said that “no comments” were received from Southern Water.

But the company’s future growth planning team sent a letter in May, which is included among documents on the council’s website, asking for a hydrogeological risk assessment.

The letter said: “The planning application documentation does not include any assessment of groundwater impacts.

“The proposed development could include activities which pose a risk to groundwater and this will require appropriate assessment and design to ensure any groundwater risks are fully mitigated.”

The company also wanted all “road surface run-off” to pass through an “oil interceptor”.

Southern Water also asked for full details of “foul sewerage and surface water disposal” should the application receive planning approval.

A section of the council’s planning report on “sustainable drainage” said that the plans were acceptable and included a “landscape-led” rain garden.

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.

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

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.

The application is now due to go before the Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday 11 January. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

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