Plans to convert office space into flats opposite two popular Brighton music venues have been withdrawn.
Haysport Properties Ltd submitted a planning application for 125 Queen’s Road, Brighton.
The move sparked outrage from music fans concerned for the future of the Hope and Ruin and the Rossi Bar live music venues opposite.
Brighton and Hove City Council head of planning Liz Hobden said that the latest application was withdrawn on Tuesday 23 March.
This move would not prevent Haysport Properties from submitting another application in the future.
Once live music fans learnt about the application to turn the top part of the building into four one-bedroom and two two-bedroom flats, they deluged the council’s planning website with objections.
By yesterday (Tuesday 23 May), there were 169 objections after the venue and fans raised awareness over the weekend.
Many of the objections referred to music venues such as the Freebutt and Blind Tiger which closed after noise complaints.
Green councillor Ellen McLeay, who represents West Hill and North Laine, said that her party was working with the Hope and Ruin team to reach a “positive outcome” should a future application be made.
She said: “Brighton and Hove is a cultural hotspot. It is a key reason so many people visit the city and why so many want to live here.
“Having just witnessed the buzz and excitement in the city during the Great Escape, it is essential we protect the important role that live music venues play in nurturing creative talent.
“While the need to increase housing in our city is an urgent issue, we also need to protect grassroots venues like the Hope and Ruin from being restricted by new development and find ways to mutually achieve these goals.”
Councillor McLeay said the “agent of change” principle has been adopted as part of the council’s planning policy. It required the right level of soundproofing to ensure that any new residents would not be disturbed by live performances from the existing venue.
The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, wrote to the council to share her concerns about the application after the Music Venue Alliance contacted her.
She urged the council’s Planning Committee to “ensure that the importance of these venues are fully taken into consideration” as they “nurture new talent”.
After the application was withdrawn, she said: “I’m glad this planning application has been withdrawn.
“The live performance and creative arts sectors are not only essential to Brighton and Hove’s tourism and night-time economy, they are a fundamental part of the city’s identity. We must ensure that our precious music venues are protected.”
Haysport’s agent, UPP Architects and Town Planners, was approached for comment.
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