1. Residential completions                            
2. Affordable residential                            
3. Extant permissions                          
4. Purpose built student accommodation
5. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)                        
6. Gypsy and Traveller provision

1. Residential completions

There were 558 net housing completions in 2019/20 which falls short of the implied annual delivery rate of 660 dwellings per year required to meet the City Plan housing target. As a result, the implied annual rate has risen to 881 dwellings per year (Table 1). The 2019 to 2020 completion figure represents a higher figure than in the previous three monitoring years.

Table 1: City Plan housing requirement


Plan Requirement

Implied Annual Rate

Plan Period 2010 to 2030



Remaining Period 2020 to 2030

8,809 - takes into account recorded supply net completions from 2010 to 2019, 4,391 units


The highest proportion of housing delivery in 2019/20 was completed through new build developments. which provided a total of 384 net dwellings. This reflects a recovery from the low number of new build completions in the previous monitoring year and was higher than in any of the previous three monitoring years.

The increase in residential completions from the previous monitoring year is due to an 80% increase in residential completions on large developments (six units and over), to 407 units while completions in small developments (five units and under), remained at a similar level to previous years (151 units). Completions in large developments were higher than in the previous three monitoring years and more than 100 units higher than the average over the past ten years. Completions on small sites were close to the average over the past five and ten years. Of the 407 units completed on large sites, there were 204 units completed within Development Areas, as defined in the City Plan (Policies DA1-DA8), and 203 units completed outside the Development Areas. The residential completions on sites of 10 or more dwellings delivered a total of 377 units.

Table 2: Major Developments Completed 2019 to 2020



Net Units Completed

Circus Street, Brighton

Mixed use development including 142 residential apartments


133 Kingsway, Hove

Demolition of garage and shop and erection of 58 residential apartments.


Lansdowne Place Hotel, Hove

Conversion of hotel to 45 residential units (C3),


The Downsman, 189 Hangleton Way, Hove

Demolition of public house and erection of 33 dwellings


Former Housing Office, Selsfield Drive, Brighton

Demolition of housing office and erection of seven buildings comprising 30 dwellings


Baptist Tabernacle, Montpelier Place, Brighton

Demolition of existing church and erection 24 residential units


52, 54 Hollingdean Road & 46 Freehold Terrace, Brighton

Erection of a building to form student accommodation including 15 self-contained units and eight affordable housing units.


Buckley Close, Hove

Erection of three residential blocks providing twelve flats.


51 - 53 Church Road, Hove

Prior Approval change of use from office use to ten residential units.


Over the past 15 years the average rate of residential completions has been 495 units per year and average completions since the start of the City Plan period (2010/11) has been 442 units per year. Annual completion figures exceeded 500 units in every year from 2005/06 to 2008/09. A drop in housing delivery between 2009/10 and 2013/14 reflected the impact that national recession and the subsequent economic uncertainty had on residential delivery. Despite this, annual completions increased each year between 2010/11 until 2015/16.

In 2016/17 the number of completions dipped again and has since remained below the required City Plan delivery rate of 660 units per year. Annual completions rates are rising again, however, and the numbers of residential units currently gaining planning permission and under construction suggest it will continue to do so and housing delivery will increase as development sites allocated in the City Plan and identified in the Strategic Housing land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) are implemented along with continuing supply through windfall sites.

Detailed analysis of housing delivery in the city is provided in the council's Housing Delivery Action Plan

In 2019/20 flats comprised 85 percent of new residential completions; 81 percent of which were two bed flats or smaller. Of the 15 percent completed as houses; 64 percent were three bed houses or larger. One and two bed units comprised 86 percent of the residential units completed in 2019/20 which is an increase on 2018/19 and 2017/18.

These figures indicate that a significantly higher level of smaller units have been completed compared to both the existing housing profile of the city (based on the 2011 Census) and more recent demographic analysis of the demand/need for homes in the city over the plan period, which indicated that an estimated 65% of overall demand/need would be for two and three bed units.

This largely reflects the character of the sites available in the city, with a high proportion of constrained brownfield sites within the urban area and very limited opportunities for lower density greenfield development.

The permitted development right for a change of use from office to residential use was introduced in 2013 and has subsequently been extended to now include retail, financial and professional services, light industrial and storage or distribution uses. These developments require prior approval from the local authority but are not subject to the standard planning application process. 

Only 29 permitted development units were completed in 2019/20; the lowest number since the first monitoring year following the introduction of the legislation. Although these rights have increased residential delivery, the council has limited controls to ensure that the residential units permitted meet amenity standards and cannot use planning policies to seek a proportion of affordable housing. Change of use to residential through permitted development also potentially reduces the supply of office space in the city.

2. Affordable residential

Housing affordability is a major issue for many residents within the city as house prices in Brighton & Hove are high relative to local incomes. Policy CP20 in City Plan Part One requires the provision of affordable housing (or an equivalent contribution) as part of all developments of five or more dwellings. Affordable housing is defined as housing for sale or rent for households whose needs are not met by the market (e.g. affordable rented housing or shared ownership).

More affordable housing definitions are outlined in ‘Annex 2: Glossary’ on page 64 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

A total of 179 affordable homes were completed in 2019/20 through twelve developments, which comprises 32 percent of all completions. 169 affordable units were delivered through major developments which represents 45 percent of all units on major developments. Of the seven completed major developments with affordable housing two were 100 percent affordable and two were above 90 percent affordable. 171 affordable units were completed in new build developments comprising 45 percent of all ‘new build’ completions. 42 percent of the affordable units were one-bed units, 45 percent were two-bed and 16 percent were three-bed.

3. Extant permissions

There were 4,565 net housing units with extant permissions (planning permissions which are still valid and able to be implemented) at the end of March 2020; of which 2,666 units are in schemes that have commenced. There were 1,417 net affordable housing units under extant permissions at the end of March 2020; with 995 units in schemes which have commenced.

There were 1,216 new net housing units permitted  in 2019/20, 390 of which were affordable housing units. There has been an increased number of residential units being permitted and under construction over the past three years which is expected to lead to higher delivery rates over the next few years.


4. Purpose built student accommodation

Policy CP21 in City Plan Part One encourages the provision of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) to help meet the housing needs of the city’s students and help reduce the demand from students for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

There were 1,720 net Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) communal bedrooms completed in 2019/20 within 240 cluster units (Chart 9). This represents over twice as many bedrooms as completed in any of the past 10 years and is predominantly due to the completion of large PBSA developments on the University of Sussex East Slope and at Circus Street. Since 2010/11; 4,448 bedrooms have been created.

In addition, new student accommodation located on Hollingdean Road and Freehold Terrace (Hollingbury House), completed in the monitoring year, included five self-contained one bed student flats and ten self-contained studio flats which were counted in the residential figures as they were not considered communal accommodation. A further potential 1,849 bedrooms were under extant permissions at the end of 2019/20, including 1,778 under construction.

5. Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

There are over 3,500 licensed  Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the city. HMOs are properties lived in by three to six people where facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom are shared. On 5 April 2013, an Article 4 direction relating to HMOs came into force in five electoral wards within Brighton and Hove requiring a planning application for any change of use from a single dwelling house to a small HMO. This enables the impact of concentrations of HMOs in certain areas of the city to be considered by the council when assessing proposals for new HMOs. A citywide Article 4 Direction came into force on 3 June 2020 in response to concerns about increasing proliferation of HMOs elsewhere in the city. This will be reflected in future AMRs.

There have been 300 planning applications, 162 approved (54%) and 138 refused (46%), for the change of use of a single dwelling house to a small HMO in the wards with an Article 4 Direction between April 2013 and March 2020. Of those refused, 49 have been subject to an appeal, of which 21 have been allowed (43%). This suggests that since the implementation of the Article 4 Direction almost forty percent of applications were considered to have a potentially negative impact. In 2019/20 there were 53 HMO applications decided in which 30 applications were approved and 23 were refused; 11 of those refused have been appealed, of which six were allowed.

6. Gypsy and Traveller provision

Policy CP22 ‘Traveller Accommodation’ in City Plan Part One sets out the council’s approach to providing traveller accommodation based on assessments of local need.

An updated Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) was published in 2019 , details of which are outlined in the 2018/19 AMR. A joint site search exercise undertaken by BHCC and the SDNPA in 2016-17 did not identify any suitable and available sites. No neighbouring authorities have indicated any ability to assist in meeting the unmet need via the Duty to Cooperate process.