Hello, and welcome to this short video which explains the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the Hove Station Area.
In this video we’ll help you understand the SPD by:
- explaining what an SPD is and why one is needed
- then providing an overview of what it does and
- providing you with information on how to let the council know what you think
We’d love to hear from as many of you as possible!
An SPD is a planning guidance document. It’s used by:
- landowners and their architects to understand what sort of buildings and spaces the council would like to see in specific areas
- it’s also used by council planners in looking at planning applications and making recommendations on whether or not a scheme should be granted planning permission
An SPD supplements higher level policy – in this case, Policy DA6 in the City Plan.
And although it’s not yet finalised, we’ve taken the emerging Neighbourhood Plan into account in producing this document.
Here’s a reminder of the area that the SPD covers:
- running through the middle of it (east to west) is the railway line, and of course Hove Station is at the heart of the area
- to the west is Sackville Road
- to the far east is the Royal Mail Sorting Office
- to the south is Clarendon Road, and the Clarendon Ellen Estate and
- all the way to the north is the Old Shoreham Road
A key focus of this area is Conway Street and the area around that.
So why is an SPD needed for the Hove Station Area?
The SPD broadly needs to do 2 main things - it needs to provide detailed guidance on how to achieve the aspirations of Policy DA6. That is, to transform the area through high quality new buildings and spaces to provide employment, residential and other uses.
It also needs to take advantage of the change that’s already happening in the area, making sure that new schemes recently granted planning permission for part of a coordinated approach to the area as a whole.
The area has some problems at the moment - it feels very cut off from the wider town. Connections (especially for pedestrians and cyclists) are pretty poor.
Many of the buildings and the streets are of low quality and just not nice places to be.
But there are lots of really positive opportunities here:
- the station building itself is attractive and
- there are thriving local businesses and shops nearby
- there’s a real potential to improve existing facilities such as the Honeycroft Centre and
- there is a lot of interest from landowners to change the area as we’ve seen from recent planning permissions
Three very significant planning permissions have been granted in the Hove Station area over the last year or so. These are:
- 1 to 3 Ellen Street, a residential-led development of up to around 18 storeys
- the Sackville Trading Estate, which includes employment and residential - again a large-scale scheme, and
- most recently, the scheme on the KAP site – a residential and office scheme of up to about 11 storeys
So let’s move on to an overview of what the SPD does.
The SPD sets out a vision for the area as a whole, and the key parts of that vision are:
- connections into the wider city
- creating a broader range of employment uses in the area
- diversifying the range of use to include residential
- to create really high quality streets within the area and
- to line those with well-designed new buildings
In realising this vision, the SPD aims to achieve some very specific objectives, and these are:
- to improve the bus depot
- to unlock sites next to the station to make them available for new development
- to scale down Fonthill Road for through traffic and make it a better place for pedestrians and cyclists
- to maintain the amount of station parking
- to improve and enhance the setting of the station
- to improve accessibility to the station, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists and
- to improve the Honeycroft Centre’s facilities and the public areas around it, so that they are places where people can meet and spend time outdoors
The SPD sets out both an area-wide strategy for the SPD area as a whole, and site-specific opportunities and guidelines.
The area-wide strategy focuses very much on connections. Because to transform the area, it needs to connect much better into the wider town and have better quality streets and spaces within it.
So this overall strategy sets out a network of connections, and identifies key gateways to the area that will be improved. These key gateways include:
- the area south of the railway line around the station, called ‘Station Approach’
- the area north of the railway line: the ‘Hove Park Villas Square’ area and
- importantly, to the south-west of the site, the Honeycroft Centre area which has the potential to be a really positive gateway to the area as a whole, linking everything together in a seamless way
As well as improving existing connections, the council is exploring the potential for a new pedestrian bridge link over the railway line as part of the scheme for the Sackville Trading Estate.
The main focus for change within the SPD area is the area south of the railway line, known as the Conway Street Industrial Area.
The SPD zooms in with more detailed guidance on this area, and this is one of a series of diagrams. In this case, setting out requirements for how new building frontages should relate to the streets and spaces created as part of the overall movement strategy.
And this diagram sets out guidelines for building heights in the area, going from low-scale buildings where we need to be sensitive to adjoining existing low-scale buildings to higher buildings clustered around the station area.
In creating the SPD, it's become obvious that there are some very specific places that will have a major role in changing the area. We’ve set out specific guidelines for each of these sites, and we’ll talk you through some of them in this video.
The Eastern Bus Depot and the Station Car Park at the higher level are the key opportunity for redevelopment within the station area.
Redevelopment of this area could:
- open up new pedestrian links
- it could connect the area to the station
- it could provide significant residential and employment space
- and – importantly – it could re-provide the existing station car parking to maintain that facility within the area
The council is aiming to bring forward improvements to the Clarendon Ellen Estate. As part of that, there is an opportunity to re-plan the area next to Ellen Street to provide new homes along with a street where pedestrians and cyclists feel safe.
The area to the south of the station is dominated by tarmac, and really doesn’t provide a good quality setting for the very attractive station buildings.
There’s a real opportunity to make this a place for people, and improve facilities for buses, taxis and cycle parking, and make it a place that people want to linger rather than pass through quickly.
Fonthill Road and Goldstone Street
There aren’t very many links over and under the railway line, so we really need to make the most of what we’ve got. Fonthill Road is a key one but it’s not a nice place to be.
But managing traffic through the tunnel and improving lighting and the road surface will help make a link that’s safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and cyclists to use.
The different community facilities in and around the Honeycroft Centre are a little bit tired and don’t appear very welcoming. There’s an opportunity to re-provide these facilities as part of a wider redevelopment including new affordable homes to meet local needs.
And that development could open up a direct pedestrian and cycle link through to Sackville Road, connecting the area as a whole much better into the surrounding town.
We hope that this video has given you a good flavour of what the SPD is all about.
We recommend that you take a look at the full document. It can be downloaded from the council’s website.
The website also gives you guidance on how to feedback.
Please bear in mind that the deadline for your comments is 7 February 2021. We really look forward to hearing from you.