23 May 2013

Planning Committee 15 May

Homes plan will preserve historic Kemp Town villas

Plans have been approved for 46 new homes in Kemp Town in a development which will also preserve two locally listed buildings.

The city council’s planning committee agreed the proposals by Guinness Developments, including 18 homes available for rent or part-purchase through shared ownership.

Two Edwardian Villas at the former St Benedict’s Convent site in Manor Road, dating from around 1906, will be converted into 16 flats.  New buildings surrounding them will provide 22 houses and eight more flats. 

Three of the affordable homes will be fully wheelchair accessible.

A former 1950s chapel on the site will be demolished.

As well as new homes, the council has secured from developers £144,000 for local sport and recreation, £23,000 towards a local employment scheme, £107,000 for education and £58,000 for sustainable transport.

Planning committee chair Cllr Christopher Hawtree said:  “It’s very pleasing to be able to approve new homes while simultaneously preserving and even enhancing these historic buildings been spoilt down the years by ugly additions which will be removed as part of the building work.

“It was a proposal with a slew of considerations - including the question of trees - for members to debate. This took some while, but all aspects of it were well aired, many astute comments were made. It was a close vote, but I think that - when complete - the existing buildings will be seen to better effect and it will be another in the area's enclaves of new and historic buildings existing side by side."

Elsewhere the committee also approved a development of six houses on land to the rear of Princes Road in Brighton.

Richmond House 'overdevelopment' refused 

Plans to demolish Richmond House, a currently empty office building in Richmond Road, and build two new blocks to accommodate 144 rooms of student accommodation, have been refused by Brighton & Hove's Planning Committee.

Councillor Christopher Hawtree, chair of the city’s planning committee, said: “We appreciate the need for purpose-built student accommodation in the city but to put three and five storey buildings amongst the sloping terraces of Round Hill would be an overdevelopment in the wrong place. Not only would access be difficult with such a large development, but the area has a fascinating variety of terraced housing and it’s important to achieve a good balance.

“The site has also been identified in the City Plan has having potential to provide much-needed housing and Richmond House is an example of a site providing vital small-scale employment which is characteristic of Brighton & Hove’s economy.”

Related information

See a full list of the planning committee's decisions

Read the reports for the Planning Committee