30 October 2013

Yes’ for city’s first top-rated eco-homes

A kitchen store in Portslade could be redeveloped into over 50 eco-friendly homes – many aimed at families on the waiting list.

Harbour View Developments’ ‘Portzed’ plan, has been given planning permission, subject to conditions, on the site mainly occupied by Magnet on Kingsway, adjoining Shoreham Harbour.

They would be the city’s first homes to attain the UK’s highest environmental rating - Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6.

Facing Kingsway, planning consent allows 52 homes, 20 affordable, in six blocks.  Behind, facing Basin Road North, would be warehousing, light industrial premises and a 58-space car park.

A previous application on the site for 67 homes in six, five-storey blocks was refused in March 2012 because the buildings were too tall and bulky.  Concerns were raised about visual and noise impact from five columns of helical wind turbines

The new proposed buildings on Kingsway would be three to five storeys, with no turbines.  Each would have business premises on the street level with homes above. There would be outdoor recreation and viewing space between each building, covered with a canopy. 

Extensive areas of photovoltaic panels would cover the roofs.  A raft of other eco-features mean the homes would be ‘zero-carbon’, making no net contribution to global warming.

Developers have also agreed to pay £126,000 for local open spaces, £100,000 for education, almost £50,000 towards job-creation and £20,000 towards highway improvements.  Twenty per cent of construction jobs would be for local people.  These benefits would be part of a so-called ‘Section 106’ planning agreement – national rules meaning councils can secure local benefits from developers.

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty said:  “We felt the scheme could make more efficient use of a valuable site. There’s provision of much-needed homes – 40 per cent of them affordable, plus many family homes.  

“We also have a development which is aspiring to the highest levels of sustainability for any building of this size in the city.  It uses the latest environmental technology to create homes and businesses that don’t cost the earth.  I’d like to think this could provide a catalyst for high-quality, sustainable development around the harbour.”

The planning committee agreed today (October 30 2013) it was ‘minded to grant’ permission subject to conditions of the Section 106 agreement being met.

Although the planning committee grants consent for the scheme, any timescales for completion are a matter for the applicants.