15 December 2016

Planning consent for hundreds more new homes

Councillors have granted planning permission for almost 300 new homes in Brighton & Hove – dozens of them affordable properties for rent or shared ownership.

Yesterday's planning committee at Hove Town Hall granted permission for the redevelopment of one of the city’s worst eyesore sites – Anston House, opposite Preston Park.  The nine-storey office block has been derelict for 30 years. 

A scheme proposed by First Base and the Hyde Group would see the existing block demolished and replaced by three towers of between 13 and 15 storeys.  These would provide 229 flats, plus flexible commercial space capable of hosting 250-300 jobs and a café. 

Thirty flats would be affordable homes – 17 for rent, the rest part-buy-part-rent - aimed at local people in housing need. If sales of private flats are higher than suggested in the planning documents, the council has negotiated extra payments from the developer to fund more affordable homes.

Planning permission was also granted for redevelopment of the former Texaco garage on Kingsway near the King Alfred Leisure Centre.  It would provide 55 flats and 375 sq.m of retail floorspace. Part of the development would refurbish the former Alibi pub next door to provide a ground floor café and three more flats above. The council secured 20 per cent affordable housing in the scheme, which initially offered none. 

Generally the authority seeks 40 per cent affordable homes in larger new schemes. However in both cases the District Valuer recommended fewer, to ensure financial viability.

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Julie Cattell said: “It’s a great moment that we can at last get Anston House redeveloped. It has provided an embarrassing gateway to the city for too long.  This new plan, along with the Texaco site, provides a large-number of much-needed flats and we’ve done all we can to maximise the quantity of affordable properties.”

The proposed development at the Anston House site, near Preston Park