11 October 2018

Proposals for new Whitehawk homes on show

Whitehawk residents are being consulted on early designs to provide around 217 new affordable homes on a site in the north of Whitehawk, adjacent to Brighton Racecourse.

The proposals come from 'Homes for Brighton & Hove' - a partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council and the Hyde Group, aiming to create 1000 new, affordable homes for rent and sale in the city, specifically for lower income, local, working households in the city.

Feedback from the consultation will inform the development of the proposals and a further round of consultation, including more drop-in events, will be held before a planning application is made.

The site has been identified for the development of housing in the Draft City Plan Part Two, following the need to look for sites for 1,000 new homes on the city’s urban fringe to help meet the city’s housing requirements established in the adopted City Plan Part One.

Landscape and ecology appraisals have been carried out on the site, which found that housing can be developed without significant adverse impacts on the Local Nature Reserve as long as certain ecological mitigations are in place.

Proposals include five buildings with 114 two-bed apartments and 103 one-bed apartments in buildings, which follow the natural topography of the landscape on the hillside. Generous distances between the proposed buildings will be created, to ensure that views of the sea, racecourse and wider landscape are provided and they will be no taller than existing neighbouring buildings.

The natural chalk character of the landscape will be retained and enhanced as part of the proposal. Footpaths will be routed through the proposal for access to the wider landscape and the tunnel access under the racecourse will be improved.

Initial ecological surveys have already been undertaken and proposals will sensitively address the site, with a detailed plan to ensure that any effect on wildlife is mitigated as much as possible, with bird boxes for buildings, habitats enhanced where possible to restore grass and flower meadows, and a detailed construction plan avoiding breeding seasons and following guidelines from the British Standard for Biodiversity.

The properties are to be prioritised for local working households registered on the council’s joint housing register, aged 18 years old or over and in paid permanent employment for at least 16 hours a week at the time of application and at the point of offer.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee and chair of Homes for Brighton & Hove, said: “With the supply of housing not keeping pace with demand in the city, building new low cost homes for local people is a key priority for us. There are around 15,000 households on the joint housing register and 1,700 households in temporary accommodation and rising homelessness. Our aim with the Homes for Brighton & Hove partnership is to create 1,000 new homes for rent and sale specifically for lower income, local working households in Brighton & Hove.”

Fifty per cent of the new homes will be available for rental and the remaining 50 per cent as shared ownership homes.

Planning applications are already being put together for two other sites, one in Portslade and one in Coldean, where extensive community consultation has already taken place.

The draft proposals for the Whitehawk site are available to view and comment on at www.hyde-housing.co.uk/whitehawk.