Next steps for former gasworks site

Developer St William Homes has applied for planning permission to build up to 553 new homes and 2,700 sq metres of commercial space at the former gasworks site in East Brighton.

In a recent round of consultation, residents were invited to have their say on plans that include building dwellings spread across 9 apartment blocks, ranging in height from 3 to 12 storeys tall.

The developer has held several consultation events in the past but the most recent consultation by the council was the first time residents have been able to make formal comments on the planning application.

Listening to the community

The consultation has so far received 500 responses from residents, local historic and civic societies and campaign groups. Officers will now collate the responses to help identify and flag with the developer any areas that need clarification or amendment to address the main concerns raised.

At least one more round of consultation on the planning application will take place when further information is received. All responses to the various rounds of planning consultation will be considered in making the final decision.

The standard timescale set by the government for deciding a planning application is 16 weeks, in this case that would be 16 March 2022. However, if more time is needed, as is likely to be the case with this proposal, it can take longer.

Well designed spaces supporting carbon neutral aims

For the application to be successful, the Planning Committee will expect proposals that provide well designed, quality spaces, while being mindful of neighbouring residents, the environment, and our drive for a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Residents will be reconsulted on the proposals once updated information has been received.  Once officers are satisfied that the issues raised have been addressed, they will make a recommendation to either approve or refuse the planning application. A final decision will be made by the council’s cross party planning committee later this year.

Shaping development sites

A council spokesperson said: “Hearing residents’ views early on in the process is important. We would like to thank everyone who has got involved in helping us to shape the future of one of the last, largest brownfield development sites in the city”.

In a city with a housing crisis, providing affordable homes is a key issue. Some people have queried the lack of detail given so far about how the scheme will address this. The information has been sought by officers and is required from the developer before a decision is made.

The planning team has allowed the developer additional time to explore funding options for affordable housing provision and this information will be available for the next round of consultation.

Evaluating the planning application

Due to the complex issues involved in developing this site, the planning service is working with several specialist advisors to evaluate the planning application.

They include:

  • Leap Environmental who advise on contaminated land issues. 
  • Building Research Establishment (BRE) who will advise on the impact of the scheme's daylight/sunlight for existing neighbours and new residents.
  • District Valuer Services who will assess the scheme’s viability should less affordable housing be proposed than is required by planning policy. 
  • Health and Safety Executive to provide advice on fire safety design of taller apartment blocks. This complies with new central government regulations to consider fire safety at the outset and is a recommendation following the Grenfell tragedy.
  • Environment Agency in relation to potential impacts on ground and surface water quality.

If you missed the deadline and wish to comment on this application, sign up to the planning register