We're very disappointed with plans for the King's House building (formerly council offices) on the corner of Grand Avenue and Kingsway.
Our concern covers more or less every aspect of the proposal currently under consideration.
It's too massive
The new structure will not only replace the building which faces Grand Avenue. It will also include a new block where the car park is now. These three structures, including the original Grade II building which faces Kingsway, will have very little space between them.
It would be an oppressive place to live
Almost half the apartments will face into sunless internal spaces and have no views. The new block which will face onto Grand Avenue includes single-aspect flats with dining areas 7 metres from any window. The inhabitants will need the light on all day.
You will be no better off if you opt for a flat in the North facing blocks of the main building. These flats will have no sunlight all day either. Its structure consists of 'outriggers' (blocks which jut out from the main building). These are only 8 metres apart so will get very little, if any, direct light and very poor privacy. The Western aspect faces a blank wall. And this is one of the most desirable sea-side spots on Brighton and Hove!
There is very little open space - all of the available land has been crammed with buildings. This is a worrying trend (see our comments last month on proposals for the Amex site).
It will look a mess
We don't like the design, which feels to us as if it is an attempt to make the ungainly whole look smaller than it actually is. So it won't even be a pleasure to walk past, if you are lucky enough to live in the much superior 1930s 4 Grand Avenue, just up the road.
What about affordable housing?
This proposal is coy about affordable housing. We don't know how much is proposed nor where it would be but we fear that this is the intention for the worst of the depressing, dark apartments.
Future generations deserve better
We find this proposal unacceptable in every way. It is very sad that a prime spot on our sea front attracts so little ambition for the future of our city. It condemns future generations to a substandard home if you live there, and a depressing view if you merely have to look at it. Alas this sort of development seems to be a growing trend. We call on the council to raise everybody's aspirations by declaring this sort of proposal unacceptable.
See the full planning application