The Planning Forum, attended by members of the Regency Society and Hove Civic Society committees, meets monthly to discuss planning applications which the Forum considers significant.
Each society forms its own view on the applications and decides what action, if any, to take.
This month the Regency Society Planning Forum considered just four applications that together propose more than 1800 residential units for the city. This is not a usual cluster of applications but, like buses, they can bunch up.
New housing in the city - is there another way?
Increasingly, objections to new housing schemes target issues like ‘not in keeping with surrounding properties’ and added ‘traffic congestion’. There’s no question, If the applications under consideration actually get built the city will look very different, something difficult to prevent in an area bound by sea and the South Downs. There are, however, those who disagree with this conclusion.
The largest is Toad’s Hole Valley suggesting up to 880 low-rise units (40% affordable) plus a secondary school, GP surgery, community centre and workspaces. This is an outline planning application that seeks to establish whether the proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority. If successful, a detailed application is submitted. Please see application here . (You will see around 290 documents. Scroll down to the Design and Access Statements. Tick the two documents. View them using the button to the right of the document.)
Not far behind in number of residential units is a full planning application for the Sackville Trading Estate and Hove Goods Yard. It offers 604 mostly high-rise apartments, all for rent, and 265 residential apartments with flexible levels of care for elderly people. The scheme, if agreed, will dramatically alter the scale of the area and create a towering new neighbourhood, not immediately easy to digest and that we may see happening in other parts of the city. Please see application here . (Scroll down to Design and Access statement Section 1, view and refer to contents page. Choose the aspects of the plan that you're interested in, return to list and select. View using buttons on the right.)
The remaining units, on two different sites, are being brought forward by a joint venture between Brighton and Hove City Council and Hyde Housing to deliver 1000 affordable homes across the City over the next 5 years or so. These sites will provide 50% shared ownership and 50% affordable rent.
One is on land east of Coldean Lane, above Varley Hall, providing 250 units, many of which are family homes. The scheme provides play space and green areas as well as a path into Stanmer Wood. Pedestrian refuges and reduced speed limits on Coldean Lane will, it is hoped, make safe crossing the road to access the village and its amenities. Please see application here. (Select the one Design and Access statement and view using button on right.)
The other scheme will provide 111 units on a brownfield site in Clarendon Place in Portslade. Measures to encourage a car free life style, such as membership to the city car club, a cycle voucher and a season ticket on city buses, will be offered to early residents. Please see application here. (Select all five Design and Access statements and view.)
The Regency Society will not be submitting comments of objection or praise for any of these proposals (although comments on Toad’s Hole Valley may come later). This implies a degree of approval in the context of the priorities facing the city. Overall we welcome 604 rent-only apartments and 361 affordable homes.