Lack of affordable homes could see plans for Hove eyesore refused

The plans for the site to the south-west of Hove station
The plans for the site to the south-west of Hove station

Ambitious proposals to transform the industrial site to the south-west of Hove station with 186 apartments, office space and shops, could come to nothing, because of the lack of affordable homes.

Matsim Properties unveiled its vision for the area between Conway Street and Ellen Street almost two years ago.

The designs for the Conway Street site

The designs for the Conway Street site

But the designs are set for refusal, as planning officials at Brighton and Hove City Council said the offer of 18.8 per cent of affordable housing was ‘significantly below’ the 25 per cent they had agreed to.

In fact, the standard amount of affordable homes requested by the council in large developments is usually 40 per cent - but an independent review found that this scheme would not be viable with this amount of affordable housing.

When the developers submitted their final plans for the run-down site to the council last year, they said they hoped it will be a first step to transforming the Hove station area.

Simon Lambor, of Matsim Properties, said: “We hope that this can be the first phase and catalyst in the wider regeneration of the Hove Station Quarter that can provide desperately needed homes and employment space for the city.”

The £80 million plan by Matsim was drawn up by LCE Architect’s with towers ranging from four to 17 storeys, and plans for roof terraces, rooftop gardens and communal outdoor spaces.

There are also 67 car parking spaces in the basement included in the plans for the site.

Residents have written 22 letters of objection, with the height of the building and lack of affordable homes as the primary concerns. There were also eight letters of support for the scheme.

Hove Civic Society has given the proposals its support, which it said would ‘rejuvenate this neglected area’, and the Regency Society said it was ‘the first piece in a jigsaw puzzle that hopefully will result in the comprehensive redevelopment of the derelict area to the south of Hove Station’.

The plans are to go before the city council’s planning committee on Wednesday (June 21), when councillors will have the final say.

The planning committee takes place from 2pm at Hove Town Hall, and is open to the public.