Plans to replace house with flat block turned down

10 Shirley Drive Hove
10 Shirley Drive Hove

Plans to turn a detached house into a block of ten flats were refused by Brighton and Hove City Council planners.

More than 200 people wrote to the council to oppose the outline plans to demolish the house at 10 Shirley Drive, on the corner of The Droveway.

Concerns were raised about the size of the proposed building, as well as the risk of more flats being built in the area in place of other houses.

On behalf of residents, Ian Jungius said: “This proposal is wholly out of character in an area of single detached housing.

“The design and number of flats in the area sets a precedent.”

He pointed out the proposed building would be ‘significantly higher’ than the house next door, blocking their light.

Mr Jungius added: “There is a need for additional housing but it would be more appropriate to convert the existing building into flats.

“It would be out of character but would have less impact on the area and would be without the huge disruption of demolition.”

Hove Park ward Conservative councillor Vanessa Brown also spoke on neighbours’ behalf.

She said: “Residents in Hove Park are very concerned if this application is approved it just sends out a green light to developers that it’s okay to turn large houses in the area into flats.

“It would completely change the character of the area.”

Cllr Brown was concerned about the impact on the neighbours who currently look out over a single-storey rear extension.

On behalf of the applicant, acting agent Alex Bateman said: “It is a detached residential building replaced with a detached residential building.”

He said that there were no objections from archaeology, ecology, Sussex Police, transport, planning or environmental health consultees.

Mr Bateman said that Hove Civic Society supported the application although it described the design as disappointing.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald said: “It doesn’t go with the street scene and is very dominant on that corner… 212 objections is more than the Amex had.

“It’s an awful lot of objections and gives us an idea how strongly people feel in that area.”

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said that there were areas of Hove Park ward in conservation areas or areas with special character but Shirley Drive was not among them.

He said: “The houses are all quite different designs and big. In terms of uniformity there is none.”

Seven councillors voted against the plans. They were councillors Carol Theobald, Lynda Hyde, Jayne Bennett, Joe Miller, Leo Littman, Nancy Platts and Penny Gilbey.

A second vote was taken on formal reasons to refuse the application at which point Cllr Adrian Morris changed sides, making the vote eight to four.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

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