Affordable homes to be built at eight-storey block

Artists Impression Of Roof Lines for Selsfield Drive development
Artists Impression Of Roof Lines for Selsfield Drive development

An eight-storey block of flats has been approved for the site of the former housing office in Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb.

The block of 30 flats are being built by Brighton and Hove City Council and are intended to be let for ‘affordable’ rents.

Artists Impression Of Selsfield Drive building in Moulsecoomb

Artists Impression Of Selsfield Drive building in Moulsecoomb

Thirteen letters of objection were sent by the public, with most concerned about the height.

The council’s planning committee was told that the block would be eight storeys high when seen from Lewes Road and seven storeys high when seen from Selsfield Drive.

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “This has caused some controversy for our tenants but I firmly believe this is a good scheme.

“I like the design and hope we will have some more of this in the future.”

The former housing office site at Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb

The former housing office site at Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb

Each floor has two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom flats, with the one-bed flats facing Lewes Road and the two-bedroom flats looking over Selsfield Drive.

The lower ground floor has two accessible two-bedroom flats as well as cycle parking and plant rooms.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald abstained from voting as she did not like the project.

She told the planning committee at Hove Town Hall: “I am not keen on the addition of two floors as, at pre-application, members raised concerns about the height of the building when it was five.

“I am not keen on the design and not keen on the colour either.”

Fellow Conservative councillor Joe Miller supported the project saying that he wanted to see more development of the Bates Estate.

However, he was unimpressed with the proposed railings, criticising their appearance, and said that he would prefer opaque balconies.

Referring to the loss of light for a few residents in the neighbouring block, he said: “One concern is the three windows in the building next door.

“But this is affordable housing which is good to do.”

Labour councillor Claire Moonan said: “It is a good design and I like the materials. It is providing much-needed affordable housing.”

Committee chairman Labour councillor Julie Cattell said: “I know how far the project team have been pushed on this. We have pushed quite hard.

“We’ve had to consider the tree and the impact on other buildings. This design has really changed.”

Ten councillors voted in favour of the scheme, with Cllr Theobald abstaining.

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

For more of her stories, click here.