Opposition to 10-storey tower plans for Hove

Campaigners fighting plans for high-rise buildings in Hove hope they have a little longer to object to one of the schemes.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:51 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:32 am
An artist's impression of the propose Lyons Close development

They are targeting plans to demolish an industrial estate in Lyons Close, Hove, and replace it with four blocks of flats and offices up to ten storeys high.

The plans are due to go before Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee in the spring.

Members of the Facebook group Hove Housing Future had thought that the application was going before councillors in January.

Neighbours are coming together to oppose the application by developer Crest Nicholson to demolish a plumber’s merchant, joinery works and Toolstation trade supplier to make way for the scheme.

They held a public meeting in November and plan to hold further meetings next year.

So far more than 100 people have sent the council letters of objection to the plans for 163 homes and 938 square metres of offices.

One comment said: “I want to object to this development as the 10-storey tower is completely out of keeping with the local residential area.

“This will be visible for miles around and will be substantially taller than anything else in the area.

“I know that this area has been deemed by the council to be unsuitable for tower blocks so I am unsure as to why it is now being considered as this is quite clearly wrong for the area.

“I understand that the long-term plan is that the whole of this area will ultimately be developed – with the likely demolishment of ‘Wickes’.

“This would be the loss of a vitally important store that has been based in this area for at least as long as I have lived here – 18 years.”

Another said: “Cromwell Road is already very busy particularly during rush hours.

“So many flats would generate lots of cars in an area where there are lots of children going to school and three day nurseries just along the road with many under-fives.

“A dangerous road would be more dangerous. I would also like to know if you have spoken to the bus company about its capacity to deal with all the extra passengers generated by any development of this size.”

Goldsmid ward councillor Jackie O’Quinn intends to speak against the scheme when it is discussed by the council’s Planning Committee.

The Labour councillor is a member of the Planning Committee and expects to have to leave the council chamber when her colleagues decide the application.

She has posted in the Facebook group asking residents to join her at a meeting with planning officers and representatives from Crest Nicholson in an effort to find common ground.

Councillor O’Quinn said: “The infrastructure around here is not able to support this level of development.

“We constantly hear the local authority has to deal with this. The schools are under pressure as well as the road system.

“Everyone quotes the number seven bus as part of the wonderful transport system.

“It’s going to have to run more then every eight minutes because it would be picking up so many people.”

The council is under pressure to build homes on brownfield sites like this.

Councillor O’Quinn said: “There is terrible pressure to build and developers want to build high and gets lots of people in there.”

The area is not one of the city’s designated tall building zones such as London Road and Preston Road, Lewes Road, Eastern Road and the A259 seafront road Kingsway.

However, Councillor O’Quinn is concerned that schemes such as the new Artisan building could be described as setting a precedent.

Green councillor Amanda Knight, who also represents Goldsmid ward, has submitted questions to planning officers along with Green candidates Steve Moses and Mariana Ebel, who are due to stand in Goldsmid at the next local elections.

They are concerned about the effect on school places, the nearby Charter Medical Centre and parking and public transport.

The group has also asked for affordable homes to be included in the scheme.

During the consultation process in November 2017, Crest Nicholson invited 1,020 residents and business owners to a public event.

A total of 33 people signed the visitors book.

In its public consultation comments, the developer said: “Given the large number of invitations that were sent, the low number of attendees suggests a general public acceptance towards the redevelopment of the site.”

Future public meetings are planned in the new year.