A controversial scheme to build four tower blocks in Hove – up to eight storeys high – has won the backing of planners.
Officials have recommended that councillors approve the plans for 152 flats on the Peacock Industrial Estate in Lyon Close at a meeting next week.
The proposal has brought neighbours together in a campaign to fight high-rise buildings in a part of Hove that includes Davigdor Road and Lyon Close.
The developer Crest Nicholson wants to build 21 studio flats and 49 one-bedroom, 76 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom flats in the four proposed blocks.
The scheme also includes two flats which are designed with work space for people who are running a business from home. Crest Nicholson said that the 88sqm of work space could house a workshop or office.
In addition the plans include 697sqm of offices and an underground car park with spaces for 80 cars and 174 bikes.
More than 150 people have posted objections on the Brighton and Hove City Council website.
Neighbours’ concerns include the design, the potential for overlooking, loss of light and pressure on local services.
They are also worried that the lack of parking spaces could put pressure on nearby streets.
One anonymous objector said: “The planning application does not address the serious issues that exist in the local area and will in fact make them worse.
“Parking is already a problem and you can sometimes drive around for 10 minutes trying to find a place.”
The objector said that planners should on at least one dedicated parking place for each flat and office.
The objector added: “The local doctors’ surgery, the Charter Medical Centre, is already stretched to capacity.
“The planning department should address/consider this issue and not pass this responsibility to others.“
Another objector said: “This is Hove. Please please don’t let it slowly turn into Slough.
“I’ve noticed a steady increase in large modern buildings over recent years in the area but this is a huge step up.
“I’m not suggesting it isn’t built but at this height it will loom over everything in the local vicinity and be a real eyesore.”
At a public meeting called by the newly formed Hove Gold community group, residents in Lyndhurst Road, which backs on to the site, raised concerns about train noise.
They are concerned that the noise will bounce off the proposed blocks and back on to their homes.
Hove Gold, which hopes to draw up a “neighbourhood plan”, is currently fighting three large-scale applications.
Another of the objections to the Crest Nicholson scheme relates to the loss of employment space.
Howdens joinery, which has premises on the proposed site, is among the objectors. The company said that it employed 10 staff who “provide a valuable service to local trades” with 600 trade accounts on their books.
The Peacock Industrial Estate is also home to trade supplier Toolstation and Graham, the plumbers’ merchant.
The industrial estate is in Goldsmid ward – and two ward councillors have also objected to Crest Nicholson’s plans.
One of them, Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, is a member of the Planning Committee. She will have to leave the council chamber when the application is discussed.
Councillor O’Quinn said: “I support the local residents very strongly in their objections and I also have a lot of sympathy with Howdens as they will find it difficult to find another suitable premises in Hove.
“This could be an exemplary development if it were for a lesser number of flats with the highest block being five or six storeys high.”
Green councillor Amanda Knight raised concerns about schools, transport and affordable housing in her objection.
Councillor Knight said: “The new Lyon Close development will create 163 new flats, many of them two and three-bedroom flats which are likely to be occupied by families with school children.
“This will put a strain on the schools in the area, in particular Brunswick Primary School and Hove Junior School.
“Goodwood Court GP practice recently closed and their patients were transferred to the nearby Charter Medical Centre.
“The new Lyon Close residents will likely register at Charter Medical Centre as well, putting a further strain on to this GP practice.”
The proposal is due to be decided by the council’s planning committee next Wednesday (March 6) at a meeting at Hove Town Hall. The meeting starts at 2pm and is open to the public.