Tower block scheme in Brighton gets the go ahead

Longley Industrial 18 Floor
Longley Industrial 18 Floor

An 18-storey tower block in Brighton has been granted planning permission.

The building is expected to contain more than 200 flats for families and young professionals to rent.

The scheme – on the site of the Longley Industrial Estate in New England Street – also includes 3,270 square metres of shops and offices.

The developer Legal and General pledged to plant trees along New England Street – a condition of the planning permission – to form a windbreak for the colonnade on one side of the building.

Ten per cent – or 21 – of the flats would be let for an “affordable” rent, a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee was told yesterday (Wednesday 20 March).

The “affordable” rents would be at no more than 75 per cent of the market rate, the committee was told.

The scheme was described as the first private build-to-rent development in Brighton and Hove. A similar scheme is planned in Sackville Road, Hove.

The existing low-level block is currently home to Master Tiles and Dice Saloon, on the corner of Elder Place and New England Street, Brighton.

The development by Legal and General is for a staggered block, ranging from three to 18 storeys. It includes 201 flats, 3,270sqm of office space and 308sqm of commercial or shopping space.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald voted against the application. She said: “The tower looks like it’s going back to the ’60s.

“All the comments refer to the height of the tower, from residents, the Brighton Society, North Laine, Rosehill and West Hill community. They’ve all said how excessive the height is of that tower.

“Ten per cent affordable seems a very low amount to me. It’s a lot of units and 10 per cent is not very good.”

Green councillor Leo Littman said: “We can’t build out into the sea. We don’t want to build on the Downs. We have go to up.

“We can only go up in a very limited number of places in the city and this is one of the places we can.”

Labour councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the Planning Committee, said: “This is aimed at a particular market, for people who are just moving on from the grotty basement bedsit who can’t quite afford a mortgage yet.

“They can have a nice big studio flat with all these shared facilities. This is a different, a new normal. This is what young people want.”

As part of the planning permission Legal and General would pay developer contributions totalling more than £1 million.

Most of it, £746,000, would go towards improving public spaces in and around Elder Place while £203,000 would go towards improving transport in the Preston Circus area.

A further £122,000 is earmarked for secondary education at Dorothy Stringer and Varndean schools.

At the meeting at Hove Town Hall, Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls asked for a contribution to be spent on pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Sarah Booker-Lewis , Local Democracy Reporting Service