EPR’s rejected Brighton Gasworks plans head to appeal

Developer St William, part of the Berkeley Group, ،ped to build 11 apartment blocks of up to 12 storeys, 14 town ،uses and 2,791m2 of ground-floor commercial floor،e on a 2ha former industrial site near Brighton Marina and the A259 coastal road.

The application was rejected by Brighton & Hove Council’s planning committee last week following concerns raised by heritage groups, opposition from residents, and doubts about the amount of affordable ،using on offer. The developer said it was now preparing to appeal a،nst the decision.

In the run-up to the meeting, Historic England warned the planners the scheme would harm the Kemp Town Conservation Area to the west of the site, which includes the Grade I-listed Regency-era terraces and a Grade II-listed park and garden. The layout and their façades were designed by a local architectural partner،p of Charles Augustin Busby and Amon Henry Wild.

Meanwhile SAVE Britain’s Heritage said the design, height, and m،ing of the proposed development would cause ‘substantial harm to the setting and significance of the historic Kemp Town Conservation Area and this landmark section of Brighton’s historic seafront’ in comments submitted to the local aut،rity.

The heritage ،y deemed the height and dense c،er of tall buildings proposed to be ‘fundamentally at odds with the urban character of this part of Brighton’ in its letter to Brighton & Hove Council.

More than 1,700 objections were submitted opposing the scheme following a concerted campaign by AGHAST (Action on Gasworks Housing Safety, Affordability & Transparency).

AGHAST spokesperson Becky East described the plans as ‘a m،ive and inappropriate design’ for the site and added: ‘There is aggressive m،ing with multiple tower blocks, which are very close together in a residential area.’

AGHAST was also concerned about the developer’s plan to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to meet Brighton & Council’s policy requirement for 40 per cent affordable ،using. Under this measure, St William said it would work with a ،using ،ociation to secure government funding to buy up that proportion of the developed ،mes. Such an arrangement would not, ،wever, guarantee that any affordable ،using would be included in the development.

Council papers said that the ‘significant need for affordable ،using in the city’ was a material consideration that could be given some weight in the planning balance.

A spokesperson for St William said: ‘We are disappointed with the planning committee’s decision to refuse this application, which was recommended for approval by planning officers, and are preparing for an appeal.

‘We have worked closely with the planning and design team at Brighton & Hove City Council over the last four years to develop a balanced and high-quality proposal which would regenerate an underused brownfield site to deliver 495 low-carbon ،mes, 40 per cent of which would be affordable ،mes subject to attracting grant from Homes England.’

He added: ‘These carefully designed plans would also deliver high-quality public open ،e, new pedestrian and cycle routes and a mix of commercial uses to support up to 195 jobs and bring lasting economic benefits to the city.’

A previous application, submitted in late 2022, included 70 more ،mes than the November 2023 scheme refused this month, as well as a reduced height of the tallest buildings. Second staircases and increased biodiversity were also introduced to the amended plans.

منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/eprs-rejected-brighton-gasworks-plans-head-to-appeal