Gardens & wildlife

Anston House

15-storey proposal refused by one vote Planning application BH2012/02205 - Anston House 137 - 147 Preston Road Brighton, was turned down by a single vote at the planning committee meeting on 24th April. The Council's Conservation Advisory Group were critical of the design, agreeing with members of The Brighton Society that the proposed building was of a height which would badly overshadow some of the best parts of Preston Park (the Rose Garden and the Rotunda) making them miserable places to be for 6 months of the year. See The Brighton Society's calculations on overshadowing. See details of the decision on the Council's website.

Following The Brighton Society's contention that inadequate space standards could make the residential units within this tall building "the slums of the future", a report in The Argus April 30 2013 OUR HOMES KEEP SHRINKING, observes that had the homes been built they would have been some of the smallest new-build properties in Europe.

Overshadowing Preston Park
While few would regret the removal of the current building, members of the Council's Conservation Advisory Group were concerned that the height/massing/bulk of what is being proposed would have an overbearing and oppressive effect on its surroundings e.g. the effect on the eye would be to shrink Preston Park - a large green space of significant amenity to several densely populated neighbourhoods located nearby.

Members of The Brighton Society believe that the diagrams of overshadowing of Preston Park produced by the developer are inaccurate. We have written to councillors with a new set of charts demonstrating that the shadow cast on Preston Park, particularly the Rose Garden and the Rotunda, by this enormous development will make them miserable places to be for six months of the year.

Round Hill residents have no public open space of their own, but most can walk to Preston Park within 25 minutes.

The slums of the future
Several amenity societies, including The Round Hill Society, have also signed a letter objecting to the tight proportions of the residential units proposed. The design shows:
1 bedroom apartments of 42.6m.sq
2 bedroom apartments of 63.6m.sq
3 bedroom apartments of 82.4m.sq

Brighton and Hove City Council does not have space standards, but other Local Authorities in the South East have introduced consultant draft planning documents suggesting minimum space standards of:
1 bedroom apartments 51m.sq
2 bedroom apartments 66m.sq
3 bedroom dwellings of 93m.sq.
In the case of the 3 bedroom units; the proposals are a full 10m.sq less than the minimum standards for space standards proposed by another Local Authority in the South East.

The wrong proposal
We do not query 'the principle of development' on this site or the need for housing, but the phrase city cramming comes to mind in relation to the size and number of units within this proposal: 231 residential units, circa 2019 sqm of commercial floor space, 158 car parking spaces and 240 cycle spaces. We would like to see more generous living space for residents and a building which is more respectful of its surroundings.

This page was last updated by Ted on 01-May-2013
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