A masterplan is to be drawn up for an area near Hove Station after a £70,000 grant was awarded to Brighton and Hove City Council.
The money will be used to create a masterplan and try to turn it into reality on land labelled the Conway Street Industrial Area.
Approximately 70 people turned out to hear about and share ideas for the masterplan – and to learn more about a masterplan for the surrounding area – to include hundreds of new homes as well business units.
They crowded into the Honeycroft centre, in Sackville Road, Hove, today (Saturday 17 February) where information boards were on display with visuals and commentary.
The masterplan aims to ensure that the regeneration is coordinated, not piecemeal. This will mean improving connectivity around the station and actively considering the design of public spaces, community facilities, community hubs, conservation and transport. It will form part of Neighbourhood Plan Part One which is a statutory document subject to inspection by a planning inspector and a referendum.
Look out for the Hove Station Area Improvement Group which is a subgroup of the Forum that will be meeting in March. If you want to get involved, email Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum for details.
Several residents raised the issue of school places. Liz Hobden, Head of city planning at Brighton Council, announced that they are introducing a community infrastructure levy (CIL) which will be a tariff for strategic infrastructure such as schools and roads. She explained the new tax will sit alongside developer contributions (section 106) but it will not be tied to a particular development. The Forum will be able to access a percentage of this money for local projects.
Alan Gillam raised concerns about the impact of development on local businesses, some of whom have been forced to close. Ms Hobden acknowledged the need to protect industrial spaces but she said the area is changing and there will be a displacement effect on businesses and people who work there.
Another Hove resident, Amanda said: “It’s a really good exhibition but a real shame that there isn’t more affordable housing. It’s a real missed opportunity. It looks like it will be high end housing and gentrification.”
Others expressed concern about the density of housing but Carrie Hynds, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hove, thought the industrial area on Conway St west of the station was an ideal place for high rise housing. She said the new homes must be affordable to local people, if they are unaffordable, they will make the housing crisis worse.
Ms Hobden said the council was trying to bring rents down in line with the local housing allowance which is 70% of market rates. Councillor Jackie O’Quinn said the government needs to stop the right to buy of council housing and reduce the discounts.
This article was also published by Brighton and Hove News.