Vote “yes” to the Hove Station referendum

A vital Hove Station referendum is being held today which will give Hove residents the chance to influence the development of new buildings and infrastructure in the area. Included in the plan are new flats proposed for three more prominent sites in the area. Hove residents need to vote YES  today to ensure their opinions are heard – and taken into account – by the developers and the council.

Vote YES in the Hove Station referendum to get funding for local infrastructure

Critically, by voting YES, the council will be legally required to allocate 25% of developer contributions (CIL) from these future projects to improve the area. Developer contributions will be invested in improvements to parks, pavements, roads, shopping areas etc. These contributions will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds in the next few years.

A neighbourhood plan written by the community for the community

Hove Station referendum is the final stage in the approval of the developments. This plan has been prepared over eight years by the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum. It’s an independent group of volunteer residents, whose purpose is to get the best for the area and the people who live there.

While accepting that these new developments are inevitable, the Forum seeks to force concessions from the developers about, for example, the height of the new blocks. It also seeks to enforce the agreement with the council to ban parking permits for the new influx of tenants. Only with a majority YES vote on Feb 9th will this happen, so all residents are being encouraged to have their say today.

Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum chairman, Mike Gibson
said: “It really is vital that everyone gets out to vote YES in the Hove Station referendum. We’ve seen the current developments go up all around us, and I keep hearing people complain about the height of these buildings, concerns about parking, and the impact on local amenities. With an approved Plan, this time we can make a real difference to future projects. But only if a majority of residents vote “YES”.

David Kemp is the principal of DK Architects Ltd which is based in the parade of shops at 9 Hove Park Villas.

Mr Kemp was born in Hove and has lived in this part of the City for most of his life including attending the Architecture School at Brighton Polytechnic which is now a University. He is married with two children.  Mr Kemp sees that Hove should have a centre of distinctive character with more facilities of its own reducing the reliance on Brighton. The area around Hove Station is a natural, central position for steady and managed change which would inevitably include residential development and needs to be of a high standard.

Mr Kemp said: ‘Let’s not miss this opportunity.’

Volunteers working for the benefit of the community

When news broke about the closure of the Royal Mail facility in Denmark Villas, the Neighbourhood Forum established a dialogue with the Royal Mail about the site development, and made it clear that the local community:

  • would not support high-rise above nine storeys
  • would press for the provision of social rented housing
  • wanted a virtually car-free development
  • wanted significant and accessible green landscaping

However, none of these essential points can be enforced without a majority YES in the Hove Station referendum.

Brighton & Hove Council has recently established a joint working group with Conway Street landowners, the Bus Company and Network Rail, to design the new developments intended for the bus station area and to improve the footbridge.

A majority YES vote at the Hove Station referendum will give us community representation in this group.

In relation to GPs surgeries and schools which are outside the scope of the Neighbourhood Plan, Mr Gibson wrote this:

‘The policy states that proposals for community facilities including  GP surgeries  ‘…will be encouraged as an essential component of the use mix in the Hove Station Quarter and that pressures on existing provision caused by increasing population ‘..will be addressed by developer contributions through the use of CIL contributions.’
‘The policy states that ‘it is  expected that  the market will provide for a range of community facilities’ – recognising that they are not provided by the state.
‘Within the legal scope of the  Neighbourhood Plan this is the strongest statement we were allowed to make. However, it does provide a basis for voicing strongly residents campaigns when commenting on planning applications.’

Forum Chair Mike Gibson said: “This is the best ever chance we’ll get to have a say in how our neighbourhood is developed. We can’t afford to miss out.”

A yes vote in this Hove Station referendum is the result of eight years of painstaking work by volunteer residents from all political parties. The Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum welcomes all new members, and subscribers; and encourages everyone in the Neighbourhood Plan area to get involved in future campaigns, such as traffic management, street tree planting, etc. For further information, visit