Application for conversion of houses in Old Shoreham Road, Hove

FOUR councilors have objected to plans to convert a number of single-family homes to “modernize” the buildings and add an extra floor.

The application of businessman Aidan Bowen, 53, could result in the houses at 64, 66, 68 and 68A Old Shoreham Road, Hove, being given a contemporary look with light plastering and redesigned roofs. Numbers 66 and 68 would also have tail extensions.

All three Goldsmid Borough Councilors have opposed the motion, as has neighboring Hove Park Borough Councilor Vanessa Brown.

The motion prompted 14 letters of objection from the public and four letters of support.

A report to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee, which is due to meet next week, recommends approval of the plan.

Mr Bowen submitted a statement from his representative, CMK Planning, with his application. It states: “There are numerous comparable developments in the area, also in the immediate vicinity, which show that the contemporary approach can be very successful in this environment.

“These include plots of very similar design style to those proposed, which have been supported by the local planning authority and are now used to enhance the site.

“The use of light-colored plaster has become characteristic of the area, even for less modern buildings. The design style fits comfortably with existing property styles and introduces contemporary elegance and interest without competing.”

The Argus: The locations are facing objections from Council membersThe places are facing objections from city councillors

Labor Councilor Jackie O’Quinn said the other modern buildings were standalone properties rather than “mini properties”.

She said: “Other properties used as examples in the planning statement are individual properties, such as 33 Old Shoreham Road, which is very noticeable but can hardly be seen from the street as it is set back so far and has a Garage with greenery has ‘grass roof’ and driveway in front.

“As such, it doesn’t negatively impact the streetscape at all, nor do the other examples of ‘modern’ homes cited in the planning statement, as all are set well back from the street.”

Labor Councilor John Allcock said: “Plans to increase the footprint of 66 and 68 Old Shoreham would bring the properties closer to the street and create an overwhelming and more dominant ‘block’ of buildings, uncharacteristic with the street scene, which is mainly detached is one to two storey houses.

“This would be exacerbated by proposed roof elevations to add an extra floor to each building – a key reason why the application for number 68 alone was rejected.”

The Argus: Some members of the public have supported the plansSome members of the public have supported the plans

Green Councilwoman Marianna Ebel shared her concerns about the proposed increase in height and the impact it would have on people whose homes adjoin the Old Shoreham Road properties.

She said: “The local area is characterized by low rise detached houses (one or two storey flats) and tranquil gardens, sheltered from street views and noise.

“The apartments at Caister’s Close in particular are a tranquil haven chosen by many families who live there, particularly for their quiet, peaceful character.

“The amenities of residents of Caister’s Close would be severely impacted by the proposed development as the new development would overlook and potentially overshadow their gardens and buildings.”

A neighbor who backed the plans, details of which have been redacted by the council, said: “Public objections to this development are a classic example of ‘nimby’ thinking, which is one of the reasons for the chronic housing shortage and sky-high prices, with that we are currently facing.

“The area supports a rich variety of home styles and sizes, which is one of the reasons I love this area.

“It is absurd to say that the houses would look out of place once built as there is clearly no dominant architectural style.”

The Planning Committee meets next Wednesday at 2pm in Hove Town Hall. The meeting will be webcast on the Council’s website. Application for conversion of houses in Old Shoreham Road, Hove

Fry Electronics Team

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