Opposite shop plans in Hove


Plans to expand an apartment above a shop and turn the basement into a flat opposition from council planning officials.

Proposals for 10 Blatchington Road in Hove include enlarging the existing first floor apartment to create a two bedroom duplex and converting the lower floor into a one bedroom studio.

Restoring the original mezzanine level is one of the reasons officials want Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee to refuse planning permission next Wednesday (10th August).

The project, run by Annie and Janjan Ltd, whose directors are councilors Robert Nemeth, 42, and Tristan Mills, 49, has received 16 letters of support on the community website.

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The application will be subject to additional review and submitted to the Planning Committee as one of the applicants is a Council Member.

A report to the planning committee said the proposals “appeared to be inappropriate” as the storefronts were too large compared to the existing terrace and the changed floor height for the basement would “visibly cut through” the storefront.

The report states: “The proposed development would remove a street-level entrance to the ground-floor premises and introduce steps that would present a barrier to residents’ access to local services.

“The proposals therefore do not include all reasonable measures to make the storefront accessible to all and would go against policy.”

The ground floor remains commercial, with a single-storey extension to the rear being demolished to enlarge the garden area.

A report by Annie and Janjan’s agent, Whaleback, states that the buildings on the north side of Blatchington Road – opposite – were three storeys and the residential buildings had raised ground floors with stepped access.

Councilors approved a similar mezzanine for 8 Blatchington Road, the neighboring property which Councilor Nemeth is also redeveloping.

The report states: “The key to the design case is that an almost identical design was recently approved… at number 8, right next to the application lot.

“The proposed design would fit this approved design and the two properties would match very well.

“Both would have a commercial façade on the mezzanine floor, although number 8 will be residential.

“The proposed appearance would fully reflect Blatchington Road’s blended character and would restore the building’s original storeys, giving passers-by a better understanding of the historical development of the street and its buildings.”

Mr Mills said: “We were proud to put a great deal of time and effort into working closely with neighbors to prepare a proposal that would provide more living space, increase the size of an existing dwelling and improve the layout of an existing business.

“Not only that, it creates a garden where none currently exists and restores an Edwardian shop front to high standards to conform to a recent building permit for the adjacent building.

“That is why the application has received a high level of public support. It would be completely unthinkable to leave the building in its current two-story form if it is going to be built as a three-story house.”

Letters of Support support the design and renewal of Blatchington Road. One, whose author details were redacted by the council, said: “As a very close neighbor I must add my support. I am pleased to have been consulted by the applicant and I am satisfied with all the elements of the proposal.

“Retaining a business is to be welcomed and increasing footfall by converting the basement to residential use will certainly help existing businesses.

“The new accommodation feels spacious and airy. The large garden will also help improve local biodiversity.”

The Planning Committee is expected to meet on Wednesday 10 August at 2pm in Hove Town Hall. The meeting will be webcast on the Council’s website. Opposite shop plans in Hove

Fry Electronics Team

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