22.10.18…..On 19/20 September, Moda Planning held a public exhibition of their longstanding plans for the Sackville Trading Estate – upstairs in the Honeycroft Nursery premises fronting Sackville Road, on the edge of the Clarendon & Ellen Estate. I do wonder though how many people knew about it and what this exhibition looked to achieve.
It is now customary ahead of submitting applications to go through one of these “consultation” exercises and to add a document about it to the application submission. This, however, felt more like a PR exercise for Moda Planning and Mayfield (putting a leaseholder occupied sheltered housing block at the northern end).
Whilst heights and shapes, access and egress were blocked out, there was a complete absence of architectural detail and, no, they are not going for outline consent, they will apply for full planning without offering architecture views to the public in any form of consultation first.
They have felt obliged to give space and influence instead to the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum Committee – which is without standing to do anything except put a Neighbourhood Plan to a public referendum which, if accepted, would sit beneath the City Plan as something to take into consideration and no more. After six years…..nada. Until this happens and it is publicly accepted by a public vote, they have no authority to speak for, or advise on behalf of, the public. The Forum Committee has piggybacked every scheme being planned in DA6 over 6 years, looking for credibility from association and encouraging provision of many, many, MANY hundreds of units of housing for the DA6 part of the City Plan instead of the level of density the public would accept and silly heights.
To understand how brazenly they exceed authority, one needs only to look at the 1-3 Ellen Street Report to the Planning Committee and warning in it to councillors on the committee. Mike Gibson actually had the gall to cheat/speak as a supporter for that scheme’s developers at Planning on behalf of the Forum when he only had the right to speak as an individual. Here is the entry on printed pages 30/31 of the report
5.13 Neighbourhood Area
The site also lies within the Hove Station Neighbourhood Area. It is recognisedthe applicant has engaged the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum in this proposal an approach that is encouraged and welcomed. Whilst initial draftdocuments have been prepared, no ‘formal’ pre-submissiondraft (page 30)
5.132 Neighbourhood Plan has been published to date. Little weight can therefore be given to the Hove Station 2nd draft Neighbourhood Plan which in general seeks to endorse the proposal. It is important to note that the local planning authority has raised concerns that some of the policies in the 2nd draft Neighbour Plan conflict with strategic policy, on this basis it does not therefore meet the ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ basic conditions (continued on page 31)
Residents attending the Sackville exhibition will not have known ANY of this when noting the developer had given exhibition space to them as something like a development partner! And that is just SO WRONG.
The Moda/Mayfield Scheme
South of the access road a HUGE amount of rental housing south of the existing access from Sackville Road – 600 units in lots of up to 11 storey high rises is planned with the highest blocks trackside, to be managed by Moda who would buy the site from Coal Pensions if they get planning. One new pedestrian access point would be introduced just above the railway line area using a staircase. North of the existing access road from Sackville Rd would be the sheltered housing block (units for sale only). There is STILL no new vehicle egress point. All vehicle traffic is still into/out of Sackville Road’s existing point.
There is however one new move of huge value and import. But the developers had to PAY a huge sum of money to Network Rail just for a first meeting to discuss issues and possible solutions. The money would be well spent if consent is achieved and money for the engineering of a pedestrian bridge OVER the tracks from the development site’s easternmost point close to Fonthill Road can be achieved. It involves use of the remnant tracks into the Sackville site becoming a green walkway and walking through what is to become a parking lot area to get to it. It is the ONLY thing I feel able to celebrate at this point, apart from a potential wide pedestrian stairway down near the bridge up into the site.
This drawing does not show the current Conway Street occupants – it shows some idea of some possible future scheme in order to make their drawing look more attractive.
The scheme is just massive and high rises at trackside are inhumane and make of the tracks a canyon. They will loom up and upset residents on Conway Street and in the courtyard housing behind it which is trackside dead opposite. But note the indicated stairway access into the site bottom left corner of this elevation drawing below.