25 May 2013…..Awhile ago now, Infinity announced it had grown too big for its Norway Street, Portslade base, that attempts to find premises within the city to expand into had failed. This is a co-operative firm which, after serious difficulties surviving its early years, eventually stabilised and gained the growing and rock-solidly loyal customer base that enabled it to branch out and become the wholesaler of choice for increasing numbers of Independents and multiples and to become a firm to boast about having.
We have now lost this locally important and genuinely iconic firm to another town. A significant chunk of what identified Brighton within the business world has been lost. But we still have the shop!
To have lost Infinity-the-wholesaler for lack of a place to grow into highlights the economic limitations of the city. A place that could grow new jobs for Brighton, Hove and Portslade is gone too. We can only cut our garment according to a quite limited length of cloth.
Does Toads Hole Valley represent an opportunity to purpose-build much larger premises for home-grown enterprises to expand into? Or is it more realistic to accept our limitations and remain a place for middling sized business premises? Its a question that hangs in the air. The desperado camp tell us to build what we need into the skyscape which of course means demolishing a significant part of our USP. Whether this is a reasonable trade-off is another question that hangs in the air.
A newly registered application is now registered which sees Taylor Wimpey seeking demolition of the Infinity warehouse area and a completely different use of the site. A significant space for some other small company to grow into would be lost. Is this inevitable? Does it matter? Read the Planning Statement and the Design and Access Statement to gain an overview.
BH2013/01278 proposes Demolition of existing buildings and construction of a 3-storey commercial building (class B1 office space) and 2-3 storey buildings to form 31 dwellings with associated car parking access and landscaping works.