24th October, 2015…..There has been much made of problems concerning the Brighton & Hove planning department recently and reported in The Argus. Readers of the post below and of the article in The Argus that followed were made aware of a planning application from the new Hove MP concerning his constituency office plans – sited within premises without office use class designation and without community use designation either.
The application was registered and put out to public consultation on 12th August….but I have to tell you, it remains undetermined according to the Brighton & Hove City Council website and so the expected 8 weeks for determination are expired. After 8 weeks applications remain under consideration by mutual agreement or applicants can go to Appeal on the grounds of non-determination of an application. A decision cannot be far off….be it under delegated powers or by Planning Committee; and of course who decides is down to the number of consultation responses objecting and/or supporting along with planning policy issues and what the planners feel about the removal of a retail unit from Church Road for the MP’s purposes, albeit on a 5-year temporary basis. It constitutes a precedent.
And therein lies the rub. If office use is legitimised there is the question of whether or not it could ultimately wind up converted to housing. Does it matter?