13.3.16…..On the 10th of March the petition of 123 signatures, gathered on 7th December at Hove Seafront RA’s public meeting and presented to Full Council before Christmas, finally got its belated reply, the January meeting of the Economic Development & Culture Committee having been cancelled.
First thing that morning of the 10th, an email was sent to each member of the committee asking that instead of just the usual prepared reply being read out and noting of the petition, that Cllrs make use of the Recommendation options list in their Agenda papers. This kind of happened. Kind of.
Wish Ward Cllrs Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer Dunn BOTH sit on this committee for the Conservatives and the Kingsway is in their ward. So it was nice to see Cllr Peltzer Dunn seek to speak before the Chair, Labour’s Cllr Warren Morgan, could read out his officer-prepared response. Awkward! There’s a load of optional responses under Recommendations but no Council committee Chair has EVER to my knowledge solicited views from committee members on which option to go for. They arrive with ready made speech responses prepared for them by the departmental officers concerned. Garry said he hoped the committee could opt for option 1, that the Kingsway deserved it. Cllr Morgan then just read out the prepared refusal before taking a vote on Cllr Peltzer Dunn’s proposal. All the Labour hands went up to back the speech. All the Tory and Green hands went up to back the proposal to do a planning brief (option 1). Labour have the majority on this committee. So refused it was! Here is the formal response:
Many thanks for your petition. I note your concerns about the need for a planning brief for Hove Seafront.
I can assure you that with the adoption of the City Plan, the retained Local Plan policies and supplementary guidance – there is already a robust framework in place for making decisions on planning applications in this area. In the case of Shoreham Harbour – there will also be the Joint Area Action Plan which will also be providing a clear policy framework for decisions in South Portslade and Aldrington Basin areas.
In addition to this there are pressures for planning briefs in other parts of the city where there isn’t a clear policy framework in place.
For these reasons and due to the limited resources available for planning project work I am advised it would not be possible to prepare a planning brief for Hove Seafront at this time
DCLG have recently defined mid-rise tall buildings as being 10 storeys and even though the council’s SPGBH 15 defines mid-rise as 6-8 storeys, they might accept 10 storeys and this needs clarification pretty urgently I would say. The masterplanning going on for the Aldrington Basin area doesn’t include the Kingsway east of it at all and so the Braemore to Berriedale block is vulnerable with only SPGBH15 to control height there. Blocks of flats could easily suffer storeys being added to them by Freeholders as has happened in the area of Hove around the County Cricket ground. And what happens next at the Sackville Hotel site is anyone’s guess!
If existing guidance (including two Conservation Area designations) is so all-fired great, how come Hyde felt confident about spending Lord knows how much grant-aided Registered Social Landlord cash on commissioning that 17-storey tower design and its planning application along with a documented £24,000+ on the planning application fee?