2.6.16…..It seems the report put up here yesterday struck a nerve. An email has come in concerning what was written and it is worth reprinting here. Please note one thing. There is a comment in it about not getting any grant money to build on the site. I never said there was. Registered Social Landlords are Government-Grant-aided, but that is diminishing, just as Govt Grants to Local Authorities are and in the past I have been told (it was concerning Hyde’s proposal for the Newtown Road factory site) that they cannot afford to build to rent anymore….so read what Tom Shaw says here which is different. Note especially comments around building height. In my reply to Tom Shaw I have asked if he can categorically state they will not attempt to go above eight storeys. And I have indicated I will put his emailed position on here as a specific post. Le voila.
I saw your piece on the Save Hove blog and thought it was worthy of a response, to ensure that you are briefed as to Hyde’s intentions for 189 Kingsway, and to provide a bit of context on Hyde’s strategy to maximise the delivery of all types of housing, and in particular our investment into building as many affordable homes as possible for lower cost rent and sale.
Hyde is a Registered Provider of affordable homes, we own and manage around 50,000 homes and we plan to build around 1,500 new homes per annum. Over half of the homes we are building or are planning to build are for affordable rent or sale.
We also build homes for private sale and rent, reinvesting all of the profit we make from this activity into building affordable homes – there are no shareholders – so on average for each and every £1 of profit we make, we are able to invest around £2.60 into building a new affordable home.
No grant funding has been received for any of Hyde’s recent projects in Brighton & Hove and there is no funding allocated for future projects.
In regards to our intentions for 189 Kingsway, Hyde will follow all local and national planning policy. This includes the planning guidance note on tall buildings, which suggests that mid-rise buildings are suitable within the Kingsway/western Seafront area. The design workshops we are holding are proposed to test the appropriate height, form and scale of the proposed development for the 189 Kingsway site, in accordance with the recommendations of this local planning guidance document. This is a genuine opportunity for consultation and there are no preconceived ideas on the height, look or feel of the development. I am not sure where the reference to 12 storeys has come from, as we have not designed a 12 storey building or discussed the idea of 12 storeys with any party.
With regards to affordable housing, it is not correct that the previous 17 storey application did not include the provision of affordable homes, the scheme was designed to be tenure blind and no tenure allocation had been made within the application – this was made subject to negotiations with the planning authority and housing team, which were not concluded at the point the application was withdrawn. The same will be true of any new planning submission, I can confirm that we are committed to providing or funding affordable housing as part of the development at 189 Kingsway.
Hyde’s core purpose is as a charitable housing association and our principles and commitment in this regard hold firmly true; our commercial activities exist solely to support our significant investment into furthering our charitable purpose and this activity funds a significant proportion of the new affordable homes that we build.
I would be very happy to sit down with you and explain some more about our approach both to 189 Kingsway or our activity generally if you wish. I am aware that you we are currently seeking to arrange for you to meet with our architects to discuss the design of 189 Kingsway and I hope that this is productive.
Tom Shaw Development Director (South)