28.2.17…..The original saveHOVE response was logged as a Comment but the subject line was “Qualified Support” to reflect the fact that there is a dilemma here. Even with amendments, there are persisting concerns over height for residents behind Medina House. Removal of a few inches of height has been enough for the Planners, however, and they are now taking it to Committee with a ‘Minded to Grant’ recommendation.
Read: Response on headed paper from Cllr Wealls in support of resident interests which is included in paperwork to the Planning Committee. Regrettably his most considered response, which he submitted using the online comment box, based on his visit to 13 Sussex Road, and detailing window/light issues is not in Committee papers, and is presumably buried within the anonymity of the summarised and unattributed responses under Objections, Support and Comments, as is the saveHOVE main response.
Read: Cllr Weall’s considered response to the height amendments not included in committee papers.
Read: The main saveHOVE response before the slight height reduction amendments. See photo of back areas that NEED to be visited by the Planning Committee on a site visit!
Read: The formal supplementary saveHOVE response to the Report to Committee and height amendments. It is regrettable that the officer’s Report fails to acknowledge the considerable saveHOVE involvement with an entry in the report or to supply the addresses of other respondents in the normal way. There is a mixed response among us about supporting/objecting to the proposal but saveHOVE has conferrred with many and actively assisted residents to make their case to ensure the light loss issue gets properly focussed assessment. And it is the reason for making a Comment only response. Numbers of those objecting, supporting, commenting ONLY, without addresses are given in the Report which means the Report does not reflect the level of response of those most affected by the proposal and represents a huge departure from the norm.
Read: supplementary saveHOVE representations made through the council’s online facility: one and two.
BH2016/05893 was received by BHCC on 31.10.16 and could have been expected to be decided before now. The increase in building height (2.7 metres) and addition of height along the back wall adjoining Victoria Cottages (the old pool area), where 3 storeys of height are proposed, does not comply with the Medina House Planning Brief which indicates that any replacement building should be no higher than existing. There is also the question of how necessary demolition is. The Brighton Society representative on the Conservation Advisory Group is an architect who believes the building CAN be converted and retained but CAG per se voted to recommend approval of the demolition and newbuild house proposed. The applicants insist it is not financially viable to retain it. There are grumbles about white brick (cream actually, and it would match Marrocco colourwise) with murmurings about preferring red brick because the original Medina House (under the 1923 render) is red brick. If not this proposal, then what? It is a lovely bit of architecture, but.but, but!
It was the excellently realised objection from 13 Sussex Road, drawing attention to anticipated light loss to rear area rooms, over and above existing light loss from the bulk of Medina House – especially when low sunlight casts deep winter shadow – that led to the small shavings from height in amendments. The level of light loss suffered already is about a third…substantial. Basement area windows are worse. Victoria Cottages at the sea end are also affected, but the Committee Report does not acknowledge their rear patio garden area need for sunlight, only the public footpath access to main Victoria Cottages entrances.
Ground floor flats in Bath Court within Sussex Road opposite the back part of Medina House also stand to lose light from the proposed main building’s roof height increase of over 2 metres (even after height reduction).
Bath Court itself and Benham Court beside Marrocco are of a height that blocks sunlight from both Victoria Cottages and Sussex Road to a significant extent so sunlight from above Medina House and through the demolished pool area is all that properties immediately behind actually get. In winter the sun is too low to give much sunlight. Their creation resulted in Sussex Road and Victoria Cottages losing a third of their sunlight and created significant overshadowing there.
Back in the 1960-80’s period Hove Council wanted to towerblock the entire little Kings Esplanade area!!! Instead of those 3 blocks of flats that did go up, they should have put in two or three more little terraced streets running north/south either side of Sussex Road and Victoria Cottages to create the same amount of housing without anyone losing light. Space would not have been wasted on ugly car parks either.