Developer's plan to build six homes on an old driveway in Portslade approved by councillors

A developer can build six homes on an old driveway after councillors approved a planning application.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee voted six to one in favour of Timothy Jennings’s plans to build six one-bedroom homes on the plot near Southern Cross, Portslade.

The site is next to St Nicolas (Church of England) Primary School in Locks Hill and close to Brackenbury Primary School.

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The land was once the driveway for a villa known as Greenways, which was demolished and replaced by a block of flats with the same name in the 1970s.

A map used as part of the application to show the site where the homes will be built

South Portslade Labour councillor Les Hamilton spoke against the application when the Planning Committee met last Wednesday (May 4).

He said: “These buildings – referred to as sheds by some residents – will be detrimental to the Portslade Conservation Area.

“The narrow nature of the site rules out the use of vehicle access. There is no vehicle access to these properties, just cycle and pedestrian access. How the construction will be carried out is unclear.”

Councillor Hamilton was concerned about how emergency vehicles would reach the properties from Locks Hill.

An illustration of the plans presented to the planning committee

Mr Jennings’s agent, Joseph Pearson, of Lewis and Co Planning, said that the site was unconventional but the designs were in keeping with the natural features.

He said: “The new homes are semi-detached dwellings built to a high standard. They will be produced off-site and assembled on site so it’s going to be a much quicker and less disruptive construction process for neighbours.”

Labour councillor Daniel Yates was enthusiastic about the project and hoped to see more developments like it in other parts of the city.

He said: “I love it. I think this is an incredibly innovative set of proposals. We have to start changing the narrative around development in this city.

“This starts to show, even in the most difficult and constrained sites, we can still find ways to deliver appropriate accommodation.”

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald was the lone vote against granting planning permission. She said: “I think this is going a bit too far, building on a driveway.

“The places are so far apart. I do think the emergency services and refuse are a problem – and parking.”

Green councillor Marianna Ebel dismissed concerns about emergency access to the site because other homes had different access issues.

She said: “We would have to refuse all the high-rise buildings because you can’t park on the 15th floor. You need some time to get up there.

“This is accessible. People can access the houses so I see no reason to refuse it. It’s a great use of space and we need housing.”