Attn: Maria Seale
Development Planning and Conservation Departments
Brighton & Hove City Council
Hove Town Hall
Hove BN3 3BQ 13th February 2013
Planning Application relating to land at Brighton Marina comprising Outer Harbour West Quay and adjoining land seeking amendment to the existing permissions for variation of condition 70 of application BH2006/01124 as amended by BH2012/00042
Amendments are not minor
The Kemp Town Society is concerned that this application, which purports to be a minor material alteration under s 73 follows previous alterations consented to by BH 2012/00042, also purporting to be non material, which, when taken with such other alterations, is a material alteration. These cumulative amendments ought to require one new composite application for the entire site. A new application would enable the considerable changes to planning and environmental law and policy, which have taken place since 2006 and in the case of the City Plan still taking place, be applied to this application. It seems to us wrong that such an old consent, which was saved from expiring by very token works providing site access and did not in any effective way commence any construction of the development itself, followed by further years of inaction, should be allowed to continue unaffected by the new planning law and policy. Much of these policy changes are directed specifically at the Marina’s regeneration, partly detailed below..
No piecemeal development without financial guarantees
The new application does not in any way guarantee that the entire development will be completed in its currently consented form, and it seems entirely possible that all that will happen is that the first phase will be completed with no social housing and without the architecturally significant tower which was deemed of supreme importance to the consent for the development as a whole. Indeed by moving more of the parking to under the first blocks to be built, it is open to the interpretation that these are the only blocks intended to be completed in the foreseeable future. Reducing the availability of parking to the proposed buildings on the spending beach will dilute their marketability. If the Council were to be minded to grant this application it should be conditional on binding undertakings to commence this and the remaining phases within set periods, backed up by financially enforceable obligations. The Brunswick Development Group PLC or its subsidiary The Outer Harbour Development Company LLP appears from public records to be insufficiently financed to support such a guarantee.
Likely second home destination
Undoubtedly many of the first phase completed units would become second homes, so the desired increase in the resident population in the Marina would not materialize. Accordingly there would be little if any increase in footfall, one of the principle reasons given for tall buildings in the Marina. Indeed these buildings on the West Quay would create shadow over the Boardwalk from the early afternoon, thus almost certainly decreasing footfall here. The City will also fail to benefit from any substantial, if any, contribution to its housing needs as this first phase does not contain any such ‘’development gain’ homes.
Traffic re-route assessment needed
There does not seem to be any adequate assessment of the effect of the requirement for traffic in the Marina to be re-routed so that it circulates in the opposite direction. Apart from the obvious dangers of people familiar with the present anti-clockwise circulation going the wrong way in the short term, the effect on the buses, with a new starting point required, and on the entrances and exits to the public car parks, and indeed the road junctions and ramps within the western part of the Marina do not seem to be addressed. Bus layovers have also been ignored.
The development contravenes BHCC City Plan by exceeding the Cliff Height.
Kemp Town Society feels strongly that in the current economic situation a planning permission granted over six years ago which has never been materially commenced and which, if built, will directly contravene so many of the current planning and environmental requirements, including the City Plan provision to ban building above the cliff height and provide social housing, should not be allowed to proceed at all without further consultation, and certainly not by way of a series of amendments, each claiming to be minor but which could result in a partial development which does properly benefit the City and the community around it who are most affected. Worse, it will bring harm.
The Proposed Development remains a contravention of the Setting of the Heritage Assets of the Kemp Town Conservation Area.
The Kemp Town Society reminds the Planning Committee its obligations to apply its commitment to the wider visual impact of this proposed development to the Historic Environment as contained in HE6, NPPF Para 131 and 134.
Change of identity of applicant
The original planning consent BH2006/01124 was granted to Brunswick Development Limited, which company appears to have been dissolved. On what basis is Brunswick Development Group PLC able to operate and seek to obtain variations to a Planning consent granted to another Company.
Kemp Town Society
Jill Sewell, Hon Sec.