BH2021/04068 - Saxon Works, Land to the rear of 303-305 Portland Road, Hove


Councillor Sankey Comments


Please find below a number of my objections and concerns regarding the Planning Application for Saxon Works due to come before the Planning Committee this Wednesday 8th March 2023.


1.    Overlooking and loss of privacy for residents in adjacent properties with North-facing gardens on Portland Road. The proposed Saxon Works development consists of a new 5 story apartment building whose balconies and windows will be South-facing and so directly overlook existing residents. The development site is on an already elevated piece of land. Several residents have raised this concern and the impact it will have on their privacy and private use of their properties and gardens.


2.    Loss of sunlight to residents at 305 Portland Road will be particularly acute as a result of the three-story commercial unit that will be right up against their boundary wall. This unit will block the majority of the light at the back of the house to their kitchen/diner and back garden. The Daylight, Sunlight & Overshadowing report submits that this will equate to a 57% loss of sunlight which is a significant reduction. This represents overdevelopment of the site and there is evidence that commercial units in the area have been lying empty.


3.    Total absence of any affordable housing provision, contrary to City Plan Part Two and the housing needs of the City.


4.    The financial viability report concludes that this proposed development is not viable and produces a financial deficit of -£498,808. The planned underground carpark adds a huge amount to the cost of the project arguably making it unviable and demonstrating that what is proposed is overdevelopment of the space. Could the proposed residential properties not be car-free (given the good public transport connections) therefore avoiding the need for an underground car-park and making the development financially viable with fewer/more affordable properties.


5.    Highway issues – the proposed Saxon Works development will bring many new vehicles to the area. Olive Road and the Olive Road/Portland Road junction is already very heavily congested (anecdotally Olive Road is believed to be one of the most congested roads in Hove as it is one of the few roads in the area that crosses the railway track) and there are numerous road accidents in this area – residents tell me there was another bad accident at this junction two weeks ago.


6.    Noise, smells and fumes from the planned excavation of the carpark. I am also concerned at the suggestion that the demolition and building works will take place over seven days each week which will negatively affect all residents in the surrounding area.


7.    The Saxon Works application would reduce the number of available parking spaces for Martello Lofts residents from 31 to 22 (including a reduction of 3 disabled parking spaces to 1 disabled space). This appears to be in direct contravention of the planning application specifications that were approved for Martello Lofts, in particular a condition requiring 31 spaces. How is it possible/legal for an application to be approved which breaches a condition of a pre-existing planning approval? I understand that the developer has submitted Planning Application BH2023-00103 requesting permission to remove six of these Martello Lofts car parking spaces, but this application is currently outstanding and has not been decided. I also understand that as Martello Lofts exists on a private estate/land, Martello Lofts residents will not be permitted to request residents permits to allow them to park on neighbouring streets, e.g., Controlled Parking Zone L on Portland Road, meaning that residents who have purchased/rented Martello Lofts flats on the basis that they come with a parking space will be impacted.


Kind regards


Cllr Bella Sankey

Labour Councillor for Wish Ward