Agenda item - BH2020/02211 - Rockwater, Kingsway, Hove - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2020/02211 - Rockwater, Kingsway, Hove - Full Planning



(1)              It was noted that an in depth presentation had been provided by officers in advance of the meeting and was included on the council website detailing the scheme by reference to site plans, elevational drawings and photographs which showed the scheme in the context of neighbouring development and the seafront.


(2)        It was noted that the principle of regenerating the property and improving the overall range of attractions on the seafront was supported, as were the benefits the proposed works could bring to the wider area. However, the property was in a sensitive location in the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area, and the increase in height was considered harmful without public benefits to outweigh that harm. It was not considered that sufficiently robust reasons to outweigh that harm had been given and refusal was therefore recommended.


          Public Speakers


(3)        Councillors Appich and Henry spoke in their capacity as Local Ward Councillors stating that in their view the proposed external alterations and extensions would improve the appearance of the existing structure,  help to regenerate and enhance the appearance of a neglected part of the seafront, would have improved disabled access, had local support and would also generate employment opportunities. The building was located at a significant distance from the nearest neighbouring dwellings and it was not considered that there would be a detrimental impact on the conservation area. They considered that planning permission should be granted.


(4)        Mr Coomber spoke on behalf of the Walsingham Road Residents’ Association, setting out their objections to the proposed scheme. Use of the premises had given rise to noise nuisance in the past and any intensification would exacerbate that. The current works had proceeded and would have a detrimental impact for residents and on the setting of the conservation area and existing neighbouring development and access to the site would impact on existing transport issues, particularly in relation to additional taxi movements associated with dropping off and picking up from the site.


(5)        Messrs Carter and Wilson spoke on behalf of the applicants in support of their scheme. They referred to the appearance of the existing building which in their view was not itself sympathetic to its location. Alterations to the roofscape would improve its appearance and would not add significant height to the building or increase any existing harm. It was intended that the improvements would encourage greater community use and would help to improve and regenerate that part of the seafront.


(6)        Councillor Yates sought clarification in respect of access to the site and it was confirmed that the capacity of the building would not be increased so it was not envisaged that taxi or other vehicular movements would increase.


(7)        Councillors Miller, Theobald and Fishleigh enquired regarding the hours of operation of the premises and it was confirmed that whilst the ability to open until 3.00am (as existing) would be retained generally the premises would close at 1.00am.


(8)        Councillor Yates also enquired regarding existing conditions and it was confirmed that Environmental Health Officers had not raised any objections to the application.


(9)        In answer to questions of Councillor Theobald, the rationale for placing the lift at the east of the building was explained, also the location of the disabled toilet facilities. It was confirmed that use of the outside decked area would not be permitted after 11.00pm.


(10)      Councillor Miller referred to conditions applied in relation to hours of operation of various areas of the building. The Legal Adviser to the Committee stated that any conditions applied needed to be proportionate re-iterating that no objections had been made by environmental health and that final conditions could be agreed in consultation with the Chair and any other specified members.


          Debate and Decision Making Process


(11)      Councillors Childs and Yates considered that the proposals would affect improvements to a neglected part of the seafront and that the proposed increase in the height was in their view acceptable in this instance and an exception could be made.


(12)      Councillor Miller referred to the fact that there appeared to be a lot of public support and that the proposals would provide a lot of social benefit. Although the roof height would be slightly higher than the existing in this instance it was acceptable subject to suitable conditions being applied to any permission granted. Councillor Theobald also concurred in that view.


(13)      Councillor Shanks considered that the application if approved could set an unfortunate precedent and she was therefore unable to support it.


(14)      A vote was taken and the 9 Members present voted by 8 to 1 not to accept the officer recommendation. Councillor Miller proposed that planning permission be granted on the grounds that the additional height of the building would not be overly prominent or contrary to the identified character of the Western Esplanade, nor would it fail to preserve and enhance the setting of the conservation area. This was seconded by Councillor Yates. A recorded vote was then taken. Councillors Childs, Fishleigh, Janio, Littman, the Chair, Miller, Osborne, Theobald and Yates voted that planning permission be granted. Councillor Shanks voted that planning permission be refused. Therefore on a vote of 8 to 1 planning permission was granted.


92.5      RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration the recommendations set out in the report but agrees to GRANT planning permission for the reasons set out above. Planning conditions to be imposed are to be agreed by the Planning Manager in consultation with the Chair and Opposition Spokespersons.


            Note: Having declared a prejudicial interest in the above application Councillor Henry spoke in his capacity as a Local Ward Councillor, then withdrew from the meeting and took no part in the debate or decision making process.

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