Agenda item - BH2022/02492 - 47 Trafalgar Street, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2022/02492 - 47 Trafalgar Street, Brighton - Full Planning


1.         The Planning Team Leader introduced the application to the committee.




2.         George Taylor addressed the committee as an objecting resident and stated that they considered the proposals to be an overdevelopment of the site and overbearing height and mass. The bulk and scale of the development was considered to cause harm to the amenities of the area. The level of impact on the area would be great. The Prince Albert pub next door is a landmark building, and the contemporary development would not be in keeping. It was noted that the pub features were not included in the scheme, as the proposed light well would obscure the pub window and prevent access to the exterior of the window for repairs. It was considered that the pub had a key role in the city and the ‘Agent of Change’ was not good enough, neither was the noise impact assessment.


3.         Ward Councillor McLeay sent a speech which was read out by the Democratic Services officer as follows: Speaking on behalf of local residents and business owners, I object to the current planning application to develop the site at 47 Trafalgar Street, based on the following material considerations. Loss of light or overshadowing: The scale and height of the planned development next to the Prince Albert pub and surrounding premises will block out much of the natural sunlight. The daylight/sunlight report states there will continue to be “some” impact, however, this continues to be seen as a significant impact by the neighbouring properties, especially as they are already limited in terms of the natural sunlight. The effect on listed buildings and conservation area: The excessive scale of the development is a major concern for the surrounding properties and premises and does not fit with the adjoining building. The Prince Albert pub is a grade II listed building, and a significant landmark on Trafalgar Street. The addition of a basement has also raised concerns as to how it will impact the foundations of the Prince Albert. Noise: The proximity of the Prince Albert pub, a much-loved music venue, is a particular concern. This is a point of reference reinforced by the sheer number of objections. It is developments like this that instigated the incorporation of the Agent of Change Principle into the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). That existing businesses and facilities should not have unreasonable restrictions placed on them as a result of developments permitted after they were established – where the operation of an existing business or community facility could have a significant adverse effect on new developments, and the applicant should be required to provide suitable mitigation before the development has been completed. The Planning application does not state a specific use for the site, apart from a Class E use class which covers a wide range of uses. These could vary in sound sensitivities and hours of operation. The Prince Albert pub has great cultural importance to the city as a live music venue, and planning applications within its vicinity should be considered carefully – with an intension to complement the surrounding premises, and not work against. The scale of the development, along with the demolition and re-development of the site would cause significant and prolonged disruption to the businesses either side. The councillor would be interested to see a planning application that better incorporates the surrounding area and shows how its Use Class will complement its surroundings for the benefit of the wider community. This is already a significant space in terms of ground floor landmass. I suggest Councillors consider the opportunity to reject this planning application and invite new applications for development that provide greater benefit to the local community.


4.         Luke Austin addressed the committee as the agent on behalf of the applicant and stated that the current car rental depot would be replaced with a new building which was altered to reflect officers’ concerns. The alterations included a new light well alongside a window in the pub adjoining. The development is non-residential. The Noise Impact Assessment was carried out over a weekend when bands were playing. The scheme will include robust sound insulation, which was supported by officers and included in the conditions. The E use class for the building covers a range of uses. The existing building is unattractive and was used for commercial purposes and of little interest. The proposals will add to the streetscene and is supported by the Heritage team. It was noted the applicant has worked with the officers to agree the final scheme.


5.         The Planning Manager noted that the Heritage team raised no concerns about the revised scheme, which meets daylight/sunlight requirements. The Agent of Change principle was applied, and the car yard being replaced by an E class use building was deemed acceptable.


Answers to Committee Member Questions


6.         Councillor Shanks was informed that the difference in height between the existing building and the proposals was 3.9m. It was confirmed that there would be a light well included in the development, which would allow light into the existing pub window which serves stairs. The Planning Team Leader noted there were no windows at first floor level in the proposals and the third floor was set back.


7.         Councillor Allen was informed by the Planning Team Leader that there was no artwork on the eastern elevation of the pub. The Planning Manager confirmed that a Deed of Easement to remove the right of future tenants to complain was not considered appropriate as the use was commercial so less sensitive, and the pub was already surrounded by residential developments. The Environmental Health Officer noted that no recent complaints have been made about the pub in this dense area with dwellings to the rear and existing commercial uses nearby.


8.         Councillor Theobald was informed that the planning officers and the Urban Design Officer expressed concerns regarding the design and daylight resulting in the design being changed. It was noted that there would be no change to the seating outside the pub and that the Heritage team found the proposals acceptable regarding the listed features of the pub and the conservation area. The Planning Team Leader confirmed that some cornicing only would be affected. The development was designed with a step back to limit the visual impact of the scheme.


9.         Councillor Nann was informed that the conditions are satisfactory and enforceable. The applicant is able to appeal. The Planning Team Leader confirmed the applicant has 6 months to appeal following a refusal, and they may re-apply for planning permission. An application can also be made to vary a condition.


10.      Councillor Fishleigh was informed by the Planning Team Leader that the materials would be agreed by condition. Detailed drawings would also be required by condition. The Urban Design Officer considered the design was mediocre and could be improved, however, the current scheme is adequate. The Planning Manager clarified that the Urban Design Officer’s concerns related to light coming into the building for future users, not impacts on surrounding dwellings.


11.      Councillor Robinson was informed that there was no courtyard in the proposals and that there had not been one on site for many years, However, there was a light well incorporated into the building. On balance the scheme is acceptable.


12.      Councillor Cattell was informed that there was a delay in receiving information from the applicant, hence the delayed response to consultation. The Urban Design Officer stated they were open to discussions and comments at each stage.


13.      Councillor Theobald was informed that it was apparent from some of the objections that a some did not realise that the residential elements of the scheme had been removed.


14.      Councillor Shanks was informed that the design was acceptable, as was the sunlight/daylight assessment. A Deed of Easement would be a legal agreement between the site owners and the pub, and this would not be enforceable by the council.


15.      Councillor Loughran was informed that the application could not be refused on the basis that applicant updated their submission but did not explicitly set out responses to concerns raised or update their Design and Access Statement. There were no objections regarding energy and sustainability with conditions securing acceptable levels.




16.      Councillor Fishleigh considered the design was mediocre and not good. The councillor was against the application.


17.      Councillor Nann considered the music venue to be valuable and not enough was being proposed to protect the venue. The councillor did not consider the design good enough, bringing nothing to the area and stated they were against the application.


18.      Councillor Cattell considered the applicant had gone a long way to protect the listed building, however, there was a need to mitigate the impact of the new development. The site needs developing; however, the councillor was against the application.


19.       Councillor Robinson considered the development too bulky, and not of an acceptable design. A better design was required for this site. A Deed of Easement would be a good idea.


20.      Councillor Theobald considered the existing building to be unattractive and they were glad the holiday lets had been removed from the development. The sound proofing needs to be good. The scheme was considered an overdevelopment of the site and impactful on the neighbouring pub. The councillor was not keen on the application.


21.      Councillor Hamilton considered the application was difficult to decide as there were some good points, and others were only acceptable. The councillor was against the application.




22.      A vote was taken, and unanimously the committee voted against the case officers’ recommendation. Councillor Cattell proposed, and Councillor Nann seconded, the application should be refused. The wording to be agreed by the Planning Manager with the proposer and seconder.


23.      A recorded vote was taken, and the following councillors voted for the refusal: Allen, Cattell, Fishleigh, Hamilton, Nann, Robinson, Shanks, Theobald, Winder and Loughran.


24.      RESOLVED: That planning permission be refused for the following reasons:


1.    Failure to demonstrate the future use of the new development would not have a detrimental impact on the Prince Albert public house as a heritage and cultural asset.


2.    Failure to demonstrate the design, bulk and footprint of the development has responded to the character of the North Laine area, including its heritage features.


3.    Failure to demonstrate that the scheme would not have an unacceptable impact on the amenity of residents of Over Street, including through the built form being overbearing.

Supporting documents:


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