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First new homes for innovative low cost housing partnership

Posted on 15 July 2019

Work is due to start on the first development by an innovative partnership building 100% low cost homes for local people in the city.

Approval to build 242 low cost homes in Coldean Lane was agreed at the planning committee on Wednesday 10 July.

The homes are being developed by Homes for Brighton & Hove - a partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council and the Hyde Group aiming to build 1,000 new low cost homes for rent and sale for lower income working households in the city.

Building new low cost homes

The new homes will be built on council-owned land to the east of Coldean Lane. The site has been identified as suitable for the development of housing in the City Plan.

The homes will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats in six and seven storey buildings making the best use of the sloping 3.3 hectare site. There will also be a number of wheelchair accessible homes on the ground floor.

Half of the new homes will be available for rent to people on the council’s joint housing register, with the other half to buy available as shared ownership homes.

Listening to residents

Homes for Brighton & Hove held two rounds of consultation with local residents over the summer of 2018 before finalising the plans.

Following concerns raised about parking, the designs were amended to increase the number of spaces from 120 to 162. That offers parking for 67% of the homes - 17% more than vehicle ownership studies recommend.

A car club space has also been added, along with a Brighton Bike share scheme hub, offering shared transport options that can benefit the wider local community.

Changes were also made to the road junction plans to include a right turn filter lane, and two pedestrian crossing islands and 30mph speed signage were added to improve safety on Coldean Lane.

The height and scale of the blocks and number of homes were reduced to improve the visual impact of the site and allow better views from the South Downs.

The amount of green space and play space and the number of footpaths were also increased.

The development will provide more trees and chalk grassland than are currently on the site, offer long-term wildlife management and incorporate large areas of natural habitat.

Maintaining the habitat

An ancient woodland will remain untouched and 0.94 hectares of woodland will receive ongoing management to improve the health of the trees and help conserve the woodland.

Fewer trees will be felled than originally planned and they will be replaced with a greater number of new trees.

To improve chalk grassland, 1.6 hectares will be planted with native species – more than the 0.97 hectares lost from the development.

In addition a landscape and ecological management plan provides for the long-term management of habitats, species and other biodiversity features.

The proposal also offers half a million pounds for parks and gardens, play and indoor sports facilities and more than £200,000 for secondary and sixth form education provision to be spent in the local area.

Working together to deliver new homes

Councillor John Allcock, chair of the council’s Housing & New Homes Committee and chair of Homes for Brighton & Hove, said: “We are in a national housing crisis and the city is urgently in need of low cost homes. We know that many people raised in the city can no longer afford to live here and more people than ever are at risk of homelessness.

“Alongside our commitment to speed up the delivery of new rented council homes, Homes for Brighton & Hove is a key part of our plans to increase the supply of genuinely affordable homes in the city. It will be the largest single development of 100% affordable housing in the city for a generation.

“This is a clear priority for us and it’s very exciting to see the first proposals from the partnership taking such a significant step forward. Joining forces with Hyde allows us to speed up the delivery of new low cost homes and look at sites neither of us would be able to do as effectively alone.

“We’ve listened to residents and understand their concerns about both the challenges the benefits this development will have on the local community.

“The feedback we received helped us improve the scheme in ways that we believe will enhance the existing community and their new neighbours, as well as helping us meet urgent local needs for housing.”

Tom Shaw, Managing Director (Development) at the Hyde Group said: “Homes for Brighton & Hove is an innovative partnership set up with the sole purpose of building genuinely affordable homes for local people in Brighton & Hove.

“We are delighted to have reached this exciting milestone of securing planning approval for the first homes, and look forward to beginning construction shortly.

“There is no single answer to tackling the housing shortage in Brighton & Hove, but this project will undoubtedly provide a real boost to affordable housing delivery in the city.”