On The Drawing Board showcases planning permissions granted, scheme ideas and ideas for Brighton’s regeneration and future. This month: we look at some of the developments taking place in the city. If you are a property professional, or just have a great idea, get in touch on the channels below.
Off the Drawing Board and Winning Awards
We are happy to announce that a previous feature project from On the Drawing Board has now received an award from the Sussex Heritage Trust. It is exciting to see plans and aspirations taking form and finding success.
D+R Architects Trinity Medical Centre and Pharmacy
Deacon + Richardson Architects’ work at the Trinity Medical Centre and Pharmacy has won the Sussex Heritage Trust Commercial Award. This project featured the conversion of a grade II-listed church into a medical centre with a new-build pharmacy. The brief was to provide 1100sq/m floor area for two medical practices with as little impact on the building’s original fabric as possible. Now completed, the building will be able to provide modern facilities for the recently merged Sackville Medical Centre and Central Hove Surgery. The scheme achieved a “very good” environmental rating as assessed under BREEAM.
Baobab Withdean Road houses
After taking home the RIBA South East 2017 Award in July, Boabab Development’s and John Pardey Architects’ Withdean Road houses have now been awarded the Mid-Scale Residential Sussex Heritage Trust Award for the project titled The Traffic Lights. The project delivered three homes of the highest-quality that sit quietly in their context, using modern aesthetic to move the architectural conversation along in Brighton & Hove.
Planning Delays – Lost Opportunities For The City?
Domain’s application for a new-build block of five flats in Brighton was submitted in December 2016 and is currently number eight on the case officers’ list of 50 applications. At the current work rate, the poor applicants at the end of the list will have to wait another year until their proposals are dealt with.
The Brighton planning situation continues to cause delays with applications despite a new head at the start of the year. The true picture is being obscured by the Council policy of asking applicants to agree to an extension of time the day before their application is determined. Naturally, almost every applicant is so frustrated, and just relieved to have a decision in sight, that agreement to the extension is almost universal. Refusal consigns the application to an even longer indeterminate date for decision.
The planning department is clearly overstretched and funding cuts manifest. First-hand feedback confirms that banks and funders are shunning development in Brighton due to the lengthy delays in “processing” applications, (quite apart from the difficulties in actually negotiation an approval).
Dealing professionally and promptly with planning applications is essential to encourage the right applicants and developers to work in the city to produce high-quality schemes to enhance the city landscape. It’s the physical environment that draws people to places.
A change in policy from the council is required to allocate more funds to the planning department. If Domain’s current application had been determined on time, the council tax received from five flats over six months would probably completely cover the wages of the planning officers’ time spent dealing with it. A win-win situation for the Council, the community and the applicant.
Koru Architects have designed three contemporary investment properties, bringing life to a derelict site in west Brighton. Each three-bedroom family home has its own balcony, generous roof terrace and garage. The interiors are light-filled and spacious, with open-plan living areas.
The homes are timber-framed and utilise a range of natural materials throughout. The exterior is clad with light brick, oak timber and zinc to create a contrasting, but warm, aesthetic to the facade. These materials are natural and durable, providing a healthy internal environment. High levels of natural insulation and solar PV panels are specified, making the homes energy-efficient and low-carbon, allowing the occupants to generate their own clean energy and reduce their utility bills, as well as their carbon footprint.
The style of the three properties is contemporary and playful - with large areas of glazing, clean lines, and a bold aesthetic. The glazing and balconies are set back and window reveals are cladded with timber to contrast playfully with the dark zinc.