a:b:i:r architects win 5 year battle to secure planning permission for affordable housing
There are many communities in Britain that could benefit from additional affordable housing. Brighton is one of such city. Underneath its sunny façade the cultured seaside resort harbours all manner of complex economic and social issues. Recently reclaiming poll position as drugs death capital of the UK, the tourist hotspot may appear all smiles on the outside but areas of the city are in desperate need of a revamp, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by affordable housing organisation The Hyde Group.
Simon Atkins of a:b:i:r architects began working with The Hyde Group to devise an appropriate affordable housing development for Brighton in 2005, but the project – which has recently been granted planning approval – has suffered multiple setbacks. After three planning applications, two public inquiries and significant design changes, the scheme on the former Cover’s Yard site is one of the first tall buildings in the centre of Brighton & Hove to be successful at appeal
The L-shaped structure addresses the existing urban grain and is massed to avoid overshadowing of adjacent dwellings and gardens. Proposals are arranged in three distinct elements:
*a terrace of ground floor apartments with maisonettes above which read as 3 storey ‘town houses’ fronting the east boundary and relating to the existing Victorian terrace housing opposite and adjacent
*a 7 storey apartment block ‘tower’ on the north east corner of the site marking the corner of Melbourne Street and reflecting the mass and height of Enterprise Point on the opposite side of Melbourne Street
*a 4 storey apartment block with an ‘industrial’ aesthetic relating to the commercial units and brickwork facades of 124 Lewes Road
Simon Atkins who has led the project through from its inception and gave evidence at the public inquiry in May said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that the Planning Inspectorate has granted permission for this scheme. It is testament to our client’s determination that this is the right site for desperately needed affordable housing and it vindicates our belief in good quality design. We hope that this decision will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Lewes Road area.’