Plans for a controversial boutique hotel in the centre of Brighton have been approved by city planners. Conran and Partners’ concept for The Light in Queen Square have attracted a degree of negative attention for the ‘intrusive’ nature of its hotel and residential units. The Regency Society of Brighton and Hove had spoken out about the proposed designs prior to their public release this morning.
A statement from Society Chair Mary McKean reads: “We do appreciate the difficulties of working within the historic context of the city and the need for developers and architects to come up with an economically viable development but this proposal remains intrusive for its neighbours.”
The approved concepts include 56 serviced apartments over six floors with duplex penthouses on the top two levels. These will be anchored by a series of cafes and restaurants underneath leading out into Queen Square. This central location is situated directly opposite the busy Churchill Square shopping mall and within sight of St Nicholas’ churchyard and the Grade II Listed Wykeham Terrace.
In response to the concerns of many locals, Paul Zara of Conran and Partners has explained: “The Light will bring a different type of accommodation to Brighton and is aimed at both the business and the leisure traveller. We have also listened to and acted on the comments from local people during the design and the planning process. The result, we believe, is a building that will play an important part in the growth of the visitor economy which is so important to Brighton’s economic future.”
The proposed site used to be a public ice rink but hasn’t been in use since 2003. It is currently bordered on two sides by offices and some residential units, and the location of Conran and Partners’ plaza is now being used as a taxi rank.