DEVELOPERS have submitted plans for more than 100 new homes three years after first unveiling designs to transform an industrial estate.

Crowborough-based Cross Stone Urban Regeneration has submitted an outline planning application for new townhouses, flats and commercial space in School Road, Hove.

The scheme will deliver more than 40 affordable new homes to the city if granted permission.

A decision on the £10 million scheme could be made as early as November with developers hopeful of beginning work on site from next summer.

The site is currently home to a children’s play and football facility, a community hall, a motor accessory shop, a car tyre and servicing unit, a metal fabricators and several smaller units used as artist’s studios.

Cross Stone managing director Ross Barbour said the developers were looking to give the current occupants ample opportunity to find new homes.

The firm said it commissioned Brighton-based Morgan Carn Partnership Architects to design a predominantly residential scheme as there was little long-term interest for the “outdated” commercial site.

The proposed scheme will include 83 one, two and three-bedroom apartments in towers of up to five storeys, 21 three-bed terraced houses along with 527 square metres of commercial space and a basement car park of 93 car parking spaces and 158 cycle spaces.

A number of objections to the scheme have already been filed including concerns over the height of the flats, the pressure on nearby schools, increased traffic and a lack of community space to replace the existing play area.

Questions have also been raised as to why any commercial space had been included in the proposal when the nearby Gala Bingo redevelopment still had vacant units.

Plans for the site were unveiled at a public consultation at the start of 2013 which led to concerns being raised about its impact on neighbouring properties and increased traffic around West Hove School.

Previous proposals were for 62 two and three bedroom homes, four flats and almost three times as much commercial space.

Among the changes in the meantime, the orientation of the project’s two main terraces has been switched to follow the alignment of surrounding roads and a reduction in the proposed site’s footprint.

Mr Barbour said: “After the public consultation we went back to the council but then the planning officer changed and so there was a change of view in what was considered acceptable for the scheme.

“The site is largely occupied so we were not under great time pressure but the council also took an awful long time coming back to us which didn’t help.

“We are looking to phase the scheme because it’s quite a big development for us and because we want to give each business as much time as we could to move.

“We are looking at next summer as when we would want to start.

“The property market is holding up really well at the moment but we don’t want to be in a situation where we are holding 100 units and no sales.

“We will bring forward part of it and see how sales go.”

News story courtesy of The Argus

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