The Anston House site, beside Brighton's Preston Park, has been derelict for some years. A development of the site is welcomed, especially if it provides a decent level of affordable housing.
In 2012 South African bankers Investec and architects Urban Splash proposed cramming 231 flats onto this 0.6 hectare site, including flats so small that many other local authorities wouldn't have permitted them to be built. This 164 foot high building would have cast serious shadows over the Grade II Listed Preston Park.
With Brighton & Hove City Council rushing to meet ambitious housing targets, council planners recommended the Planning Committee give consent to an application for one of the largest private residential buildings in Brighton's history.
The proposed building was grossly out of proportion for the site and would have a precedent for very tall buildings along the remainder of the Preston Road corridor.
Luckily local planning councillors rejected the plan.
But the battle isn't over yet. Urban Splash may still appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. We need to demonstrate our continued opposition to this plan.
Brighton deserves a better legacy. Please urge our Planning Department to make sure this site gets the building this prominent site deserves.
See also the Brighton Society for updates
The letter below was originally sent to the Planning Department to express our opposition to Urban Splash's proposed development on the Anston House site.
Though the proposals have been rejected by Planning Committee, I understand that this matter may still go to appeal.
While I want our city to provide new homes, I think the proposed development BH2012/02205 is the wrong building for Brighton. It's out of proportion for the site, will blight Preston Park and is out of character with the wider neighbourhood.
Let's not make this building a precedent for lowering our standards. Please work with developers Investec and Urban Splash to make this a better building for Brighton.