The ArgusRift with council halts ‘Hove Square’ scheme (From The Argus)

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Rift with council halts ‘Hove Square’ scheme

A multimillion pound redevelopment has been put on hold after disagreements between developers and council chiefs.

Hove-based firm Matsim have been working for three years to secure a six-hectare plot near Hove Station.

The plans, which have been dubbed Hove Square, include 90,000sq ft of office space for about 1,250 jobs, a nine-screen Vue cinema, a 22-storey building, supermarket and about 380 homes in five high-rise blocks.

But, with a self-imposed deadline for submitting a planning application passing, developers have admitted they have “downed tools”.

Further talks with planners from Brighton and Hove City Council will need to be held if the scheme is to get the go-ahead.

Developers called it a “once-in-a- lifetime opportunity” to transform the area, which includes Ellen Street, Conway Street and Fonthill Road. Brighton-based architects LCE, which won a competition to redesign the area, had said a planning application could be submitted by the end of October.

Developers were hopeful work could start by early 2014.

'Falling out'

However, at a public meeting on Wednesday, representatives from Matsim confirmed it had delayed plans.

Valerie Paynter of Save Hove said there appeared to have been a falling out between officers and developers.

She added: “Developers have to make enough money to get their investment back but what Matsim is proposing isn’t matching up with the council’s figures.”

The proposal is designed around a new pedestrian route, New Conway Street, which passes through the middle of the development with Hove Station at one end and Sackville Road at the other.

Cafes, restaurants and other shops will be included, with underground parking.

However, the current proposals do not meet the guidelines for the area in the draft City Plan, which will guide development until 2030.

It states it should provide a minimum of 575 homes and 4,000sqm employment floor space.

A council spokesman said: “Matsim Properties, the potential developer of the Hove Station site, is undertaking a review of the scheme in the light of discussions with the city council and the recent public consultation.

“Active design work for the scheme has therefore been put on hold for the time being.”

Planning discussion

Craig Ritchie, director at Matsim Properties, said: “We have had to stop our architects from working and this is as a result of discussions we have had with the planning department at the council and a misunderstanding of how their thinking is progressing.

“This is regrettable but it is the reality that we can only work on a development that we can deliver and that makes financial sense.”

The scheme is directly tied to the successful sale of The Argus headquarters in Hollingbury to Brighton and Hove Buses.

The bus company would turn the Hollingbury site into a depot, freeing up its current Conway Street site for development.

Newsquest, the parent company of The Argus, said the newspaper offices would be relocated to somewhere within the city boundary if the scheme goes ahead.

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Comments (11)

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1:42pm Fri 16 Nov 12

twigley says...

So, yet another B and H development dead duck to add to the list.
So, yet another B and H development dead duck to add to the list. twigley
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Phani Tikkala says...

Killed by the Council
Killed by the Council Phani Tikkala
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Fri 16 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

Why didn't the developers tick the boxes on the minimum development requirements and then use a bit of imagination to pull in some of the additonal benefits such as addtional office space?
Why didn't the developers tick the boxes on the minimum development requirements and then use a bit of imagination to pull in some of the additonal benefits such as addtional office space? HJarrs
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Fri 16 Nov 12

bug eye says...

Many residents went to look at the plans and it is great there is some open space and not overcrowded with boxy flats, for god sake council any business has to be flexible the draft plan is a guide not a bible. Think of the jobs and new homes and boost to the economy. I understand they may be renovating the council properties too. For too many years the council has put demands on developers that mean this city is becoming a dead duck, and just a quagmire of traffic schemes. At least we will be attracting tourists from all over the world to look at our hysterical road schemes.
Many residents went to look at the plans and it is great there is some open space and not overcrowded with boxy flats, for god sake council any business has to be flexible the draft plan is a guide not a bible. Think of the jobs and new homes and boost to the economy. I understand they may be renovating the council properties too. For too many years the council has put demands on developers that mean this city is becoming a dead duck, and just a quagmire of traffic schemes. At least we will be attracting tourists from all over the world to look at our hysterical road schemes. bug eye
  • Score: 0

4:43pm Fri 16 Nov 12

puddinghead says...

If they've been working on this for 3 years you'd have thought they'd be pretty up to date on the "thinking" of the planning department.

That aside the designs were awful. Perhaps they can refocus their sights on the King Alfred.
If they've been working on this for 3 years you'd have thought they'd be pretty up to date on the "thinking" of the planning department. That aside the designs were awful. Perhaps they can refocus their sights on the King Alfred. puddinghead
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Fri 16 Nov 12

saveHOVE says...

bug eye wrote:
Many residents went to look at the plans and it is great there is some open space and not overcrowded with boxy flats, for god sake council any business has to be flexible the draft plan is a guide not a bible. Think of the jobs and new homes and boost to the economy. I understand they may be renovating the council properties too. For too many years the council has put demands on developers that mean this city is becoming a dead duck, and just a quagmire of traffic schemes. At least we will be attracting tourists from all over the world to look at our hysterical road schemes.
The draft City Plan is not a 'guide'. It is a carefully constructed policy document. One may disagree about how much, what and where it should go, but as Planning Strategy officer Rob Fraser said to us (at our meeting where MATSIM's Craig Ritchie dropped his bombshell news), the City Plan has, by law, to meet the city's needs.

We are not privy to the details of what was said between the developers and the planners, but it seems clear that MATSIM rushed its fences and just put whatever they felt like putting into the plan.

Not enough conferring with the council's strategists (not just in planning) before they designed in all the various elements.

Certainly the supermarket would have been hard to get an artic full of goods to and the site is landlocked with difficult road access issues.

They haven't gone away. They'll be back but with a different scheme.

MATSIM know what they need to do to get their money back and within what time frame and it is probably not a match for what the Planners feel the city needs.

There are issues around how the officers see Hove. For instance George Street should now be a designated leisure centre in view of all the banks, beauty outlets, restaurants and bars there are now and the continuing loss of retailers. The die is cast and people enjoy it for what it has become.

Hove grew all the way up to the Downs and the fact is that the 6 hectare site now entirely owned by MATSIM could become a purpose-built retail area to provide for more and better shopping than is currently available. Not everyone wants a cinema and it is not in the Local Plan or the City Plan to put one here.

It is for the developers to provide over-riding evidence to justify going against Planning Policy to provide other things.

To read the report of the meeting where this happened, please go to www.savehove.wordpre
ss.com
[quote][p][bold]bug eye[/bold] wrote: Many residents went to look at the plans and it is great there is some open space and not overcrowded with boxy flats, for god sake council any business has to be flexible the draft plan is a guide not a bible. Think of the jobs and new homes and boost to the economy. I understand they may be renovating the council properties too. For too many years the council has put demands on developers that mean this city is becoming a dead duck, and just a quagmire of traffic schemes. At least we will be attracting tourists from all over the world to look at our hysterical road schemes.[/p][/quote]The draft City Plan is not a 'guide'. It is a carefully constructed policy document. One may disagree about how much, what and where it should go, but as Planning Strategy officer Rob Fraser said to us (at our meeting where MATSIM's Craig Ritchie dropped his bombshell news), the City Plan has, by law, to meet the city's needs. We are not privy to the details of what was said between the developers and the planners, but it seems clear that MATSIM rushed its fences and just put whatever they felt like putting into the plan. Not enough conferring with the council's strategists (not just in planning) before they designed in all the various elements. Certainly the supermarket would have been hard to get an artic full of goods to and the site is landlocked with difficult road access issues. They haven't gone away. They'll be back but with a different scheme. MATSIM know what they need to do to get their money back and within what time frame and it is probably not a match for what the Planners feel the city needs. There are issues around how the officers see Hove. For instance George Street should now be a designated leisure centre in view of all the banks, beauty outlets, restaurants and bars there are now and the continuing loss of retailers. The die is cast and people enjoy it for what it has become. Hove grew all the way up to the Downs and the fact is that the 6 hectare site now entirely owned by MATSIM could become a purpose-built retail area to provide for more and better shopping than is currently available. Not everyone wants a cinema and it is not in the Local Plan or the City Plan to put one here. It is for the developers to provide over-riding evidence to justify going against Planning Policy to provide other things. To read the report of the meeting where this happened, please go to www.savehove.wordpre ss.com saveHOVE
  • Score: 0

2:51am Sat 17 Nov 12

Athena says...

It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics.
It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics. Athena
  • Score: 0

9:36am Sat 17 Nov 12

menowhere says...

im all for developing the area but its got to be good for everyone not just Matsims pockets. next you will be wanting travellers to have the right to build what they like on their own land....suddenly your plan is not so great is it? planning department might annoy the hell out of you if trying to get something through but they do a hard job.
im all for developing the area but its got to be good for everyone not just Matsims pockets. next you will be wanting travellers to have the right to build what they like on their own land....suddenly your plan is not so great is it? planning department might annoy the hell out of you if trying to get something through but they do a hard job. menowhere
  • Score: 0

10:47am Sat 17 Nov 12

Athena says...

Obviously, Matsim does not want to make a financial loss, but profit is not the impetus here. Regenerating this important and central area of Hove for all to utilise and enjoy was the impetus. Trying to please all of the people all of the time is exceedingly difficult.
Obviously, Matsim does not want to make a financial loss, but profit is not the impetus here. Regenerating this important and central area of Hove for all to utilise and enjoy was the impetus. Trying to please all of the people all of the time is exceedingly difficult. Athena
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Sat 17 Nov 12

The Baron Pepperpot says...

Athena wrote:
It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics.
the awardfor 'Blindly attacking the Greens without evidence or proper consideration' goes today to....
[quote][p][bold]Athena[/bold] wrote: It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics.[/p][/quote]the awardfor 'Blindly attacking the Greens without evidence or proper consideration' goes today to.... The Baron Pepperpot
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Athena says...

The Baron Pepperpot wrote:
Athena wrote:
It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics.
the awardfor 'Blindly attacking the Greens without evidence or proper consideration' goes today to....
Not so blind or inconsiderate. But not willing to say more.
[quote][p][bold]The Baron Pepperpot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Athena[/bold] wrote: It's not so much that Matsim rushed its fences, but found itself falling headlong into the clutches of the Green agenda with its hands tied behind its back. Yet another triumph for the lack of vision which hampers Green politics.[/p][/quote]the awardfor 'Blindly attacking the Greens without evidence or proper consideration' goes today to....[/p][/quote]Not so blind or inconsiderate. But not willing to say more. Athena
  • Score: 0

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