Hotel at former Brighton ice rink site gets all-clear

Conran Partners artist's impression of proposed hotel

Conran Partners artist's impression of proposed hotel

First published in News by

A controversial plan to build a hotel on a former ice rink has been given the all-clear – despite threats of a judicial review.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee needed to take a revote when the five-storey proposal for Queen Square, Brighton, was discussed.

This was because councillors who originally voted down the scheme could not agree reasons to refuse it. Residents called the process “a shambles” at the time and pledged to raise £17,000 to get the decision reviewed at a national level.

However, despite collecting some money, residents are on the verge of giving in after the local authority signed off on the planning approval earlier this month.

Campaigner Shaun Kiddell, who is also an expert on parks, said: “We feel let down. The only option we have is a judicial review but we’re struggling to get the money together.

“Unless we have the backing of a wealthy benefactor then it looks like a long shot.”

Brighton-based architects Conran and Partners are behind the plans to create The Light Apart Hotel on the site near Brighton’s Clock Tower.

The Argus: Sussex Ice Rink in Queen Square

The former ice rink, which has been vacant since 2003, will be replaced by a café and restaurants below 56 apartments. Up to 30 jobs are expected to be created.

However, residents were concerned the development was too tall, believing it would have a negative impact on the nearby medieval St Nicholas’ Church and the 19th century row of houses known as Wykeham Terrace.

The decision to approve it was taken in June. Mr Kiddell said he hoped council leader Jason Kitcat would have referred it back to the planning committee for further consideration.

'Valid decision'

But Coun Kitcat said: “I do understand residents’ concerns, however the planning committee did make a valid decision which has been confirmed to the developer.

“Planning decisions are not something the administration is directly responsible for and I, as leader, do not have the power to reverse decisions of the committee, which unfortunately was the false impression circulated to some in the community.

“Any significant development is going to result in some level of compromise between the interests involved and local stakeholders, as is the case here.”

Paul Zara, of Conran, confirmed the section 106 agreement was signed with the council, adding: “Judicial review is a matter between the council and whoever wants to pursue this.”

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Comments (5)

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5:44pm Fri 21 Dec 12

bug eye says...

Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite.
Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite. bug eye
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Fri 21 Dec 12

onerob says...

It's slap bang in the middle of the city. How can four storeys be too tall?
It's slap bang in the middle of the city. How can four storeys be too tall? onerob
  • Score: -1

2:21am Sat 22 Dec 12

funkyyoyo says...

negative impact on the town of brighton...bit late for that comment just take a look at the ugly brighton centre building,mostly all mismatched
negative impact on the town of brighton...bit late for that comment just take a look at the ugly brighton centre building,mostly all mismatched funkyyoyo
  • Score: 0

7:35am Sat 22 Dec 12

george smith says...

bug eye wrote:
Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite.
And why would that be I wonder?
[quote][p][bold]bug eye[/bold] wrote: Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite.[/p][/quote]And why would that be I wonder? george smith
  • Score: 0

10:59am Fri 28 Dec 12

Resident in Hanover says...

bug eye wrote:
Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite.
fear not, the Green Party care about the environment and landscape and know how to draw pretty pictures
[quote][p][bold]bug eye[/bold] wrote: Its all well and good having approval based on pretty pictures if the end result is the same. I am not so sure this is the case on Western esplanade, where once was an attractive seaside villa now stands an ugly odd box double the original size full of mish mashed archictecture neither contemporary or attractive, built too high but still got retrospective approval. Conran seems a council favourite.[/p][/quote]fear not, the Green Party care about the environment and landscape and know how to draw pretty pictures Resident in Hanover
  • Score: 0

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