11:56am Tuesday 5th February 2013
By Kimberly Middleton
BRIGHTON and Hove’s homeless could be housed in shipping containers by the summer.
A planning application to put 36 converted containers on a site was submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council yesterday.
If the application is agreed they would be installed for up to five years next to the Cobbler’s Thumb pub in New England Road.
The plot, known as Richardson’s Yard, is currently used as a car park.
Plans filed to the council propose two blocks of the containers, three and five storeys high, with gardens and solar panels on the roofs.
The joint scheme by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) and local developers QED is aimed at easing the city’s acute housing shortage.
It is hoped they will be used as a temporary place to live for people as they search for somewhere permanent to call home.
Ross Gilbert, from QED, said: “This scheme would put Brighton and Hove at the forefront of innovation, alongside Amsterdam and Bremen, in providing imaginative and high quality temporary use.
“We have undertaken consultation and discussion with potential residents, the local community, community leaders and the local council prior to our submission.
“We are hoping for a decision in April, which would lead to having the units ready for occupation by the summer.”
BHT chief executive Andy Winter said: “This is a typically Brighton idea, a solution to deal with a local problem. The reaction we have had has been almost universally positive.
“The original concept has been developed and enhanced by some great suggestions people have made. I have always said that what really excites me about this opportunity is that land that might otherwise lie idle for five years will be brought back into life.”
Using shipping containers for homes is common in Amsterdam, where they form student flats, accommodation for the Salvation Army and a hotel.
View the application on the planning section of Brighton and Hove City Council’s website, reference number BH2013/00245.
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