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Brighton’s green cred is good for business, say firms
Brighton’s green credentials are winning business for the city, according to planners and developers.
Firms say the fact that innovative businesses are insisting on sustainability puts the city in pole position to snare future contracts.
The comment comes in the wake of a £50,000 grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the Government’s innovation agency, to Brighton and Hove City Council to undertake a feasibility study to show how the city can join up its transport, communications and other infrastructure. If successful the city will be in line for £24 million of funding to implement its proposals.
Andy Parsons, director and chartered architect at Yelo Architects, said a sustainable mindset is becoming an inherent part of how the city does business.
He said the One Brighton scheme in the New England Quarter was the catalyst for it: “Since it was completed in 2010 it has become a point of reference, as it demonstrated that a high-density sustainable development would be welcomed by the city.
“The apartments sold well when the market was totally flat. This scheme feels very suited to Brighton and I can see more schemes like it develop, especially if Brighton is successful with its application to become a One Planet City.
“We are currently working on a number of projects where sustainability is an important part of the client’s business model. We are working with a boutique guest house start-up called FAB Guest that is sourcing everything locally from the building materials through to the toiletries and breakfasts.
“They felt the brand of Brighton is that of a green city and therefore their guests would expect it.”Colin Brace, boss at sustainable development company Boho Green, said the PortZED development at the Hove end of Shoreham harbour has been awarded funding from the Technology Strategy Board for a research programme.
He said: “Since the refusal of the original PortZED scheme earlier this year, the PortZED team has carried out extensive consultations with local residents and planning officers.
“As a result of these discussions, a new scheme is about to be submitted which includes a reduction in building height and the number of residential apartments, together with the removal of the helical wind turbines. “The developers are now confident that they have now satisfactorily addressed the original refusal reasons.
“PortZED is one of the few developments being studied which is located directly on the coast and as such the research findings will have particular significance to inform best building practice for coastal buildings in the future.
“The TSB research findings will be available from the visitor centre to be located at the PortZED development.
“It is important to design buildings today which will cater for future changes in climate and to allow them to be easily adapted as these changes occur.”
The Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce formed its Green Chamber Collective last year in response to a large number of green companies joining the Chamber.
Sarah Springford, director, said: “The collective features both companies selling green products and services, and those wanting to do businesses in a more sustainable way.
“The Green Chamber Collective aims to hold events to bring together like-minded people from businesses and other organisations and to promote the sector in the city to help it to thrive.
“We also aim to represent the sector in the city, taking up key issues with the Council and other bodies where necessary.
“For example we helped to promote the Eco Technology Show, and we are represented on the City Sustainability Partnership.”