AN IN-DEMAND art studio and gallery is to get a second home in a refurbished brewery of yeaster-year.

The Phoenix Brighton will give the former Portslade Brewery a new lease of life under plans which will also create almost 50 homes.

Staff at the arts charity said its current home in Waterloo Place, also the site of a former brewery, had a long waiting list with many artists priced out of London.

The scheme for the 1880 South Street brewery complex, approved on Wednesday, includes 37 flats, 11 homes and 674 square metres of studios, galleries, community space and a cafe.

Three recent bids to convert the site, last occupied by energy and electronics company Mersen UK, were refused last year.

The most-recent plans were not universally popular, with 23 objections to the “overdevelopment” of the site, concerns about increased traffic and pressure on other infrastructure and the impact on homes in Portslade Old Village dating back to the reign of King Henry VIII.

The council’s own economic development officers objected to the “unsatisfactory” 40 jobs the proposed employment space would create compared with a potential 135 if a new tenant could be found for the existing space.

Planning policy officers also objected that the applicants had yet to prove the existing site was not attractive to potential tenants.

Ward councillor Les Hamilton had called for a decision to be deferred at yesterday’s committee meeting until transport issues had been resolved.

He opposed giving resident access from High Street, which has 12 listed homes dating back more than 400 years.

Transport consultant Richard Fitter said changing access from High Street to Drove Road would be “extremely difficult” because of a 2.4 metre level difference of the site would require a 30m ramp.

Councillor Joe Miller said the site suited a residential scheme more than industrial and the plans had attracted a fairly low number of objections while Councillor Carol Theobald praised the “wonderful renovation” of a historic building which would improve the area.

Councillor Leo Littman was pleased a “wonderful building” would be renovated.

He welcomed Phoenix bringing new life to a former brewery as it had to the 100,000 square foot Tamplin’s factory in Albion Street, Brighton, which once employed 150 men.

Councillor Julie Cattell, committee chairwoman, said: “It’s very pleasing to approve much-needed new homes, preserve our heritage and make good use of vacant brownfield sites which can so often become run down.

“Instead these developments should bring new life to these locations, boosting the local community and economy.”