Work on a stalled Hove development has started - three years after planning permission was granted.

Plans to turn the former Gala Bingo site in Portland Road, Hove, into 35 flats and a doctor's surgery were approved in October 2010.

However, the site has sat empty for a year after the bulldozers moved in last April.

David Shepherd, assistant development director at Affinity Sutton, which is behind the scheme, said: “We are delighted to be starting work to bring the Gala Bingo Hall site back into use.

“We are proud to be delivering much needed affordable homes in Brighton, as well as providing a new surgery and pharmacy, and look forward to completing this exciting new scheme.

The design by Brighton-based Conran and Partners is described as a contemporary interpretation of the Edwardian architecture in the surrounding area.


After opposition from locals about the size of the scheme, the proposal was rejected by Brighton and Hove City Council's planning committee in April 2010.

At the time, Tony Mernagh, of the Brighton and Hove Business Forum, said: “The rejection of the application will do little for the city's reputation as a place where developers can come to build much needed homes.”

However, it was overturned when developers appealed the decision to the national Planning Inspectorate.

Of the 35 units, 14 will be shared ownership with the remaining units will be for private sale. There will also be 18 on-site parking places.

The site is situated adjacent to West Hove School and contractors said any works need to be carried out to coincide with the school holidays.

Work is expected to be completed by February 2015.

Ward councillor Anne Pissaridou said: “I'm delighted that work is finally going to start on the Gala Bingo site after a saga that feels like it has dragged on far too long.

“Residents have voiced their concerns to me over the delays to the project, especially after the demolition of the former Bingo Hall and Cinema building last year simply left a totally vacant area in the heart of the busy Portland Road area.

“Given the scale and controversy surrounding the development, I will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that the developers do all they can to ensure local residents are not adversely affected by the construction process.”