AN eight-storey block of flats has been approved for the site of a former housing office.

The 30 flats are being built by Brighton and Hove City Council and are intended to be let for “affordable” rents.

Thirteen letters of objection were sent by the public, with most concerned about the height of the scheme in Selsfield Drive, Moulsecoomb, Brighton.

The planning committee was told the block would be eight storeys high when seen from Lewes Road and seven storeys high when seen from Selsfield Drive.

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “This has caused some controversy for our tenants but I firmly believe this is a good scheme.

“I like the design and hope we will have some more of this in the future.”

Each floor has two one-bedroom and two two-bedroom flats, with the one-bed flats facing Lewes Road and the two-bedroom flats looking over Selsfield Drive.

The lower ground floor has two “accessible” two-bedroom flats as well as cycle parking and plant rooms.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald abstained from voting, saying: “I am not keen on the addition of two floors as, at pre-

application, members raised concerns about the height of the building when it was five. I am not keen on the design and not keen on the colour either.”

Fellow Conservative councillor Joe Miller supported the project saying he wanted to see more development of the Bates Estate.

However, he was unimpressed with the proposed railings, criticising their appearance, and said he would prefer opaque balconies.

Referring to the loss of light for a few residents in the neighbouring block, he said: “One concern is the three windows in the building next door. But this is is affordable housing which is good to do.”

Committee chairwoman Labour councillor Julie Cattell said: “I know how far the project team have been pushed on this. We have pushed quite hard. We’ve had to consider the tree and the impact on other buildings. This design has really changed.”