PLANS for 160 flats on Hove seafront have been approved.

Almost 70 of them will be in King’s House, the former Brighton and Hove City Council headquarters which was sold for £26 million last year.

Two new blocks will also be built, one of which will be ten storeys high, along with an underground car park with space for 80 cars.

The city council’s planning committee raised concerns about a lack of parking and the limited number of “affordable” homes, as well as how developer contributions would be spent.

But they approved the flats, in Queen’s Gardens, Grand Avenue and Second Avenue, at a meeting last night.

Councillor Andrew Wealls said people would struggle to find a parking space in nearby streets.

And councillor Clare Moonan said the scheme included too few affordable homes.

She said: “There should be 68 affordable units but we have only 28.”

Councillor Jackie O’Quinn said: “A lot of people will not be able to afford the affordable housing anyway. Affordable should be affordable for all people.”

Councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the committee, said the developer had originally argued that the scheme would not be viable if it included affordable homes.

But the council had negotiated to ensure 28 affordable homes were included, she said.

The developer has also agreed to pay a £265,000 to go towards affordable homes elsewhere in the city.

The 1980s office extension in Grand Avenue will be demolished to make way for the ten-storey block of flats.

The developer said that the new building would be about the same height as the empty offices vacated a few years ago by the council.

One neighbour, Melinda Barrett, told the committee that the new block would overshadow and overlook homes next door.

She said: “There is an overwhelming loss of privacy. The flats were only looked over during office hours.

“A new ten-storey building with its oversized windows will end up overlooking all ten floors 24-7 and overshadowing.”

Another neighbour, Joy Robinson, also spoke about overlooking and asked for the developer contribution towards parks and open spaces could be spent nearer the site.

She said residents should have a say in where the money was spent.

A report said that £13,000 could be spent in Kingsway, Palmeira Square, St Ann’s Well Gardens, Hove Park, Aldrington Recreation Ground – also known as Wish Park – or Hove Lagoon.

A further £164,000  for parks and gardens could be spent in the same places.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty asked for a commitment to spending developer contributions on Hove Lawns as the closest site to King’s House.

Councillor Carol Theobald asked if money could be used to repair the railings or go towards restoring gardens in the area.

She said: “Money should be spent near the buildings not somewhere way away.”

Planning officer Jonathan Puplett said that some of the 69 flats proposed in King’s House were “below par” but allowances had to be made because of the listed building status.