THE £80 million “Hove Gardens” plans have been granted permission.

Developer Matsim was told by Brighton and Hove City Council the proposals for shops, offices and flats did not contain enough affordable housing.

It is now set to go ahead after an independent inspector granted permission, despite the council turning it down two years ago.

The plans for the site near Hove Station will provide 186 one-three bedroom apartments as well as 21,500 square foot of office space.

There will also be 2,500 square foot of “small street level units” for businesses.

Apartment blocks rising up to 15 storeys would be finished with rooftop allotments and communal gardens.

The proposals cover the site between the Brighton and Hove Bus depot and the Clarendon Road Estate.

It is considered the first phase of a masterplan for the area that straddles the railway line.

The council told the Sussex-based developer that it wanted 25 per cent of the homes to be affordable, which would equate to 47 flats.

But following an appeal, the plans, which have now been approved, only include provisions for 19 flats.

Nick Lomax from LCE architects said: “I’m pleased it has got through the appeal.

“While it’s important to get affordable housing it was a site that was going to be difficult because it was the first phase of development, which is always get off the ground.”

Talking about designing the site, Mr Lomax said: “You want to make the best use of the land and at the same time, create good flats for people to live in.

“Obviously it’s right by Hove Station so it’s a sustainable location and will provide much-needed housing.

“It will provide offices as well as housing, and small retail units could be a cafe or two. It’s also better to look out on that, than what the current site is.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The Inspector was satisfied with the addition of a review mechanism to this application. This gives the council the opportunity to reappraise viability at a later date, to ensure that if the value of the development increases, any surplus is shared with the council in the form of an improved affordable housing contribution.

“The inspector refused the request from Matsim Properties Limited for their costs to be paid for by the council. He was satisfied that the judgement of the planning committee was balanced and that council had not acted unreasonably during the application process. The committee report acknowledges the regeneration potential of the scheme and its sustainable location next to Hove station.”