AN ARCHITECTURE expert has blasted plans for “huge” high-rise blocks.

Jeremy Mustoe, chairman of the Brighton Society, said three large developments tipped for the Hove Station area would dominate the area.

The neighbourhood plan, drawn up by the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum community group, includes the recently approved 17-storey tower in Ellen Street.

Mr Mustoe said the plan for the area would create more problems for school places, medical facilities and parking.

He said: “What about the overpowering effect such huge developments will have on the Hove skyline?

“Important criteria are also missing from this plan.

“All three demonstrate the forum has had in promoting huge and dominating developments in the centre of Hove, including their regrettable impacts on its character, scale and, appearance.

“The whole Hove Station neighbourhood should be protesting against the role of their neighbourhood forum in what we see as a severe failure of neighbourhood planning.

“If this neighbourhood plan, as one of the first in the city, is to set a model for others, there are lessons to be learned.”

Three major developments have been tipped for the neighbourhood.

Plans for a 17-storey block of flats in Ellen Street were backed by the neighbourhood forum and have been approved.

Meanwhile proposals for 148 flats in Newtown Road by developer KAP will be decided on by Brighton and Hove city councillors soon.

But an 800-home development set for Sackville Road estate was rejected by councillors in July.

Regardless, Mr Mustoe thought the plans would “be back” soon.

He said the neighbourhood forum should instead try to create “an inviting neighbourhood heart” in Hove.

“To be fair, the neighbourhood forum has lodged an objection to the KAP planning application on the grounds that it is overdevelopment of the site,” he said.

“This is rather surprising given that the other two much larger and taller developments to the west and north west of Hove Station have been supported by the neighbourhood forum.

“It seems that the main purpose of the plan is to promote prominently high rise development.”

Mr Mustoe quoted former housing minister Kit Malthouse, saying the city council should strive “to create a conservation area of the future”.

A spokesman for the forum said it would respond in full “as soon as practical”.