A COMMUNITY is rallying against plans to turn workshops into three houses and a flat.

The workshops are in the old coach garage in Hollingdean Terrace, Brighton, now known as Coachwerks.

It is home to a number of small businesses including a vegan grocers, artists’ studios and a music studio.

Tenants and neighbours have sent 70 letters opposing the proposal for the site which is described in a planning application as being in a “predominantly residential road” with traditional terraced houses.

The planning application has been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council by planning and design company Whaleback on behalf of the owner Patricia Camping.

The application said that the building was subdivided through “improvised partitions” without modern standard light, heating and safety systems.

In its place, three two-bedroom houses and a two-bedroom flat are planned.

The plans retain a modest amount of employment space, which is described as a potential area for existing tenants.

But one of the tenants, whose details have been redacted on the council’s website, said: “All communities need a mixture of people and resources to thrive.


“For many years Coachwerks has provided an essential and affordable space for myself and many other artists to create and develop their craft.

“I also work in the field of mental health and there is a wealth of clear evidence about the positive impact of creative activities on mental health and wellbeing.

“We need to have affordable spaces to enable and support this.

“The proposal to demolish this space will have a detrimental effect on tenants for this reason, as well as all the other environmental and other well stated concerns.”

Another tenant wrote: “Coachwerks has given me the chance to start a small business and have studio space to develop my craft, affordable in Brighton.

“The community use the building for shopping and well-attended events such as the Christmas event, workshops or the local art in the gallery.

“We have art, craft, music, technology and start-ups happening in Coachwerks.

“It is absolutely vital for us and the local community.”

Another objector wrote: “Coachwerks has brought many positive aspects to the community of Hollingdean over the years.

“That includes Hollingdean Wholefoods (situated in the building) which, as a not-for-profit wholefoods outlet, means otherwise expensive (that is healthy) food is available and affordable locally.

“And their commitment to cutting waste is actually working rather than just being lip service.

“Doing away with interesting spaces, and that is sadly happening all over town, will result in a bland and monotonous area, no different from many other places.


“Hollingdean, and Brighton as a whole, will lose its uniqueness.”

The application can be viewed by searching for BH2020/00018 on the council website at planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk.