A CONSERVATION society has criticised a new building development as a "dense, dark wind tunnel".

The Brighton Society has slammed the development on Circus Street in Brighton as a "vision not realised" and said that the "canyons of concrete" have not lived up to the artist's impression.

A spokesman of the society said: "People were presented with this in consultation along with other information, but it's fairly difficult to visualise the reality of the building, so developers sell their buildings through an impression but the small details get lost in some cases.

"A city has to evolve, but you have to consider the impact it has on the city.

"We are concerned with the type of developments being produced in the city, particularly the height and the look of them tend to be rather generic looking. There may be an adornment or adding to that by some colouration, but they are not going to enhance the city architecturally.

The spokesman added that Brighton is seen as a creative artistic city, and that this should be translated into its architecture.

However, developers U+I have said they are "surprised" by the society's reaction and that they are "immensely proud of how much it feels like it belongs in Brighton".

A spokesperson for U+I said: "Anyone who saw our early artists impressions and the wooden model which we displayed at the public consultation exhibitions we held back in 2013 will know that we have realised exactly what our award-winning architects Shedkm intended and displayed.

"Circus Street was designed to deliver a well thought out community which reflects the urban grain of the city's lanes, offering much needed space for people to live, work and enjoy culture, punctuated by lovely squares and public art.

"When the Dance Space opens next year and our new retail and hospitality tenants move in, enlivening the ground floor level units across the site, our vision for Circus Street will be fully realised."

The Brighton Society pointed the blame for the development not at the local council but at the planning system implemented from central government, which they alleged favours developers.

"The way the system is set up at the minute, if the planning committee reject a plan, they will come against an inspectorate that comes down on behalf of the developer who will most of the time wave the development through and the council would be penalised," the society's spokesman said.

The society encouraged residents to think hard when consultations for housing and other building developments come up and to scrutinise the detail.

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