Agenda item - BH2018/02483, Land Adjacent 6 Falmer Avenue, Brighton - Removal or Variation of Condition

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Agenda item

BH2018/02483, Land Adjacent 6 Falmer Avenue, Brighton - Removal or Variation of Condition


1.          It was noted that this application had formed the subject of a site visit prior to the meeting.


2.          Liz Arnold (Principal Planning Officer) introduced the application and gave a detailed presentation by reference to site location plans, elevational drawings and photographs. It was noted that the main considerations in the determination of this application relate to the proposals the subject of the variation of condition 2. These include the impact of the proposed amendments on the appearance and character of the development, the surrounding area and landscape, including the South Downs National Park, the standard of accommodation, the amenities of neighbouring occupiers, as well as matters relating to Transport and site gradients.




3.          Linda Whitby spoke in opposition to the application. It was considered that there was no justification to grant planning permission and a new application should be submitted. It was felt that the new positions of the proposed dwellings would be closer to neighbours and higher, in some cases resulting in overlooking. The scheme would benefit it is felt from wider footpaths. The proposed screening on the southern boundary was considered to be inadequate. The original development was refused on design grounds by the Planning Committee and allowed on appeal. If this application is allowed, the scheme will not be the same scheme determined at appeal. Any changes should not materially alter the plans.

Questions for Speaker

4.          Councillor Bridget Fishleigh was informed that the applicant had now supplied amended drawings showing property no. 12 Falmer Avenue.


5.          Councillor Joe Miller was informed that Permitted Development (PD) rights will be removed from the proposed dwellings by condition and residents in the properties will need to apply for Planning Permission for any alterations. The positions of the dwellings will maintain the gaps between the dwellings, preserving the views between.


6.          Ward Councillor Mary Mears noted that they had been interested in the site and its history and noted that there had been many issues around the development of the site. It was felt that given the issues the variation of conditions should require a new planning application. This application appears to go against the conditions imposed by Planning Inspector. It was noted that the access from Falmer Avenue would be steep. The entrance and exits to the site need to be addressed as currently there is not enough room for vehicles to turn. In conclusion a new application should be submitted.

Questions for Speaker – None.

7.          Heather Butler of Rottingdean Parish Council spoke in objection to the variation of condition. The Parish Council are very concerned that the development will be visible from the South Downs, Saltdean and Rottingdean. There were concerns regarding wheelchair / non-stepped access and electric car points as it is considered that the pavements are not wide enough. As the road will be private it is a concern as to whom will manage the road. A management company would be preferred. Light pollution onto the National Park is also a concern.

Questions for speaker

8.          Councillor Daniel Yates was informed that the number of conditions included the original conditions relating to the development allowed at appeal.


9.          Paul Burgess for Hyde Housing spoke on the application and noted that the original proposals were refused on design grounds by the Planning Committee and granted on appeal. It was noted that in August 2018 there were changes to allow wheelchair access. The permission expires on 21 February 2020. The Committee were asked to look at the changes in the current application to be considered at this committee, not the whole scheme. The development will be a boost to housing supply, with affordable housing and private rented. Should the scheme not be commenced any financial contributions will be lost. The committee were asked to support the application.


Questions for Speaker

10.      Councillor Sue Shanks was informed that the access to the National Park was via a path to the north side of the site and there was a bridleway to the west of the site.


11.      Councillor Joe Miller was informed that the retaining walls originally proposed for the rear gardens to the south will now be replaced with banking.

Officer Clarification

12.      The Committee were informed that the application was for minor material amendments on the approved scheme only. A number of conditions attached to the original permission were appropriate for the new permission if the application was approved.

Questions for Officers


13.      Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty was informed that a new application for the changes proposed was not necessary and the application to vary conditions was acceptable.


14.      Councillor Joe Miller was informed that the changes were considered minor and could be considered. If the changes had been major, a new application would have been needed.


15.      Councillor Bridget Fishleigh was informed that the proposed dwellings would be 11.5 metres from the site boundary at the closest. It was noted that the conditions related to the original development and the application before the committee.


16.      Councillor Joe Miller was informed that the decision made by the inspector cannot be changed and the committee should consider the application before them. The principle remains unchanged. The embankment heights were shown to the councillor on the drawings.


17.      Councillor Tony Janio was informed that the heights of the proposed dwellings are to be reduced and would be lower than those allowed at appeal. It was noted that the demolition of the original house on the site was the subject of enforcement investigation. This was not considered to affect the application. If the developer did not comply with the conditions attached to the permission, then enforcement action could be taken if necessary. 


18.      Councillor Daniel Yates was informed that the slight increase of plots 16 and 17 was considered acceptable by the Planning officers.



19.      Councillor Leo Littman noted the previous application had been turned down by committee on design and scale grounds, and this was overturned at appeal. Councillor Littman did not consider this application to be worse than that approved by the inspector and supported the application.


20.      Councillor Carol Theobald felt the development should not be in the South Downs. The design was not good and was of a cramped appearance. Councillor Theobald felt the variation of condition made the issues worse.


21.      Councillor Joe Miller did not feel the amendments were good and considered the application to have a negative effect on the South Downs and amenities of the existing neighbouring properties. Councillor Miller felt the application should be refused.


22.      Councillor Bridget Fishleigh felt the variations applied for were not minor and were therefore major. The application should be refused, and the committee should await the Secretary of State’s comments.


23.      Councillor Daniel Yates felt it was difficult to let go of arguments from the original application and agreed that the principle of development had been established. Councillor Yates felt the changes were minor and supported the scheme.


24.      Councillor Sue Shanks felt the development was a good use of the site, the variations were small and supported the scheme.


25.      Councillor Tony Janio felt the committee should not refuse the application.


26.      Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty felt that the housing was badly needed and supported the scheme.


RESOLVED: The Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to be MINDED TO GRANT planning permission subject to the Secretary of State not calling in the application for their own determination and subject to Conditions and Informatives set out in the report.




Supporting documents:


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