Plans for more student flats in Lewes Road, Brighton, were approved by councillors, with a curfew on using a proposed roof terrace.
The four-storey block, on the corner of Caledonian Road, is expected to include 60 student bedrooms and a ground floor shop or café.
The current Co-op building would be demolished and the store would move into vacant premises next door, councillors were told this afternoon (Wednesday 13 January).
Conservative councillor Joe Miller raised concerns about parties on the roof and said that time limits had been imposed on the roof of nearby student flats at the Vogue Gyratory.
He suggested a 9pm to 7am curfew but Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee settled on 11pm – in line with nearby pubs.
Councillor Miller said:
“We need to stop the proliferation of HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) which in turn has an impact on council tax.
“I support the scheme. I like the design. I would encourage (the owners of) other similar types of single-storey to two-storey buildings to look if they can do similar to help us meet our housing demands.”
Labour councillor Nick Childs also supported the scheme and asked whether the new building could include a plaque.
Councillor Childs wanted it to commemorate the 15 people who lost their lives during the Second World War when the site was bombed in 1943.
The Planning Committee supported his suggestion but it will be down to the developers – student housing specialist Alumno and FPC (Foundation Property and Capital). FPC is run by Stephen and Ben Lansman.
Stephen Lansman is the brother of Jon Lansman, the Labour activist who founded the Momentum political organisation, and Ben Lansman is Jon Lansman’s son.
Councillor Childs said:
“There is a real demand for student houses and if we don’t provide appropriate accommodation for students in the city, it puts pressure on other areas of the housing market and pressure to create HMOs.”
The scheme – currently named Ravilious House after the artist Eric Ravilious – would include communal rooms in the basement and house students from the Brighton Screen and Film School.
Six neighbours wrote to the council to object to the plans and a seventh had concerns about students living on the site but supported the redevelopment of the building.
Planning permission is conditional on the building including a minimum of 60 swift bricks – to help the migratory birds with nesting – and three bee bricks.
The developers are expected to pay the council a “community infrastructure levy” of almost £210,000.