The latest scheme for the Anston House site consists of 3 towers of 15, 13 and 14 storeys high, packed closely together to form an overbearing wall reaching well above the height of the tall trees in Preston Road.
The proposed three towers cast a solid shadow across the listed Preston Park, serious overshadowing of the Rose Garden and the Rotunda during the afternoons for more than half the year. The Rose Garden and the outside seating at the Rotunda would be completely in shadow between 1pm and 4pm from 21 October to 21 March.
239 windows would, partially or fully, look straight into the back gardens of the houses in Dyke Road Drive, which is unacceptable.
A low rise, high density development, should have been considered for the Anston House site. High density does not have to mean high rise. The development of Brighton’s best buildings of the Regency and Victorian era are built in continuous terraces, this can also be high density, though it is not high rise. Any of the grand terraces on the seafront, are all high density, but not high rise.
Look at the Hanover area of Brighton, high density, but low rise. Look at the high rise buildings on Albion Hill, they do not include any more units of accommodation than the terraced housing they replaced.
A layout based on 2 courtyards with a 7 storey frontage facing on to Preston Road, 3 storeys at the rear of the site, and no more than 9-10 storeys in 3 blocks running on an east/west access based at each end of the site and centrally between the 2 courtyards would provide the same amount of accommodation as the threatened 3 towers of 15, 13 and 14 storeys in hight.
The 40% affordable housing is proposed for this site, but one has to ask oneself whether this scheme will then remain viable? One of the three developers of the scheme has resigned from the partnership, will that also make the scheme unviable?
We support a high density development on this site, but not as unreasonably high rise towers, nor a solution in which there is so much overshadowing of the listed Preston Park, the Rotunda and the Rose Garden.
The possibility of designing high density, but not as high rise scheme, that respects the back gardens of the houses in Dyke Road, the sunlight on the outside seating at the Rotunda, the Rose Garden and the southern narrow end of Preston Park, should be examined before the proposed Anston House is given serious consideration, or better still is refused permission.