Willow Surgery, Bevendean: Council Houses are proposed for the site Brighton News

The site of a demolished medical practice could become social housing instead of student apartments.

The prospect was raised by advisers at a planning committee meeting yesterday last week as they discussed the former Willow Surgery site in Bevendean.

The owner of the land on Heath Hill Avenue at the corner of Auckland Drive has a building permit for 24 bedroom student apartments.

A condition of the planning permission, granted on appeal in May 2015, required the construction of a temporary surgery – on neighboring Farm Green – during the construction of the apartments.

But the company that owns the site, Heath Hill Student Developments, is in receivership – and the receivers have asked Brighton and Hove City Council to forgo temporary surgery.

The practice closed in September 2016 and was demolished shortly thereafter. And heads of health – from Brighton and the Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – have since said there was no demand for new surgery at the site. They also had no intention of funding one.

At the virtual planning committee meeting yesterday, planning consultant Sarah Sheath, of Dowsett Mayhew, asked councilors to remove the requirement to build temporary surgery during construction.

She said the requirement discouraged potential buyers as Savills recipients tried to sell the site.

The Argus: The Willows website as it is nowThe Willows site as it currently appears

Union adviser Daniel Yates, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, said it was “ridiculous” for the council to demand an unwanted temporary building on the nearby Green farm.

But he was angry that the developer managed to escape without building anything on the site.

Councilor Yates said, “I remember very clearly that there was a direct suggestion the last time we looked at changes (to this request) that maybe the council could take this land and put social housing there. .

“I still think it’s a possibility. I’m sure the developer could talk to the board about this in another forum.

“Whatever arises in the future, I hope it will begin to meet the needs of this community and not just the needs of other communities.

Union adviser Gill Williams, who works at the University of Brighton, said universities have struggled to fill the many purpose-built student apartments in Brighton and Hove since the coronavirus lockdowns began.

She said: “I would be delighted if the council were interested in buying this land because we need more social housing.

“We have a lot of student housing being created here, there and everywhere. I know that there have been difficulties in filling them because there are so many. ”

Conservative Advisor Carol Theobald said she was happy with the letter from CCG stating that there was no request to replace the old surgery, adding: “It was demolished four years ago. It is a great place for students and it could free up family homes.

Independent consultant Bridget Fishleigh asked, “If we don’t get the surgery from a doctor, what does the community get instead?

“A financial contribution? Are they going to build a playground? I don’t mind voting for it if we get something instead of a doctor’s surgery.

Councilor Fishleigh learned that additional conditions could not be imposed at this point.

The Argus: what Willow House looked like before it was demolishedWhat Willow House looked like before it was demolished

Green Councilor Sue Shanks said, “I think there is a lesson to be looked at in the future when we get things that people have promised. How do we make sure they happen before too much time has passed?

“If we can get it and put housing there, that would be great.”

Green councilor Leo Littman, who chairs the planning committee, said councilors yearn for the potential of the land.

Eight councilors voted to remove the requirement for temporary surgery and one abstained.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-10 04:52:00