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The Anston House Scheme for twin towers was refused permission at the meeting of the Planning committee on April 24th

The site is owned by Investec – a South African asset management bank – which has now submitted a new application Prior Approval to convert the existing Anston House building to flats.

On 30 May 2013 the government introduced extended permitted development opportunities, including a change of use from offices to residential, subject to ‘Prior Approval’. Under the Prior Approval procedure for this type of proposal, the government has set out that local planning authorities may only consider the impact on traffic in the vicinity of the site; whether the site is contaminated land, and flooding risk.

The City Council intends to set up an Article 4 Direction to stop the conversion of offices to flats. The Brighton Society hopes that permission for this conversion will go through before this article 4 comes into affect.

External alterations to buildings cannot be considered as part of an application for Prior Approval. Proposals for external alterations will require planning permission in the same way as usual. At this stage and in these circumstances the impact of a proposal may then be considered.

The Brighton Society welcomes the conversion of Anston House site to residential use, particularly social housing. We hope that the exterior would be improved, perhaps with cladding and balconies.