Hotel gets go ahead for Brighton ice rink site
City planners have given now said yes to the 56 apartment hotel in Queen's Square. They say the decision has proved a difficult one for the council because of its concerns about the hotel’s impact on nearby historic buildings and conservation areas.
Hotel approved on former ice rink site
Plans for a new hotel on the site of a former ice rink in Brighton have been approved by the city council’s planning committee.
The Light Brighton had applied to demolish the rink in Queen Square near Brighton ’s Clock tower and build a five-storey ApartHotel with 56 serviced apartments.
The scheme includes restaurant and café space at lower ground floor level.
The decision has proved a difficult one for the council because of its concerns about the hotel’s impact on nearby historic buildings and two neighbouring conservation areas.
Grade 2 listed Wykeham Terrace dating from the 1820s and the 14-century St Nicholas church overlook the site.
The recommendation to approve the hotel was initially rejected on the casting vote of the chair Cllr Christopher Hawtree after five members of the committee supported the scheme, five opposed it and two abstained. However councillors were then unable to agree reasons for refusal – a legal requirement. On advice from a council lawyer a further vote was taken and the scheme was approved by seven votes to five.
Cllr Hawtree’s vote against the scheme remained consistent.
Under a planning agreement, developers would pay £31,290 towards local training and employment schemes and guarantee a minimum of 20 per cent of the construction workforce would be local.
There would be £22,100 for Sustainable Transport improvements in Queens Square , plus almost £25,000 for public art.
The permission requires the building to meet the highest national sustainability standards – the Breeam ‘excellent’ rating.
Cllr Christopher Hawtree said: "My vote was consistent on each occasion supporting refusal. Two councillors changed their minds. It was a painful decision, trying to balance what the city might gain against what it might lose in terms of the tranquillity of the nearby churchyard and views from that magical spot.”