Build to Rent Scheme Hits Brighton
Brighton is set to get its first Build-to-Rent scheme as Legal & General gains planning permission for a block that will provide around 200 hundred flats for private renters at the Longley Industrial Estate.
Entering the Build-to-Rent sector as recently as 2016, Legal & General now has 11 schemes across the UK with the aim to have 6,000 homes in planning, development or operation by the end of 2019.
The plans are expected to play an important role in supporting the city’s increasing housing demands. Situated between New England Street and Elder Place, just 200 metres from Brighton train station, the development will deliver 3,270 square metres of commercial space to accommodate either a single occupier or arranged as incubator space to support start-ups and SMEs.
Dan Batterton, Head of Build-to-Rent at LGIM Real Assets, said: “Brighton is an ever growing city where people want to live and work. As a major employer in the area, we are delighted to have received permission to begin developing this scheme, transforming a rare warehouse brownfield site into a vibrant new place whilst helping to tackle Brighton’s shortage of housing.
“The UK needs urban centres that are fit for purpose and can support a creative and sustainable community like Brighton. We are pleased to be bringing the BTR concept to the city, demonstrating that renting can be an aspirational choice and supporting the workforce with the quality homes they deserve.”
However, not everyone is happy about the development plans, with angry responses coming from concerned residents. They have particular aversion to the potential height of the new building, which is planned to be up to 18 storeys, as well as the impact on traffic congestion.
Some believe that the traffic will increase dramatically in the area and cause even further disruption on roads that are already heavily congested on a day to day basis. This is due to the development being a low-car development. The proposal states that only 11 accessible car parking spaces will be included, leading some residents to worry that parking will become more difficult in the areas around the development, as well as concerns about congestion caused by residents being picked up and dropped off at the flats.
Others have concerns for the levels of noise on the street, which they believe will make working in the area more difficult.
The planning document for the development stated that Legal & General’s proposals at the site have been ‘designed to make a significant contribution to the overall vision for the wider development area’ and will ‘assist in the delivery of new jobs and homes for the benefit of the whole community’.
According to the plans, the development will include 21 affordable dwellings, provided as Discount Market Rent, which will be ‘pepper potted’ throughout the development and will share the same entrances, cores and corridors as the ‘market rent’ units. The plans state that all units, regardless of tenure, will be designed and built to the same specifications.
According to the development’s Housing and Viability Assessment, the Build-to-Rent housing was proposed to provide housing for a growing number of households who are currently unable to afford private sale housing and who are unlikely to be eligible for Council allocated housing. It also specified that the affordable housing units within the development would be prioritised to those on the Council’s waiting list.
There has been significant growth in the private rental sector due to the likes of changing lifestyles and increasing house prices. Legal & General claim that the Brighton and Hove borough’s existing rental stock is insufficient to meet demand and that this has resulted in overcrowding. They hope that their development will provide an alternative housing choice for both new and existing residents to help reduce overcrowding and upward pressures on rents.
Legal & General claim that their Build-to-Rent scheme will therefore help alleviate the disparity between demand and supply for market rental properties and provide an important contribution to meeting local housing need.
At Easy Let & Sale, we take a keen interest in Brighton property developments. Whilst there has been public support for the development, there has also been much opposition and anger from residents, indicating that there is a lot of love and support for their local area and community.
Large developments such as this one can provide many flats to help with housing shortages, but it’s easy to see why local residents object to such large developments being built.
If you’re planning a move in Brighton or Hastings, talk to one of our knowledgeable estate agents today. Our letting agents in Brighton and letting agents in Hastings can help you find your ideal home.