CityGateway News Articles

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Date: 25 March 2004
Title: 500 New Homes For The City

Brighton based City Gateway Developments have announced plans to build a major new Gateway development on the western approach to Brighton. The development will incorporate some five hundred new apartments, including 40% social housing, a health and fitness club, showrooms, restaurants, media centre, dance studios and offices.

It is anticipated that the City Gateway development will represent the first opportunity for the City of Brighton and Hove to compete with other major Cities in the UK and attract both national and international companies to the City, as well as creating much needed additional housing.

City Gateway Developments anticipate that their high profile development will not only act as a western gateway to the City of Brighton and Hove, but will also regenerate the Portslade area and create hundreds of new jobs. The development of City Gateway will take place on the site of the former Flexersacks factory, which occupies a prominent location on the A259 Coast Road, close to the entrance of Shoreham Harbour. The factory was closed down in 2000, following the relocation of Flexersacks to Scotland, with the loss of a number of jobs.

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The development is being project managed by Ghiaci Goodhand Smith of Hove, Rachel Furlonger from GGS commented: “It is accepted that our City needs to attract more national and international companies in order to compete on the national stage, generate more jobs and raise the standard of living for residents of the City. Whilst major steps have been taken to improve our young City, we are still not attracting corporate head quarters employers, because of the lack of quality and sustainable developments. We hope that the development of City Gateway will be the first step towards Brighton competing on a national stage”.

She added, “We recognise that Brighton and Hove is uniquely situated with its close proximity to the capital, wonderful beaches and restaurants. It offers a mixture of a diverse and rich cultural life with easy access to London. However, the logistics of the City mean that we have an under supply of development land which is restricting the City’s growth. Accordingly, high-rise, mixed-use developments are now nationally recognised as the way forward to resolve our housing and employment problems”.

The proposal, which is the first since the publishing of the Tall Buildings “Special Planning Guidance” earlier this year, has been developed through close liaison with the Brighton & Hove Council and is expected to be submitted to the planning office within the next four weeks.

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An enabling consent for the proposed development was given approval on the site last summer, when planning permission was granted for a new 27,000 sq.ft. Health and Leisure club, recording/dance studios, offices, workshops and showrooms. City Gateway will shortly be submitting their principal application for the whole development following extensive consultation with the City Council.

City Gateway developments purchased the site through Oakley Commercial early last year. The Brighton based agents have now been retained as development consultants in respect of the formulation of the scheme.

Chris Oakley of Oakley Commercial commented “There have been a number of high rise developments proposed in the City, although City Gateway is rather unique in that it is surrounded by commercial uses and located in an area that requires regeneration, rather than imposing upon smaller scale residential areas. Indeed, whilst the vision for Shoreham Port Harbour is under review, this private enterprise will be a major step towards boosting regeneration of the locality, which we hope will have a kick start effect for Shoreham Harbour”.

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Mr Oakley added “As a tall building development proposal, this scheme ticks most of the boxes, fulfilling the mixed-use criteria, design requirements and sustainability of both current Government Planning Guidance and also Brighton’s Tall Building Policy. The key to the success of this scheme is it’s sustainability, in my opinion the scheme has a well balanced mix of residential, commercial and leisure uses”.

The design of the scheme has been developed by Peter Southgate of P.S. Architects based in Brighton. Peter Southgate commented: “ The scheme is designed as a catalyst for Brighton and Hove to become a true City and be both the literal and the metaphorical gateway to the city. Any new city needs a dynamic and upwardly moving commercial and residential community to be consistent with its aims and aspirations. The architectural concept for City Gateway responds to this dynamic with a contemporary landmark design.”

Ray Flowers, the managing director of Chandlers BMW who are shortly to move to new premises in the area welcomed the new initiative for the regeneration of the area adding that Brighton and Hove will need to take advantage of this type of opportunity to place itself on the map if it is to compete with other cities in the country.

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John Inwood, formerly of Inwood Tuck Partnership, Architects, who was a winner in the competition for best design for Battersea PowerStation commented: “As a new City we have a great scarcity of exciting and innovative building projects. These proposals not only fulfil the need for an elegant 'gateway' statement when approaching from the west but they will also provide hundreds of much needed new homes on a non-Greenfield site. Hopefully the scheme will not only be Council approved and then built, but it will also lead to an upgrading and regeneration of the whole Port area. Let's all get behind it.

Councillor Don Turner, who leads on Regeneration and Economic Development said, ' This project can have a significant effect on the economy of Brighton & Hove and help to solve our housing problems. As a Portslade Councillor and resident, I am particularly pleased to see that City Gateway Development are committed to improving the western end of the City.

Mr Turner Added: “I am also impressed with the way that Council officers and Ghiaci Goodhand Smith have worked together on developing this site. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to do, including local consultation, but it is my hope that a well designed landmark building will be built on this semi-derelict site.'

The architectural illustrations have been prepared by Brighton-based consultancy Boathouse Studio. Crispin Williams of Boathouse commented: “ We have worked closely with P.S. Architects and Ghiaci Goodhand Smith to develop the architectural aesthetic and visual impact of City Gateway. We believe the project is a must have landmark that will symbolically define the approach to the city from the west”.

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Further information

Rachel Furlonger Ghiaci Goodhand Smith – 01273 321213
City Gateway Development – 01273 321035
Chris Oakley – Oakley Commercial 01273 688882
Peter Southgate – PS Architects 01273 248772
Crispin Williams – Boathouse Studio 01273 608330