1. Planning & construction timetable

    1.1 How can I register my support or objection to the development?
    If you go to the Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) planning portal and click on case number BH2018/02126, you can comment on the application.

    We hope you will be supportive of the development, in which case, please select the support option and start your submission: ‘I/We support this application...’ and then explain why you support the scheme.

    You will need to register to make a comment if you aren’t already registered but this is a simple process.

    1.2 How long do I have to comment?
    BHCC have requested that comments are submitted by 9 August 2018, however comments received after this date may be considered.

    1.3 When will the planning decision be made?
    BHCC may be in a position to deliver its decision on the planning application at the 10 October 2018 meeting, however this could be delayed until the 7 November 2018 meeting with the current BHCC workload.

    1.4 When would you start construction?
    Construction would commence with the demolition of the existing buildings as soon as practical once a positive planning decision is received.

    1.5 What is the duration of construction?
    It is expected that construction will take approximately 18-24 months with the majority of the foundation and frame works being completed in the first half of the programme.

    1.6 How disruptive will construction be for local residents and St. Christopher’s?
    We already have a partnership with St. Christopher’s which includes working with the school and the local community to minimise the impact of construction.

    For example, we will ensure during school pick up and drop off times that we limit the number of vehicles on the road and we will plan around key events such as exams and concerts.

    We use St. Christopher’s as an example, but our approach will be the same for all local residents. Inevitably there will be a level of disruption to deliver this development, but we will do everything possible to minimise the effect of the new construction and our principal contractor will sign up to the Considerate Contractor Scheme.

  2. Accommodation on site

    2.1 What community assets provided by the development will be available to the whole community?

    The development will include a number of local community assets for the whole community to use, including:

    • Community kosher café and deli serving a range of food for the whole Brighton & Hove community
    • ‘Work Avenue’ including office space, employment, start-up and business support services
    • Two high-quality classrooms and other facilities for use by St Christopher’s
    • A new nursery to replace the existing facility on the site
    • A new flexible and inspirational Synagogue to replace the existing outdated facility on the site
    • A flexible social hall/function space
    • A full range of social and cultural programmes will be available for the entire community

    2.2 At the first consultation there were 64 accommodation units proposed on site, what is the final number of units in the planning application?
    The current application is for 45 units of which 10 are mews houses at the back of the site and the rest are apartments. We have responded to concerns about the scale of the development within the final application, particularly on the northern boundary, and reduced the height of each block by at least one storey.

    2.3 How tall is the development and is this in keeping with New Church Road?
    There are two accommodation blocks surrounding the central Synagogue with a row of mews house to the rear.

    The western block (adjacent to St. Christopher’s) is six storeys, the mews houses are four storeys and the eastern block is five storeys high.

    We believe this is in keeping New Church Road which already has much higher buildings of seven and eight storeys in the immediate vicinity.

    2.4 Will the Western block overlook St. Christopher’s?
    Careful design has virtually eliminated any overlooking from the western block to the existing St. Christopher’s school playground, so residents look out South, towards the sea rather than over the playground.

    2.5 Will the accommodation units be sold exclusively to the Jewish community?
    No, the units will be available for anyone to purchase. We would like to see a good mix of owners, in keeping with our mission to create a thriving Jewish community fully integrated into the local community.

    2.6 Why is there no affordable housing?
    The residential element of the scheme helps to enable the re-development of the site and the provision of community facilities. The viability assessment submitted in support of the application demonstrates that the proposal will not provide a profit and will in fact make a loss. Despite the scheme requiring several million pounds of net investment, the Bloom Foundation want to provide some affordable housing on site and are working with the Jewish Housing Association, who fully support the redevelopment proposals to provide social housing.

    2.7 Could you describe the layout of the site?
    The community assets will be on the ground and first floor levels, predominantly in the centre and the western block. The exception is the nursery, which is at the South East corner of the site.

    The central building will house a Synagogue and immediately adjacent on West side, will be a social hall which will have flexible walls to either to increase the capacity of the Synagogue or the social hall.

    Adjacent to the social hall on the South side, will be a café and deli. On the first floor, immediately above the café and social hall, will be a ‘Work Avenue’. This is a charity which offers office space and expert advice to those seeking jobs and launching businesses. To learn more about Work Avenue, please visit their website.

    Classrooms and other facilities will border St. Christopher’s on the North-West part of the site. We will be providing two very high quality, sizeable class-rooms, as per the school’s request.

    2.8 Could you describe car-parking facilities on site?
    Public transport in the area is excellent with buses, trains and a car club. As well as the public transport we wanted to build capacity for cars so there is no overspill onto the surrounding roads. We also wanted to invest in creating an underground car park (despite the additional cost) as we believe this would be a far better solution for the local community and quality of the development.

    There will be 57 spaces all of which will be in an underground car park. We understand residents of the new development will not qualify for residents parking permits. Electric parking points will be provided within the new development to future proof the car park

  3. Finances

    3.1 Tony Bloom, Chairman of the Bloom Foundation, has enough money to finance the development without the level of accommodation proposed, so why are there so many units?
    The Bloom Foundation supports a number of projects locally and globally, including in Brighton, the Rocking Horse and Albion In The Community, as well as many other incredible charities. However, the Foundation’s funds are not limitless, and we need to be fiscally responsible in the decisions we make.

    When the Bloom Foundation started this project, the intention was that the usual profit of 17-20% that a developer would earn, would be donated toward communal facilities on site and to making Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation (BHHC) financially viable. It is now clear that the income from the sale of accommodation units will not come close to supporting this approach, and instead a net investment of several million pounds needed from the Foundation. The Foundation has accepted this investment without reducing the quality and range of community assets on site. There is a limit to the funds the Foundation can devote to any single project and if the economics of the project change and further investment is required then the Foundation would have to reconsider all aspects of the project.

    3.2 What would happen if the Bloom Foundation were not involved?
    The Bloom Foundation sincerely hopes to develop the project as per the planning application. If this were not possible, the site would still need to be developed, as the finances of BHHC, the charity that owns the site, will not support the status quo. There is always cost and disruption with development, but there is enormous community benefit with the proposed approach which would not be provided if a commercial scheme was developed. 3">

    3.3 In financial terms, could you talk about the value of this development?
    The gross cost of the project will be circa. £25m. This will provide a significant boost to the local economy as we are working with local professionals and contractors. Once the development is completed in the Autumn of 2020, the site will also be a source of jobs and income for the local community.

  4. Energy, Heating & Security

    4.1 How are you planning to generate heating and electricity for the site, is there a carbon imprint?
    A mixture of gas-fired boilers electric ground source heat pumps will provide the heating. Electricity will be generated on site by solar panels to offset the demand of the electricity from site and reduce its carbon footprint.

    The ground source heat pump can contribute to the site hot water generation when the shul is unoccupied reducing the demand for gas.

    Heat will be generated centrally in the basement plant room and circulated to all the various residential accommodation and community spaces.