Brighton Astoria office plans approved

Posted on by John Cronin

A former cinema in Brighton is set to demolished and replaced with offices after planning officers approved the scheme.

H3O officesThe former Astoria cinema in Gloucester Place, Brighton is to be demolished and replaced with a six-storey, “media hub” development (pictured).

The Grade II Listed building, purchased by local businessman Mike Holland for £2.2m, has stood vacant since 1997 when it was last used as a bingo hall. While some local residents believed the building should be restored, others have called it an “eyesore”.

H30 Media Ltd, a company belonging to Mr Holland plans to develop an energy-efficient, mixed-use building that will incorporate a cafe and shared amenity space at ground floor level along with flexible office space and enterprise units. The building will be constructed using a range of sustainable building techniques including rainwater harvesting, solar shading and natural ventilation. The speculative scheme is expected to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and is expected to be the most eco-friendly office building in Brighton.

Architects for the scheme Conran & Partners indicate that the development is to be aimed at the arts and creative businesses in the city. The ground floor will offer six serviced business units of approximately 645 sq ft along with meeting rooms and a shared reception. The five upper floors will offer office space ranging in size from 4,887 sq ft up to 5,393 sq ft.

Paul Zara, Director at Conran & Partners believes the development will give economic and regeneration benefits to the local North Laine and London Road community and Brighton as a whole. Mr Zara suggests the scheme is: “intended as a symbol of optimism for the future of the city.”

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