The Downsman

Hangleton Way, Hove
Client: Southern Housing Group
Scale: 23 apartments & 10 houses
Status: Nearly Completed

The site, a former pub was classed as a community asset but unfortunately had been closed for several years as it wasn’t viable. We were approached by the owner as they required an architect to design options of how it could be redeveloped for a better overall use whilst still providing a community facility.

It was clear that affordable housing was much needed in the area and so after some initial sketch design we introduced the site owner to a long-term developer client of ours – Southern Housing, an affordable housing provider.

Now with an end purchaser on board we designed further architectural proposals tailored to meet Southern Housing’s requirements and began the planning process with a successful pre-application submission followed by the main submission.

The homes were architecturally designed to be modern and robust and to reflect the style of the former pub on the site, it had a very distinctive green tiled roof and so we introduced green glazed bricks elements to all of the new buildings.

As part of the planning process as architects we engaged extensively with the local neighbourhood in Hangleton, Brighton and Hove and also local ward councillors, the proposals were very much supported and it was approved at planning committee on the first planning submission.

The final proposal delivered a combination of 10 terraced houses and a further 23 apartments in a separate building. The apartment building also provided a fully equipped community facility with its own dedicated garden area so that it could be used for clubs, creches, sports clubs etc

The site is adjacent the entrance to the Dyke Railway Trail a former railway line now used as a walking trail and linking through to the South Downs.

As with all of our architectural projects the amenity and landscaping aspect is incredibly important, so we engaged Nicholas Dexter Studio to design landscaping that enhances local biodiversity and improves the current street scene. This is achieved by planting over 50 new trees which are mostly located around the site boundary to soften the relationship with the neighbouring properties. Three triangular areas at each corner of the site are underplanted with a mix of native plants and wildflower meadow species to attract birds, bees and insects.

All houses have their own private front and rear gardens and every apartment has a good sized balcony and all residents have access to the gardens.


  • 25% improvement in Co2 over Building Regulations.
  • Electric car charging points installed.
  • Biodiversity enhancement strategy incorporated.
  • Habitats created for bats, birds, reptiles and insects

See another affordable housing project for the same client here

Drawings by Yelo Architects, Brighton, 3D renders by Nicholas Dexter Studio