Brighton's prime park and ride site goes back up for sale

Posted On 14 May 2012 at 10:39 am

The owner of The Grand hotel has pulled out of a deal to build a hotel on the edge of Brighton, putting park and ride back on the agenda.

The 3.6-acre Patcham Court Farm has long been regarded as one of the best sites for a park and ride in Brighton and Hove.

But since the Greens took control of Brighton and Hove City Council last year, plans for a park and ride scheme have been shelved.

With the hotel deal falling through, there will be renewed hope in some quarters that a park and ride scheme will be back on the agenda.

The De Vere Group was the council’s preferred bidder to build a four star 128-room hotel with a leisure club and offices on the Patcham Court Farm site.

It was expected to take on a 125-year lease on site at the junction of the A23 London Road and the A27 Brighton Bypass.

Councillor Bill Randall

But this morning (Monday 14 May) the council said that De Vere had withdrawn from the deal which was expected to create more than 250 jobs.

The council said that the hotel company was looking for a site nearer to the city centre.

The initial signs are that the site will go back on the market subject to the approval of councillors on the policy and resources committee which is due to meet on Thursday 14 June.

Council leader Bill Randall said: “It’s a change of plan but it won’t deflect us from our ambition to put this site to the best possible use for the local economy and its residents.

“Although De Vere won’t be going to Patcham Court Farm, they’re showing their confidence in Brighton and Hove and looking for another site for their De Vere Village brand in the city.”

Meanwhile, De Vere remains committed to investing heavily in a nine-month refurbishment of its flagship Grand hotel which starts in June this year. It follows the refurbishment of the Empress Suite last year.

The latest work will involve upgrading the bedrooms, restaurant, bar and remaining meeting rooms.

The hotel group is also looking to create a new leisure club and spa with external membership for the local community and the reinstatement of the swimming pool.

The upgrade should be completed by early next year, with the work being carried out on a rolling basis so as not to disrupt the business.

Andrew Coppel, chief executive of the De Vere Group, said: “We continue to see Brighton as a key destination for our business with the iconic Grand hotel already firmly part of the hospitality industry in the region.

“We will work closely with local partners to identify a suitable location for the future expansion of the De Vere Village brand.”

 

  1. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    De Vere clearly don’t know about the Natural England statistics released very recently that show 51% of people seeking to visit the great outdoors, choose countryside. This means that the National Park should be the place to invest – hotel spaces do not exist on the perimeter of the Downs and this would have provided a terrific opportunity for them. And I do wonder if they have been having talks with National Parks people about planning issues that influenced their final decision.

    In the 12 months figures to March 2012, only some 9.7% of people chose to visit coasts. This should also be informing investment decisions but I bet it won’t. It should be stopping BHCC borrowing £14m to lend to developers Marks Barfield to complete implementation of their i360 planning consent (legally begun according to BHCC lawyers in 2009).

  2. Otto Sump Reply

    The greens shelved a park and ride which would have given the people of Brighton cleaner air and less traffic congestion. Instead they plan to build a traveller site that nobody wants (including the travellers, they prefer Stanmer park and Green park because they are free). So the green party are doing nothing green for the citizens of Brighton and Hove, in fact the opposite. Instead they just force through their deeply unpopular political agendas that have nothing to do with making the environment better for any of us. No doubt excruciating parking fees and rates from City Center NCP carparks mean that we are all paying extra for all this political dogma as well as suffering poor air quality and gridlock.

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