By Jenni Davidson
A new building for Brighton Hove and Sussex VI Form College (BHASVIC) in Dyke Road in Hove has been approved.
The design was passed unanimously by councillors at Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee this afternoon (Wednesday 29 January).
This follows their rejection of a previous planning application for a new college building on the same site in October 2013.
The three storey building will be constructed of heritage red brick and glass with bronze copper cladding, which will be weatherproofed to retain its colour.
The new block will sit on the upper car park in Dyke Road between the existing red brick main building and College House.
The flat roof is to have both solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, giving it a BREEAM rating of excellent and exceeding energy performance requirements.
The previous design, which had a glass front with green and blue panels, was rejected by the planning committee in October for being too obtrusive and out of keeping with the surrounding buildings.
The new design is set back two metres further from the road than the previous one, in line with the wall of the main building.
It will also be slightly lower than the earlier proposal.
The building will house 12 classrooms, as well as a learning resource centre and a student social learning space.
Councillor Vanessa Brown, the ward councillor for Hove Park, spoke in support of the application.
She said: “I believe passionately that these plans should be passed today for the sake of existing and future students, and ultimately for the good of the city.”
She added that the aim of the project was not primarily to increase student numbers, but to ensure that the accommodation was fit for the students who were already there.
BHASVIC currently has over 2,000 students, with numbers expected to increase next year.
It was rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted in 2012.
However, Ofsted noted that the college had become ‘cramped’ due to its popularity.
Councillor Les Hamilton described the previous design as ‘a monstrosity’, but said he was very pleased to support the new proposal.
Councillor Hamilton told the planning committee that he had worked at BHASVIC and knew the buildings well.
He joked that the college only became outstanding after he left.
Several other councillors also voiced their approval of the new design and their appreciation for the changes that had been made following their feedback on the previous proposal.
Councillor Carol Theobald said: “I’m glad the applicants have listened to what we said the last time.”
Councillor Lynda Hyde asked councillors who were new to the planning committee to note this as a lesson not to accept an application that is inappropriate.
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