Help shape the future of Brighton school site

Posted On 13 Jun 2014 at 10:54 am

Neighbours are being asked to shape the future of land and buildings in Brighton formerly used as a school.

A planning brief is being prepared to help decide the way in which the old St Aubyns school in Rottingdean will be used.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “The future of the former St Aubyns school site in Rottingdean will be influenced by the local community through consultation on a planning brief.

Rottingdean Parish Council, the Cothill Educational Trust, which owns the site, and local residents are using the brief to shape future development on the site.

“St Aubyns school, just off Rottingdean High Street, is a Grade II listed building. Other listed features on the land include a boundary flint wall, sports pavilion and a war memorial.

“Attached to the school building is a rare listed chapel, built in 1913.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden

“Children who attended the school are depicted in its stained glass windows and inside there is a First World War soldiers’ memorial.

“Rudyard Kipling’s son John, a former pupil of St Aubyns School, was killed in the war and is commemorated in the chapel.

“After St Aubyns closed in April 2013 Rottingdean Parish Council and residents approached the council concerned about what will happen to the site.

“Since then the council has worked with the parish council and the landowner to draw up a planning brief.”

Brighton and Hove City Council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee is expected to discuss the draft planning brief next Thursday (19 June).

The committee is being asked to approve the draft planning brief for further consultation.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, who chairs the committee, said: “The document sets out development principles for this important site that will respect the character of existing buildings and the conservation area while meeting the needs of the community.

“We have worked with the parish council, the landowner, local councillors and residents to create a brief that reflects their aspirations.

“The brief aims to be a realistic guide for developers to come forward with proposals that would also breathe new life into the site’s historic assets.”

The brief says that any redevelopment proposals should retain and reuse the existing listed main building and chapel.

It also says that there should be public access to the playing field and that community benefits should be part of any plans.

And it outlines a number of possible uses for the site, such as residential institutions, another school or housing.

Other acceptable uses, in principle, could be a hotel, health centre or spa.

The brief recommends that building height should not be above three storeys.

Rottingdean Parish Council is the first community organisation to prepare a neighbourhood plan.

The planning brief for the site will be used alongside the neighbourhood plan as guidance for future planning applications in Rottingdean.

If the draft planning brief is approved by the committee, the consultation will start in September and run for six weeks.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Land previously used for a school has to be agreed to be provided for any Free School wishing to buy the land/buildings through the Educational Fundng Agency. Perhaps Kings School or other Christian body seeking premises for their Free School should be looking at this.

    If such a school targetted the land, as the law stands, it would have to be provided to them – whatever a planning brief might say. This fact was established last year in reply to a public question to BHCC.

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Land previously used for a school has to be agreed to be provided for any Free School wishing to buy the land/buildings through the Educational Fundng Agency. Perhaps Kings School or other Christian body seeking premises for their Free School should be looking at this.

    If such a school targetted the land, as the law stands, it would have to be provided to them – whatever a planning brief might say. This fact was established last year in reply to a public question to BHCC.

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