University refused permission to build 4,000 student bedsits on edge of Brighton

Posted On 25 Jun 2014 at 4:33 pm

Sussex University has been refused outline planning permission to build more than 4,000 students bedsits on the edge of Brighton.

The plans would also have meant replacing some academic facilities and building a new life sciences centre on the university’s Falmer campus.

They included a new road for cars and delivery vehicles, with Refectory Road becoming a route for cyclists and pedestrians.

Concerns were expressed about the university’s expansion and the pressure that this was placing on housing in Brighton and Hove.

The university proposed demolishing about 1,500 student flats on the campus to make way for the new buildings, giving a net gain of about 2,500.

A report to the Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee said that the university was also building 350 student flats in London Road and 440 in nearby Pelham Street.

The report said: “There would therefore be a predicted shortfall of approximately 340 which is considered acceptable.”

Councillor Leo Littman

Councillor Leo Littman

One objector, Caroline Lynch, of the Coombe Road Local Action Team (LAT) in Brighton, asked: “Where exactly will these new students be housed?”

She said that Brighton and Hove had a waiting list of 15,500 for affordable housing and said: “Granting this planning application today, I feel, would be reckless.”

The university suggested that about one in five of its extra students would come from the local area or not need housing.

Allan Spencer, the university’s finance director, said that the university would continue to work with LATs and other community groups in those areas affected.

Councillor Leo Littman, a former Sussex student, said that he was concerned about the loss of hundreds of trees.

Mr Spencer told the Planning Committee, which met at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 25 June), that two hectares of trees had already been planted as part of mitigating preparations.

The report to councillors said that, while the loss of approximately 450 trees was “regrettable”, the council’s tree specialist had recommended adequate replacement planting.

Councillor Geoff Wells said: “The additional thousands of students coming into the city will take up a lot of our family housing.”

He was uncomfortable with this and said: “We have got a phenomenal problem with housing in this city.”

Councillor Carol Theobald said that there would be many years of disturbance to students.

Councillor Ben Duncan said that the most striking thing was that the architect Sir Basil Spence designed the university for 800 students. It aims to have up to 18,000 students by 2018.

Councillor Ann Norman said that she had met Sir Basil Spence and didn’t think he would have expected the student numbers to stop at 800.

Councillor Littman said that even in the 1990s the student flats were well past their “sell by” dates.

Councillor Penny Gilbey said that she had worked in some of the university’s laboratories and they needed replacing. But the application was too big and lacked detail.

She said: “I am concerned that the students will come anyway. Where will they go?”

Councillor Bob Carden said that the application was far too big.

Councillor Lynda Hyde said: “We love the students most of the time.”

But she also said that it was all too much.

Councillor Les Hamilton said that the number of students exceeded the number of new housing units.

He said that every property turned over to students cost the council money because they were exempt from paying council tax.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “I want the university to be successful.”

But he also said: “This is just too much.”

The committee voted ten to one against the plans.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    At last! Green cllrs being green. Im proud of this planning committee’s decision today, standing up for the city’s housing stock, the trees inside our brand spanking new ‘biosphere’ and standing up to the Sussex University bullying of the surrounding area in its own selfish, profiteering interests. High time their overtrading was halted.

    Cut the garment according to the cloth as my Granny would have said.

    Now BHCC needs to get itself a serious set of policy documents concerning trees, students, the biosphere status and housing use.

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    At last! Green cllrs being green. Im proud of this planning committee’s decision today, standing up for the city’s housing stock, the trees inside our brand spanking new ‘biosphere’ and standing up to the Sussex University bullying of the surrounding area in its own selfish, profiteering interests. High time their overtrading was halted.

    Cut the garment according to the cloth as my Granny would have said.

    Now BHCC needs to get itself a serious set of policy documents concerning trees, students, the biosphere status and housing use.

  3. Rostrum Reply

    Too many students .. Too many strange courses .. Not enough focus on what the Country needs in its professionals. Not everyone needs a degree. What they need is balls to try, to fail and to try again.

    Why are we training vast number of Children in skills that are not needed or that just fit them to do mundane jobs.

    Universities are supposed to educate innovators and leaders…

  4. Rostrum Reply

    Too many students .. Too many strange courses .. Not enough focus on what the Country needs in its professionals. Not everyone needs a degree. What they need is balls to try, to fail and to try again.

    Why are we training vast number of Children in skills that are not needed or that just fit them to do mundane jobs.

    Universities are supposed to educate innovators and leaders…

  5. Dominic Guzman Reply

    So if 4000 students can’t be accommodated on the Falmer campus they will have to find somewhere in central Brighton. Brighton and Hove Council has acted to but even greater pressure on the existing housing stock.

    The Green-led Council is an utter shambles – they can’t even organize a decent refuse and recycling collection service – so I suggest all the University of Sussex needs to do is to wait until May next year when the Greens are booted out and present their plans again, where hopefully they will be considered by people who aren’t buffoons.

  6. Dominic Guzman Reply

    So if 4000 students can’t be accommodated on the Falmer campus they will have to find somewhere in central Brighton. Brighton and Hove Council has acted to but even greater pressure on the existing housing stock.

    The Green-led Council is an utter shambles – they can’t even organize a decent refuse and recycling collection service – so I suggest all the University of Sussex needs to do is to wait until May next year when the Greens are booted out and present their plans again, where hopefully they will be considered by people who aren’t buffoons.

  7. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The proposed mini town includes more than just living accommodation for students. Without all the extra faciities to actually work in, etc it is hard to see how they could increase their intake by the thousands this development would be for. Turning down the application for a range of facilities does not bring the consequence of increasing student intake by several thousand (with nowhere to teach them, etc)and all living in the city instead of on campus.

    Unless of course they run lectures around the clock in shifts and students have use of the libraries through the night, etc. Though their greed is such I would not put it past them.

  8. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The proposed mini town includes more than just living accommodation for students. Without all the extra faciities to actually work in, etc it is hard to see how they could increase their intake by the thousands this development would be for. Turning down the application for a range of facilities does not bring the consequence of increasing student intake by several thousand (with nowhere to teach them, etc)and all living in the city instead of on campus.

    Unless of course they run lectures around the clock in shifts and students have use of the libraries through the night, etc. Though their greed is such I would not put it past them.

  9. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The proposed mini town includes more than just living accommodation for students. Without all the extra faciities to actually work in, etc it is hard to see how they could increase their intake by the thousands this development would be for. Turning down the application for a range of facilities does not bring the consequence of increasing student intake by several thousand (with nowhere to teach them, etc)and all living in the city instead of on campus.

    Unless of course they run lectures around the clock in shifts and students have use of the libraries through the night, etc. Though their greed is such I would not put it past them.

  10. David Shimmans Reply

    Expansion,expansion,expansion…..haven’t accommodating students in this town cost the local populace enough! High costs of Housing because supply & demand suits the buy to let landlords with their HofMO. Families broken up & having to move away through the lack of housing stock! It will all end in tears as many Students default on their loans & subsequently move back to their home countries because EU policies allow them to!

  11. David Shimmans Reply

    Expansion,expansion,expansion…..haven’t accommodating students in this town cost the local populace enough! High costs of Housing because supply & demand suits the buy to let landlords with their HofMO. Families broken up & having to move away through the lack of housing stock! It will all end in tears as many Students default on their loans & subsequently move back to their home countries because EU policies allow them to!

  12. David Shimmans Reply

    Expansion,expansion,expansion…..haven’t accommodating students in this town cost the local populace enough! High costs of Housing because supply & demand suits the buy to let landlords with their HofMO. Families broken up & having to move away through the lack of housing stock! It will all end in tears as many Students default on their loans & subsequently move back to their home countries because EU policies allow them to!

  13. Jeff Windsor Reply

    I think enough is enough. Sussex uni take the biscuit, all about money for them and as said in previous post, courses of no use to anyone, no houshing for locals and in the past being given permission to build anywhere.

  14. Jeff Windsor Reply

    I think enough is enough. Sussex uni take the biscuit, all about money for them and as said in previous post, courses of no use to anyone, no houshing for locals and in the past being given permission to build anywhere.

  15. Jeff Windsor Reply

    I think enough is enough. Sussex uni take the biscuit, all about money for them and as said in previous post, courses of no use to anyone, no houshing for locals and in the past being given permission to build anywhere.

  16. Pork William Reply

    We have too many selfish, immature brat students in Brighton

  17. Pork William Reply

    We have too many selfish, immature brat students in Brighton

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