Plans to convert Hove’s Holy Trinity Church submitted

Posted On 21 Jan 2015 at 2:44 pm

The proposed conversion of Holy Trinity Church into a medical centre and pharmacy has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application.

An artist's impression of the Holy Trinity conversion

An artist’s impression of the Holy Trinity conversion

The Sackville Medical Centre and Central Hove Surgery wish to relocate to the 150-year-old Grade II listed church, with a pharmacy also built on the site.

A new western porch entrance would be created onto Goldstone Villas, and two floors built inside the church.

But the plans have already drawn stiff opposition from pressure group SaveHOVE, which says the new pharmacy could threaten Boots in George Street, and people being dropped off at the centre could disrupt the bus stop and taxi rank outside.

It also questions why the Eaton Villas side of the church grounds is not included in the application.

In a post on its blog, the group says: “Fig tree uprooted, taxi drivers/rank compromised, Boots compromised, Goldstone Villas gets a little more crazy, the proposed future use of the Eaton Villas side of the church grounds is likely to be developed for – say – housing by the church, quite separately, and we get a pharmacy in Goldstone Villas that nobody needs but which the applicants insist is required for their plans to be viable.”

However, the NHS believes this is a valuable use of the site. In the application, Deacon and Richardson Architects says: “The proposals offer the chance to convert a closed church in an imaginative way while paying due regard to the historic fabric of the Grade II listed building.

“The conversion offers a chance to bring this closed church back into good repair and provides it with a sustainable future use to the community of Brighton and Hove for many years to come.

And in a letter supporting the application, Sackville Medical Centre’s senior partner Dr Tim McMinn says the centre has been looking to expand for eight years now.

He said: “The centre of Hove needs a modern primary care facility with the ability to flex and adapt to the ever changing landscape and demands of healthcare and this cannot be achieved in the present accommodation.

“The Holy Trinity project will be a proud achievement for all those involved in its development and a beacon of excellence in local healthcare provision going forward.”

The church was last used in 2008, and its parish dissolved in 2010.

An original scheme to demolish the church and allow Hyde Housing Association to build homes there was abandoned after a public consultation

  1. Ed Reply

    Savehove need to quickly pull the rod from out of their backside. this church is falling into disreapir and we need to do something about this little pocket fast. And also, who cares about Boots?

    • dan Reply

      ^^ bang on. pocket fast though..? new one on me! 🙂

      • ed Reply

        I meant “this little pocket of hove, and fast”

  2. hove resident Reply

    I think that this proposal will cause less disruption to the local community than the wholescale collapse of primary care and GP services in central hove, which is what is likely to happen if this proposal is not approved.
    It surely wouldn’t be impossible to move the taxi rank to an alternative site
    What the church subsequently chose to do with the land that they own on the Eaton Villas side of the plot is nothing to do with this planning application.

    • saveHOVE Reply

      The Sackville Road GP practice on the corner of Pembroke Crescent was supposed to move to the new Portland Road surgery being created under housing where the Gala Bingo Hall stood. Its catchment area runs from The Drive over to Wish Road, so moving there would have made sense.

      It would be interesting to know why they changed their minds on that.

  3. saveHOVE Reply

    Conversion to a GP surgery is supported in principle. But why can’t they have the Eaton Villas side of the site? Why is Goldstone Villas the access point?

    Why do we need Boots? Because it is what is known as an anchor store. It pulls people into the area and into George St. and thereby increases footfall and likely support of other traders. If we lose Boots, the street becomes just that bit less viable and loses status as a place other retailers would be drawn to trade from.

    And as for relocating the taxi rank…perhaps a suggestion as to where would help.

    Yesterday, driving along Davigdor Road I noticed a paramedic ambulance with flashing lights on parked outside the Charter Medical Centre (GP practice)in Somerhill Road. Having the Holy Trinity practice entrance in Goldstone Villas would mean the chance of the southbound lane being blocked by ambulances from time to time in just the same way. The entrance should be in Eaton Villas, with use of the entire site.

    Other sources of income besides a pharmacy could be put onsite: chiropodist, physios, dentist.

    • ed Reply

      but there are already dentists, chiropodists and physios all within spitting distance of the proposed site – why are you so anti-pharmacy?

  4. hove resident Reply

    The Gala Bingo Hall site was indeed suggested as a proposed site to which Sackville Surgery might relocate. However, the space offered by the developers was far too small for a surgery of this size (12000 patients) and was therefore a completely unviable proposition.

    However, as I am sure ‘Save Hove’ must be very well aware, Wish Park Surgery, a smaller surgery, but equally in need of new modern premises, will be moving to this new development. The Bingo Hall development is , of course, much closer to Wish Park Surgery’s current premises and much more suitable to their needs, being situated in the centre of their catchment area.

    Central Hove remains in need of a modern medical facility and this proposal represents the best opportunity of achieving that.

    The Developers and Sackville Surgery have not been in a position to chose which part of the Church site they would like. The proposal represents the best use of what the Church have made available. That they have not made the Eaton Villas side of the site available for development is entirely a matter for the Church.

    The pharmacy development is merely a relocation of Blakes Pharmacy in Blatchington Road, a matter of only 50m away. As such, this should not impact Boots significantly.

    In reply to the point made above about the relocation of the taxi rank, I would counter -if the surgery does not relocate to the Church Site – perhaps a suggestion as to where would help ?
    The Surgery has been looking for new premises for at least 8 years.
    Please don’t be obstructive and deny a facility that is clearly needed.

    • saveHOVE Reply

      The pharmacist at Blakes made it plain that the branch would not close if he relocates to the church site. Another branch somewhere else would close and move into Blatchington Road. This would put 3 pharmacies close together and it would of course impact on Boots.

      Since the Sackville GP catchment is from Wish Road to The Drive, it follows that some of their patients will not want to travel even further east than presently to see a doctor. Patients living closer to the new surgery in Portland Road may well consider making a switch to that.

      The Charter Medical Centre with a number of GP’s there serves the area quite well over to Sackville Road.

      It is hoped a conversion of the Church can be achieved without obstructive behaviour on the part of the applicants (you?)which creates problems in Goldstone Villas. The proposed public entrance point puts far too much new pressure on an already really difficult section of roadway.

      The Eaton Villas frontage is REQUIRED and the application does not bother to address the fact that it is not included. It needs to.

  5. Ed Reply

    ^what they said!^^^

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