BHASVIC seeks permission to build four-storey digital and media block

A four-storey block of classrooms is proposed to replace a temporary block at BHASVIC (Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College).

Neighbours sent 60 letters of support and 18 objecting to the proposals which are due to go before Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 6 June).

Loss of on-site parking spaces was the biggest issue for people opposing the plans for the Old Shoreham Road facing side of the college.

Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who represents Goldsmid, complained that people living in her ward were not consulted as the college is – just – in the neighbouring Hove Park ward.

In her letter of objection she points out that her residents are the ones who will experience the impact of the development.

Parking and traffic were the key issues that she highlighted after speaking with people in the area.

She said: “The college lost all of their parking in the upper car park when the Copper building was built a short while ago and the college were issued with parking permits for approximately 28 teaching staff to make up this difference.

“No other key workers receive such a permit so this does seem rather unusual and the permits have been much abused as they don’t have to have a registration number on them.

“Local residents would not want any more of such permits to be allocated to the college.”

A new car park is proposed on part of the playing field to the west of the site.

The new block is a digital and creative media building providing more classrooms and a performance space.

In its supporting letter, HNW Architects pointed out that the college had 2,800 students and a shortage of space at four square metres per student.

According to the architects, the new building is not designed to help the college boost numbers or result in increased traffic.

BHASVIC – pic by Simon Carey / Wiki Commons

Currently 2,423 students either come by bus or train or walk to college.

Its supporting letter said: “The proposals do not look to adversely increase student or staff numbers so would have negligible impact on student, vehicle and visitor trips to the site.

“The proposals are designed to be in keeping with the existing aesthetic and character of this key location, including both the contemporary Copper Building and the locally listed main building facades.”

Hove Park ward councillor Vanessa Brown supports the proposals.

She said: “BHASVIC is an excellent sixth form college and very popular.
They need more space for specialist facilities.

“The recent extension facing Dyke Road is of a good design and fits well in the street scene.

“This proposed building is of a similar design so again should not detract from the street scene.”

A report to councillors recommends that they approve the plans.

  1. Bhasvic neighbour Reply

    As a genuine ‘neighbour’ of BHASVIC, living in a street closest to the college, who will be most heavily impacted by this development, it is important to point out that the 60 letters of support, were not from genuine neighbours, but from parents of students attending the college, some living many miles away, who responded to a cry for support for this project from the college itself. The nearby streets have no issue with BHASVIC providing extra space for students, however failing to adequately manage to considerable traffic flow the college attracts and failing to provide sufficient parking for staff, visitors and pupils creates many problems for the colleges real neighbours. Over the past few years the college has built repeatedly on existing car park spaces. To solve this BHCC, issued school parking permits to school staff allowing them to park freely in nearby streets in both resident only bays as well as shared parking bays. The result is our streets have become an overspill car park for the college. School parking permits are a particular problem for local residents when the school has a high staff footprint and our area is not the only one in Brighton affected by the indiscriminate issuing of these permits. They are not issued to a specific car, leaving scope for abuse and whilst they are supposed to be issued to school teaching staff only, this is not the case, with maintenance and admin staff being given permits. Now the college wants to build on another car park further reducing spaces, whilst increasing demand. The new plans are creating an open air stage area additional to the ‘much needed classroom space’ The college is actively promoting itself as a venue for hire, and already has a growing range of weekend and evening events, which attract large numbers of people, outside of college hours, an outside stage area will be yet another further amenity for hire, with no real educational justification. I am surprised that given the large number of objections and the obvious negative implications to nearby residents, there was no attempt to have any serious consultation with the local area.

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