University plans to build almost 2,000 student rooms

A decision is due next week on a £200 million scheme to build almost 2,000 new student rooms on the West Slope at Sussex University’s Falmer campus.

The plans are due to go before Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (20 May).

If passed, the university will end up with double the number of existing student rooms on the West Slope site.

Officials have recommended that councillors grant planning permission for the scheme.

Sussex University has applied to build 1,899 rooms in a mix of “cluster flats”, townhouses and family apartments to replace the existing 852 rooms which will be demolished.

The current Park Village, Lancaster, York, Kulukundis and Kent House buildings are expected to make way for 23 new buildings ranging from one to six storeys high.

A cylindrical landmark building, the Pavilion Library, is also planned for the site.

About three quarters of the rooms would be “en suite” rooms in “cluster flats” of six to eight rooms, with a communal kitchen, dining area and space to relax.

Almost a quarter of the rooms would be in 12 to 13-bedroom townhouses with shared bathrooms and communal areas.

A further 20 two-bedroom family flats are proposed.

The plans also include a laundry, supermarket, study space and store as well as a health and wellbeing centre for a doctor’s surgery, dentist and counselling services.

Current and former students who either live or have lived in the halls sent nine letters opposing the scheme. They criticised the height and design of the buildings.

The proposed West Slope at Sussex University’s Falmer campus from the air

One person, whose details were redacted on the council’s website, said: “This is over-development of the area.

“While York and Lancaster Houses are not listed themselves, they are not far from grade I and II listed buildings, follow the same architectural style and form of the original northern boundary of the 1960s Basil Spence campus.

“This is a classic and internationally famous design which should be preserved.”

Another objector, whose details were also redacted, said: “The planned buildings do not appear to be in sympathy with the original design of the campus, particularly with respect to height, including some up to six storeys high, which might over-reach the treeline.

“One of the important features of the original Spence vision is that the buildings nestled into the valley and were not visible from afar.

“Overall, this plan represents the creation of an overly dense, urban-style environment in close proximity to the carefully planned and architecturally important Spence setting and involves the demolition of two of the original buildings. Ignoring this important heritage is very concerning indeed.”

The scheme is the only application scheduled to go before the Planning Committee next week.

The “virtual” meeting is due to be webcast on the council’s website

  1. Gaz Reply

    200 mill! That could help be used to furlough staff until end of year so we can spend more time at home before being ready for work. Gaz

  2. Argusnot Reply

    Caveat: the dentist must treat patients and not be allowed to pull the referral card.

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