Building work is ready to start on a new pub and nine-storey block of flats at the county cricket ground in Eaton Road, Hove.
The Sussex Cricketer pub has now been demolished along with a neighbouring chalet and groundsman’s house in readiness for the new Sussex Cricketer, 37 flats and some offices.
Excavation work is about to begin for the underground car park that forms part of the £20 million scheme.
The new building – to be known as the Tate Residences – is the first phase of a revamp of the home of Sussex Cricket as part of a masterplan in four phases.
The name is taken from the Tate Memorial Gates at the entrance to the ground, named after the popular record-breaking Brighton-born Sussex and England all-rounder Maurice “Chubby” Tate. His obituary in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack includes more details of his career.
Sussex Cricket said that the gates were “a much-loved monument to one of Sussex’s most gifted players which will be reinstated alongside a new clock tower as part of a much more visible and attractive entrance to the 1st Central County Ground in Eaton Road”.
With the first phase now under way, the club said: “Construction work is scheduled to be completed in around 18 months’ time.”
Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew said: “We are delighted with the progress of the masterplan for the 1st Central County Ground so far.
“Phase one is the redevelopment of the Sussex Cricketer pub and the south-west corner of the ground.
“This will be followed by further improvements to the cricket ground itself in due course.
“Phase one is critical to these further developments and we were delighted to receive planning permission in March 2020.
“Working closely with our development partner, Roffey Homes, I am very pleased to say that, despite the difficulties of the last 12 months, we are still on track with our plan to complete phase one by the end of 2022.
“The level of interest in the Tate Residences, even before we go into the ground, has been very strong – and we believe the quality of the development and its location will prove to be very appealing to purchasers.
“As we move forward with a significant project for the club, I am excited that we will produce a landmark building which will become an impressive entrance to our cricket ground, but also create a long-term commercial asset for the club which will help our plans for further ground development and financial stability in the future.”
Ten of the 37 flats are understood to have been sold off plan and the block looks likely to gross more than £23 million. The profits will help Sussex Cricket to fund the later phases of its masterplan.
Before the Sussex Cricketer pub, the neighbouring chalet and groundsman’s house were demolished, they were valued at £2.8 million.
The cricket club transferred ownership to its subsidiary, Sussex Cricket Estates, for £2.35 million and last summer took out its second loan in two years with Barclays Bank.
Two estate agents are marketing the Tate Residences, Graves Jenkins, of Brighton, and Michael Jones.
Michael Jones said: “The Tate Residences will consist of 37 luxury one, two and three-bedroom apartments along with exceptional three and four-bedroom penthouses.
“The majority of apartments will benefit from outdoor space with many having large, south-facing balconies.
“In addition to this, on the sixth floor there will be a substantial residents’ communal rooftop terrace, offering unparalleled views across the cricket ground and surrounding areas and an exceptional opportunity for cricket fans.”
When Brighton and Hove City Council granted the scheme planning permission in March last year, Mr Andrew said: “The County Ground has been based in Hove for nearly 150 years and we are thrilled that this allows us to secure our future here and to continue to deliver our wide-reaching community programmes across Sussex.”
Sussex Cricket said that it had “commissioned award-winning local firm ECE Architecture to create the plans, which are estimated to attract £20 million capital investment and create 153 jobs”.
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