Stanmer House owner faces battle over drinks licence

The owner of Stanmer House has applied for a new premises licence to sell alcoholic drinks but faces opposition from a conservation group.

KSD Support Services wants to be able to use the ground floor and garden as a café, restaurant or pub and the upper floors as offices.

The Brighton and Hove Estate Conservation Trust, which manages tenancies in Stanmer, has objected to the application on behalf of residents.

The application will be decided by a Brighton and Hove City Council Licensing Panel meeting on Friday 25 June.

After the initial objections, KSD amended its application, reducing the times when alcohol would be on sale to between 9.30am and 11pm.

The company had applied to serve drinks until 2am and host dancing, live music and boxing and wrestling until 3am – requests that have now been qithdrawn.

The conservation trust said that 11pm closing would attract more people to the park and increase noise.

It said: “The premises would cause significant disturbance to tenants in Stanmer Village, both current and future ones, with taxis, cars and people walking, entering the park in the evening and leaving the park late at night, and all the noise and general disturbance that would cause.

“The park is most definitely not suitable for people to walk anywhere late at night as there is no lighting to assist them.

“This is a park. It is not an urban area. And thus this type of late-night activity is entirely unsuitable.”

The trust’s letter of objection also raised concerns about crime because Sussex Police tended to focus on central Brighton at weekends, notably West Street and the lower promenade.

It also had concerns about the nearby One Garden business and the prospect of attracting young people from the universities to the site for late drinking.

KSD bought the lease for the property in 2016 from developer Mike Holland after he was jailed for manslaughter over the death of a carpenter working in premises behind the main house.

Brighton and Hove City Council owns the freehold.

The grade I listed mansion has been closed since January last year when the previous commercial tenant went bust.

A licensing pane made up of three councillors is due to consider the application at a virtual meeting next Friday (25 June).

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10am and should be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Mrs H Reply

    This is laughable.
    No one from BHECT came and spoke to me about the application and having spoken to some of my neighbours, they didn’t talk to them either, so I’d be interested to know just who they did talk too to get the response they claim they have.
    Yes, there are residents who will be massively effected by this but the trust, who know so much about Stanmer, seem to have forgotten about the families who live directly behind Stanmer House in the Courtyard, it’s not just the Stable Block community who live in close proximity to Stanmer House. They also state how the licence will attract extra people/cars/anti social behaviour etc but there has always been a ‘drinking establishment’ in that area of Stanmer, from Stanmer Club’ (which was established in the 50’s) to ‘Stanmer House’ which was part of the Whiting and Hammond group who had the tenancy around 9/10 years ago. We do not object to a pub, we’re used to it! As for the rest of their objections, they’re not new to Stanmer…Cars/taxis/extra people/ anti-social behaviour/ drinking in the park/walking in the dark…it’s been happening here for years!
    What we do object too is having people comment on our behalf without speaking to any of us first and then having those comments published when they’re really not true.

  2. Rosie Harrison Reply

    My contribution to this one:

    NThis presentation from Brighton and Hove Estates Conservation Trust smacks very much of patronising feudalism. They are presuming that they know what their tenants would agree with and that it would obviously be the same as their view.
    BHECT have proved completely distant both from their tenants and from the Park over their entire existence and they have no right to claim to know anything whatsoever about Stanmer.
    This Trust is made up from two B&H councillor last from different wards, Savills as property managers who have a vested interest, their solicitors and accountants. No representation whatsoever from the Stanmer community or it’s stakeholders, apart from the councillors, who represent Hove and Roundhill. This Trust was created by the Council to manage and renovate the vacant cottages when Stanmer Home Farm closed, with Savills as property agents.
    They have continuously refused to engage with the tenants on a meaniful level for many years, but now, spontaneously have decided that they have their best interests at heart, with no communication whatsoever.
    Outrageous, actually!

  3. BHFC4EVER Reply

    lol, KSD shills posting again

    • Jason Knight Reply

      Not true. Both those replies were from officers of the stanmer residents committee, and I’m the chair. I spoke with every trust Tenent yesterday and a) they are all happy (and used to) the pub license, and b) have not ever been contacted by the BHECT to discuss either their properties or their opinions of the park.

  4. KK Reply

    Another resident here who is very surprised indeed to see the sudden concern the BHECT have for the well-being of the Stanmer Residents. I can confirm that they have been an autocratic disaster in the decade-plus I’ve lived here. They have been curt, dismissive, distant and disinterested any time we have any ACTUAL concerns or reached out for information, support or solidarity. Residents have been routinely treated as problems who ‘should know their place’ and need to be ‘put back in their box’ – an attitude which has negatively affected many families under their cosh.
    Given this history I can only assume that this objection by them to Stanmer House’s application is a boardroom strategy to fulfill a council/cronyism/charity tickbox so they can carry on reaping and growing whatever benefits their ‘trusteeship’ bring them.
    The feeling in the village is that we want Stanmer House to be thriving rather than decaying and that the licensing hours that have been granted over the last few years have worked well mostly (we are very vocal on the occasions when it doesn’t!). We welcome people to the park and want visitors to love the time they spend here – while being mindful of the fact that it is a residential space and nature reserve – and we actively and constantly engage with local businesses to ensure this via a very constructive ‘Stakeholders’ organisation – which BHECT have consistently refused to acknowledge or engage with.

  5. Steve Reply

    Nobody should condone the sale of alcohol from 9:30am in a park.

    • Jason Knight Reply

      Nonsense – we are grown ups, and can make our own decisions.

    • RH Reply

      Appreciate what you’re saying, but these are normal licensing hours.

  6. Christina Summers Reply

    As a former (independent) councillor of the ward which includes Stanmer Park I can confirm that comments here by residents concerning the baffling intervention by the Brighton & Hove Estates Conservation Trust (BHECT) are entirely accurate.

    I spent many hours in this park during my tenure and often used Stanmer House as my office. I chaired the Stanmer Park Stakeholder Group and had many a battle with the BHECT both inside and outside the council chamber. I knew the various leaseholders of Stanmer House very well and was also well acquainted with the enormous challenges in making this extraordinary landmark building work.

    The business solution has so far eluded every individual or organisation that has taken it on. I still truly believe that there is a viable solution but I would sound a word of warning concerning any involvement by the BHECT who have proven themselves to be unscrupulous, uncaring and, frankly, a complete waste of time and resources.

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