Royal Mail plans to close Brighton and Hove sites and move out of town

Posted On 22 Jan 2022 at 12:32 am

The Royal Mail plans to close its two delivery offices in Brighton and North and open a new base at a disused farm in Patcham.

The Royal Mail delivery office in North Road in Brighton

The company is preparing to hold two online consultation meetings in the coming week having held talks with Brighton and Hove City Council about the move.

The council owns the proposed site, Patcham Court Farm, in Vale Road, close to the junction of the A23 and the A27 Brighton bypass.

The plans would mean closing the Royal Mail offices in North Road, Brighton, and Denmark Villas, Hove, which look likely to be turned into a mix of housing and commercial premises.

Conservative councillor Anne Meadows, who represents Patcham ward on the council, asked about the proposal at the meeting of the full council last month.

In reply to her questions, the Green council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Council officers remain in discussion with Royal Mail for a new consolidated location at the Patcham Court Farm site.

“The terms of the transaction are not yet agreed and will require planning consent.

“Should agreement be reached, the matter will be brought to the Policy and Resources Committee for approval in spring 2022.

“The administration are supportive of the plans. Patcham Court Farm is a strategic development site, surplus to requirement, within the city local plan that was severed from the main farm site over 30 years ago for the construction of the A27 Brighton Relief Road.

“If successful, delivery of the site with a key employer will bring a carbon neutral state of the art facility, introducing an electric vehicle fleet.

“Customer service collection points will be retained in Brighton and Hove.

The Royal Mail delivery office in Denmark Villas in Hove

“The relocation and consolidation of the Royal Mail function on to one site releases other sites in the city enabling mixed redevelopment, commercial space and much-needed housing.

“Royal Mail will undertake a public consultation in the local community to explain the proposals in the new year ahead of any planning application.

“Ward members and the public will be invited to a public exhibition where the Royal Mail team will be happy to answer questions on their proposals and deal with any concerns.”

A current site plan of Patcham Court Farm

Councillor Meadows said: “There is too little detail, yet they are proposing that this will be decided in March by the council’s Policy and Resources Committee – then the planning application will follow very soon after this.

“My main concerns are that it will be 24 hours with large lorries using the Vale Avenue access, with no proper infrastructure as this is a residential road, so noise pollution all day and night.

“There will probably be a complete lack of parking for staff but I guess the Green-led council will suggest they will all come over by bicycle.

“There are already problems at peak times with traffic queues. This will exacerbate the situation – and not just at peak times any more.

“I have also asked what Patcham residents will get from this development, with no response so far.”

Patcham Court Farm from the south

Several neighbours in Patcham have already raised concerns about extra traffic, noise and disturbance, road safety, more pollution and the degradation of the local village heritage and culture.

One said: “We object strongly to the development of a major industrial site within the centre of a quiet residential area and within yards of the entrance into the beautiful historical Patcham Village and church.”

The North Laine Community Association has also flagged up concerns, saying: “This could have repercussions … if the existing building is redeveloped to such an extent that it has a detrimental effect on our conservation area or has a negative impact on adjoining residents.”

Patcham Court Farm from the north

The Royal Mail said: “The views of the local community are important to Royal Mail and we welcome your feedback on our proposals.

“On Thursday 27 January and Saturday 29 January, we will be holding public webinar events to explain our proposals and give you the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions.

“The Thursday session will begin at 6.30pm and the Saturday session will begin at 10.30am.

“There will be a presentation of the emerging proposals, followed by an opportunity for you to put your questions to the project team to find out more.

“The webinars will use Zoom software and there is no need to register in advance.

“Details of how to access these sessions will be available on this website shortly. Please note that you will not need to pre-register to attend the events.”

  1. Communal Bin Reply

    Get out of our *town* Post Office. We need more student accommodation. The university runs this ‘town’. Thanks for your co-operation. Cheque’s in the post. Make the locals drive to pick up their parcels instead of walk. Green? Wakey wakey

  2. Random Person Reply

    A derelict farm site becomes a postal hub on the edge of the city. Instead of lorries and PO vans travelling into central congested fume filled Brighton and Hove, they gather at the edge of the city for easy dispersal – surely this is a win all round.

    Old noisy industrial sites in city become housing

    How many vehicles pointlessly join those jams in the city with the lorries full of letters stuck in the gridlock? A rare bit of common sense seems to be happening here.

  3. Vera Reply

    The post office needs to be accessible to the general public. This will require public transport. There is currently nothing that will make the post office accessible. Surely finding a site in/near the Hollingbury Retail Park would be a better option??

    • LoveBton Reply

      Your complaint is covered in the article

      “Customer service collection points will be retained in Brighton and Hove.

  4. Shorehammer Reply

    What will happen to undelivered items which ordinarily have to be collected from the sorting office?
    Not everybody has transport available.

  5. Frank Reply

    This should be affordable housing or affordable post office not student digs

  6. Billy Short Reply

    Let us not kid ourselves here. This is obviously about property values, with the Post Office cashing in on assets. Does the nation still own these sorting offices?

    There’s nothing in this move that will improve postal services for the customer.

    And given that the majority of delivery addresses are in the city, this move will increase vehicle journeys made and journey times.

    The fantasy that Brighton and Hove can ever be car-free remains – despite these obvious facts which point in the opposite direction.

    • LoveBton Reply

      wow your world is grey and grumpy isnt it

    • Greens out Reply

      The Post Office is now a private company

  7. Radom Person Reply

    Read the article? Some of the above posters are complaining about picking up undelivered post. Read the article and not just the headline:

    “Customer service collection points will be retained in Brighton and Hove.”

    How is that not a win? You can still pick up your undelivered parcels in town, but the majority of all that traffic stays outside the city. You can also request parcels delivered to your local post office. I live on the edge of town and it takes over an hour to reach North Street with no where legal to park without large costs.

    Obviously it is about cashing in on property prices. Is this not a sensible reinvestment of their assets?

    Sometimes changes can be for the better.

  8. Valerie Reply

    Hundreds of postmasters were criminalised by the post office too wicked to admit they had dodgy software. Now they need to find a LOT of money to pay damages to the ones who lived long enough to get decriminalised.

    Any connection with sudden need to rethink the property portfolio?

    • Oddtaff Reply

      Neither the Post Office or its shareholders need to concern themselves with the cost of compensating the sub-postmasters or sub-postmistresses because the government has agreed that the taxpayer will foot the bill. Profits go to the private sector. Liabilities to the public sector that is the system.

  9. Mike Gibson Reply

    The Denmark Road site is proposed for mixed use redevelopment in the Draft Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan. The Council must negotiate hard to achieve 40% affordable housing rather then the 10% it achieved in other sites in the proposed Hove Station Quarter on Conway Street and at Sackville Road north of the railway. The Hove Garden project on Conway Street is virtually car-free.i.e access will be restricted to blue-badge holders.The redevelopment of the Post office site should follow this example. A collection point at the station would be convenient for the local community,

    Mike Gibson, Chair Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum

  10. jim Deans Reply

    We don’t have a Postal Crisis we have a housing crisis, this land should be used to build council homes on it as we own it, Gov has set asside 10billion to build council homes we own the land and have a housing crisis with thousands of local people living in Temp accommodation they can barely afoard. We need affoardable rents to just turn the tide on Homelessness, Mental Health, domestic abuse, Food Poverty in our city. It is idea placed its a huge piece of land and we own it. We all know the current PO sites have been offered to private developers as part of the deal bring more student accommodation and rental flats us locals can’t affoard. Patcham could house 300-400 homes its is also best placed for workers to travel to other areas including Gatwick where there is plans to expand the airport and its services, at lease one of the councillors inthe ward would prefer housing to a big industrial site.

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