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 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 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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