Student village planned in the grounds of historic Brighton manor house

Posted On 30 Jul 2022 at 12:05 am

Moulsecoomb Place

A new student village is being planned for the grounds of an historic manor house in Brighton.

Existing student flats are likely to be demolished behind Moulsecoomb Place, in Lewes Road, and replaced by taller buildings to provide more homes for people studying at Brighton University.

The property developer Cathedral Group shared their initial plans for the site at an exhibition there this month, with about 300 people going along.

Cathedral, which was behind the Preston Barracks and Circus Street schemes in Brighton, was also gathering feedback on its plans for the Manor House, Tithe Barn and student village in the grounds.

Richard Upton, chief executive of Cathedral, said: “Our goal is to enhance the old buildings and gardens, making the whole site more accessible right up to Moulsecoomb Station, and create a sustainable and lively place which brings benefit to the local community and the wider city.”

The initial plans for the site show a shared kitchen, student lounge, gym, co-working space, study area, event space, bike store and student bedrooms.

The project team said: “The intention is to restore Moulsecoomb Place, the Tithe Barn and the gardens, converting them into facilities that bring community benefit and are enjoyed and used by many.

“The student accommodation next door is ‘enabling development’ and will be high quality.

“We are currently open to ideas as to how the site is used and the space that can be converted includes the listed buildings and gardens, working within planning constraints.

“Cathedral aims to create something that will benefit local residents, students and people from across the city.”

Among the early ideas for the site are a horticultural nursery and restaurant, a wellness retreat, an independent “food invention” or “educational restaurant” venue, a city farm or artist studios.

A second public consultation is planned for the autumn when the developer aims to share more detailed proposals before submitting a planning application.

Moulsecoomb Place, right, from the air, with Lewes Road in the foreground and the existing student blocks behind

The recent exhibition set out Cathedral’s strategic priorities which include retaining the existing grade II listed buildings while improving accessibility.

The consultation closes tomorrow (Sunday 31 July). To find out more or to comment, click here.

  1. Helen Reply

    Oh for goodness sake not more student accommodation.

    • BrightonWhyDoWeHateChange Reply

      Ahh the start of the 2 sides of student accommodation rants in Brighton, its either we don’t want them taking houses that could be used by famiies but also complain when the are contained into larger blocks.

      It should also be pointed out that at least part of this is replacing existing student space

      • Helen Reply

        Thank you for the reply.
        Reference, New builds at London road (two sites), Lewes Road, University itself, Moulsecoombe, Hollingdean and there’s bound to be some I’ve missed.
        It is also proposed that existing FAMILY HOMES are to be replaced with STUDENT accommodation at Falmer station.
        Enough is enough. However, if, any current HMO’s used for students will become available and returned to Family homes then all well and good, but I doubt that will be the case.

  2. Peter Reply

    Anything for the college Stuff the residents of Brighton let’s just turn it into a student town

  3. Jane Reply

    Do we really need more student accommodation?What we need is affordable housing for residents,this is just wrong,if more student accommodation is going to keep being built,then council houses should not be used as HMOs

    • Benjamin Reply

      Yes, we do. And yes we do. Both can be true.

      • Helen Reply

        You say we do, I beg to differ and I will explain why later in my post.
        First, I’d like to point you to a BHCC council report dated 2019 that reads: More than 9,000 people are on Brighton and Hove City Council’s housing waiting list. But the council owns 11,571 homes, only 92 of which are empty.

        Since then of course, covid struck so the number of empty houses increased to several hundred if I recall due to needing maintenance/Repairs/refurbishing.

        I’ve not found any recent data on Housing availability or the numbers still waiting, but as there’s been very few, if any New builds for families etc.

        By contrast, in the last few years, there’s been New Students accommodation built at the former Army barracks Lewes road, more opposite. We already have students at Vouge gyratory, more opposite on the former budget hire place. More going in on the former co-op site, again on the Lewes Road, more on the former co-op London Road. Thousands were built on the Sussex University campus itself, more now at Hollingdean, bottom of Moulsecoomb Way and FAMILY HOUSES are being replaced with more student accommodation at Falmer station, are you getting the point yet ?

        No we don’t need any more Housing for Students.

  4. sd Reply

    They have made Lewes Road feel imposing and not like the Brighton I have lived in all my life.

    If they had built genuinely affordable housing for people (not exclusively students), I would feel less sad about it.

    No one needs to travel to Brighton to study anymore, we all became familiar with online studies during the lockdown period.

    We need housing for all, not just a small group of people.

    • Scoomber Reply

      > We need housing for all, not just a small group of people.
      The more student blocks for the students to go into, the more of the HMOs in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean can go back to local residents. All the more housing for low waged who are currently priced out.

  5. Alessandro Reply

    Finally a place for students to live! It was long due. Thanks b&h council. I had had enough of all these youngsters desperate for a roof over their head. I’m also happy that an historical venue gets converted for such an honourable cause. I see the council prioritises social and heritage

  6. Adam Campbell Reply

    I came to Brighton in 1982 as a student and stayed to raise my family and run a variety of businesses over the years. Students were a part of all communities, spread out over the town. Now they are concentrated into one particular area, the academic corridor of the Lewes Rd. This has essentially driven out many of the original mixed part of the population. One cannot help but feel that this is Gerrymandering on a massive scale to ensure St Caroline stays in office.
    With the noise, dirt and ever present graffiti we made the decision to take our investment out of Brighton two years ago. We bid you well from the Wye Valley and leave you in the tender care of Phelim and his sixth form debating party.

  7. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    I’ve asked this question before but nobody has bothered to answer or even comment. Is there evidence that the student flats already built are fully occupied, or anywhere near fully occupied?

    Also, what is the average rent of such flats for students as opposed to the average rent in an HMO? These are questions that should be asked vigorously by councillors and answered truthfully by officers before this latest proposal even gets near to planning committee.

    • Benjamin Reply

      Yes sir, University of Brighton gets limited with the number of places they can reasonably provide by the accomodation offering. FOI can provide you with the specific details if you’re interested. Good comment to make though.

      • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

        But we also have the rather better and well-established Uni of Sussex, which has closed down the Eastbourne campus, so do we get them wanting accommodation in Brighton too? In my experience, I once put in an FOI request to the council about something quite minor and they just lied through their back teeth. The council rarely answers FOI requests about anything and, on the rare occasion that they do, then they fudge, deny and rely on bits of the legislation to wriggle out of it, and they get away with it. That’s why I want councillors demanding answers from officers on these questions.

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