A Moulsecoomb councillor is concerned that a student developer’s plans for Moulsecoomb Place may alienate residents, calling it a “gentrification project”.
Labour councillor Amanda Grimshaw is worried that proposals for a “joined up pub, hub and club” will not provide the community focus intended for the site.
The historic Manor House, Tithe Barn and gardens are next to Brighton University student housing.
After an initial public consultation in July, the second public consultation on the plans for Moulsecoomb Place and the surrounding land is due to start this Saturday (1 October).
Councillor Grimshaw, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward, said: “I was initially very pleased to see that public consultations are taking place on the future of Moulsecoomb Place.
“I am led to believe that while the present student accommodation at the rear was to be replaced with higher blocks, this would ensure that the future development of Moulsecoomb Place would have a community focus.
“For those families living on the adjoining Moulsecoomb, Bevendean and Bates estate, there is a feeling of ‘them and us’ towards the universities which is very sad.
“I am concerned that a gentrification project of Moulsecoomb Place may further alienate the local residents.
“I hope to see many things developed which allow both the local residents and the student population to come together.
“I don’t want to see expensive restaurants where the price of a cake and coffee might be a household’s contribution to their daily utility bill.
“Suggestions from residents that I have spoken to include things such as a community launderette, community spaces for the elderly, families and young people, or community kitchens with training and food projects – even a playground and a swimming pool.
“These are really inspiring community-led ideas from the people who live near Moulsecoomb Place, often families whose parents and grandparents have a strong affection and affinity to the site.
“I really do hope that these contributions to the consultation are listened to and go a long way towards uniting the local population and the universities.”
The developer, Cathedral Group, has planned another public event to be held in the “riwaq” on the lawns at Moulsecoomb Place from 11am to 4pm on Saturday.
The public exhibition will once again host family activities and street food similar to the event held in July.
Cathedral said that plans for the site had been “adapted and further refined” after it took local feedback on board.
The developer is working with Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton University to restore the grade II listed buildings and gardens and replace the neighbouring student housing.
Cathedral Group chief executive Richard Upton said: “We are very much looking forward to showing our evolved proposals for the first time to the local community at our consultation event next Saturday.
“We have taken on board feedback from the local community at our first consultation and focused on creating space and facilities that are appropriate and price-sensitive to the local residential and student community in this area, as well as restoring and opening up Moulsecoomb Place and gardens.
“The gardens have been closed to the public for 600 years. As soon as we bought the site, we wanted to change this and the proposals will make a public garden from a private space forever.
“We are also delighted to be working closely with the Moulsecoomb Social Club to enhance their facilities which are incredibly affordable, as is membership.
“All in all, we are proposing a joined up pub, hub and club within newly opened up landscaped gardens.”
The public consultation will also be open online from Saturday 1 October to Saturday 15 October including a survey at www.moulsecoombplace.com.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.