8 May 2015

Council signs up to Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement

A groundbreaking new agreement to protect the University of Sussex’s unique listed buildings and streamline the planning process has been signed by Brighton & Hove City Council, Historic England and the University.

The Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement is only the second such agreement in the country - and the first involving a university.

The partnership agreement was formally signed by the council’s Chief Executive Penny Thompson; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Professor Michael Farthing; and  Dr Andrew Brown, Planning and Conservation Director for Historic England in the South East.

The University of Sussex was the first of a new wave of universities created in the early 1960s. The early buildings were designed by the celebrated architect, Sir Basil Spence, and include one Grade l and seven Grade II* listed buildings. They have many common design features, such as flat roofs, red brick and concrete arches. The fact that these buildings are listed in the two highest grades is a reflection of their considerable quality and significance. The University has continued to develop the site in sympathy with the early design and site layout.

Penny Thompson, Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: "We are delighted to be signing this Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement with the University of Sussex and Historic England. The agreement means that Listed Building Consent for general or repeated work will be granted without the need for the University to individually apply for consent – cutting red tape and saving time and money.”

Areas covered by the agreement include work to repair or replace the external fabric of buildings, internal fixtures and finishes to upgrade teaching facilities and works to improve safety and accessibility.

The University has carried out best practice for such works for many years and contributed to the current guidelines for listed buildings on the campus. It currently makes several listed building consent applications every year. Charles Dudley, Director of Residential and Campus Services at the university, said: “We are delighted to have reached such an agreement with Historic England and BHCC allowing us to improve our facilities within our listed buildings in a more timely and efficient manner. It also reflects our continuing excellent stewardship of the campus.”

Dr Andrew Brown, Planning and Conservation Director for Historic England in the South East, said: “This Agreement is a big step forward and clears the way for a schedule of on-going works to be drawn up by Sussex University. The LBHPA removes the ‘them and us’ situation and gives the comfort of a team working towards the same goal to protect the nation’s heritage for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”

The agreement will run for 10 years, subject to periodic review.

Notes to Editors

The Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement was agreed by the council’s Economic Development and Culture committee in March, following public consultation. (See committee report, agenda item 70 http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=705&MId=5168&Ver=4)

Brighton & Hove City Council is using new powers created in 2014 giving councils the power to make Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreements to manage alterations to major listed buildings or groups of listed buildings in the same ownership.

The first Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement in England was signed between Historic England, Maldon District Council and the Trustees of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, Purleigh, Near Maldon, Essex in November.

Further information:

Brighton & Hove City Council press office 01273 291035 or 293033

University of Sussex press office 01273 678888

Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) Press Office  020 7973 3855

Photo courtesy of University of Sussex