Permission for new student halls next to university

Planning permission has been granted for a new student hall of residence close to the University of Brighton’s key buildings in Lewes Road.

The decision was confirmed at yesterday's planning committee (13 December 2017).

With 189 student rooms and rising in places to nine storeys, it would occupy numbers 2-6 Pelham Terrace. The site is opposite the B&Q store and just south of the university’s Mithras House.

Approved plans include knocking down three terraced houses, the former Lectern pub and the Costcutter convenience store.

Included in the development are spaces for community use on the ground and first floors. On the top floor would be five private flats.

The building would be finished in light-coloured brick, with the first two floors partially glazed.

Under a planning agreement with the council, developers must provide students living in the halls with free bus passes and Bikeshare membership. They must also contribute £80,000 towards improving local sustainable transport and £240,000 for local open spaces and indoor sport. A management plan for the community hub space must also be agreed with the council.

An officer’s report for the committee said the development accords with agreed planning policies, designed to increase purpose-built student accommodation and reduce pressure on family housing.

Planning consent was granted in September for redevelopment of nearby university car parks and Preston Barracks. It would provide space for 1500 jobs, 1300 purpose-built student bedrooms and a new University of Brighton business school. There will be 369 new homes, 15 per cent of them affordable properties aimed at local people in housing need. 

Committee chair Cllr Julie Cattell said: “The universities are a major industry for the city and local planning policies recognise that. Purpose-built accommodation means there is less pressure to convert homes into shared houses for students. And it makes sense to have this accommodation near key university facilities.”

The proposals come from a private company CKC Properties. Its portfolio includes student halls elsewhere in the UK.

While the Lectern is listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) this does not, under national law, offer permanent protection from development. However a property’s listed status can be taken into account in deciding whether to grant planning permission. Otherwise, listing as an ACV simply means community interest groups have up to six months to raise funds to attempt a purchase should the owner intend to sell. But they must compete on the open market and are not given special terms. The pub was first listed as an ACV in January 2016.

How the new halls of residence will look