A £73.4 million plan to rejuvenate a college has been unveiled – with work possibly starting next year.

After months of asking the public what they think, City College Brighton and Hove has submitted its proposal to transform its Pelham Street campus.

In addition to an eight-storey building with more than 12,000sqm of teaching space, plans include a ten-storey tower of 442 student accommodation rooms and up to 125 homes.

If approved by planning committee, those behind the “car free” scheme hope it could be opened to the public in three years time.

Lynn Thackway, the college’s principal, said: “Our aim is to be an outstanding and responsive college at the heart of learning in Brighton and Hove with a commitment to continuous quality improvement.

“This means delivering vocational and professional learning, skills and apprenticeship opportunities in accommodation that is fit for purpose and our proposals for the redevelopment of our Pelham Street campus will help us meet this vision, as well as contributing to the economic and social well-being of the city.”

The Argus reported in November that new financial backers had been found for the redevelopment.

About 124 construction jobs are expected to be created if it is approved.


Under the plans, building work will take part in phases and see the demolition of the 1960s Pelham Tower and the Cheapside, Trafalgar and York buildings, which are across the road.

However, following concerns from conservationists, the Gloucester building, which backs on to Trafalgar Court, will remain.

The college’s car park would also be lost although a new public square will be created and Pelham Street would be pedestrianised.

After consultation, the student accommodation numbers were brought down from 500 and the building height reduced by a storey. A management plan would also be drawn up to minimise impact on neighbours.

According to the planning application by Surrey-based Harwood Savin: “The college simply cannot afford to continue supporting and running the extent of inefficient and failing building stock.”

Tony Mernagh, of Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, who is also a governor at the college, said: “The scheme is definitely needed. We’re aware it’s a big development and we’re aware the car park will go. But, on balance, it’s definitely the right path to go down.”

The planning application will be dealt with by October.