The ArgusUniversity plans rejected (From The Argus)

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University plans rejected

The Argus: University plans rejected University plans rejected

THE University of Sussex will have to go back to the drawing board in its bid to increase its student intake.

Brighton and Hove city councillors have voted against £500 million plans for more student housing and academic buildings at the campus in Falmer.

The plans would have seen room for 1,408 more students on the East Slope and 1,122 on the West Slope, contributing to an expected 4,600 increase in students by 2018.

To avoid a student surge, the university has anticipated a maximum of 1,000 students a year.

But this, along with the size and breadth of the scheme, was too much for councillors, who felt the application could be broken down into smaller proposals.

There were four objections put forward by the planning committee.

The first was a negative impact on the amenities of the campus in terms of ecology through a loss of trees.

Under the plan 453 trees would have been removed, 12 on health and safety grounds. While 250 trees would have been retained and protected, it was revealed that this protection would not extend to tree preservation orders. The woodland areas bounding the site would have remained unaffected.

Secondly concerns were raised over the scale and height of the plans with fears it would create a “dense urban environment”, the committee stated.

This was despite the buildings in the application being arranged so the tallest buildings were at the bottom of each slope with the shortest at the top to minimise visual impact.

In addition, it was felt there was a failure to demonstrate there would be no negative impact on the city’s housing stock.

Caroline Lynch, of the Coombe Road Local Action Team, opposed the scheme because she felt it would detract from the affordable housing stock for residents. She told the committee: “Granting this planning application would be reckless of the council.”

Labour councillor Les Hamilton remarked that student houses, if lived in by families, could yield an extra £4 to £5 million in council tax.

Finally, councillors felt the plan did not respect the composition of the campus as envisaged by Sir Basil Spence originally – in the 1960s. The campus was intended for 800 students.

Allan Spencer, director of finance for the University of Sussex, said the university had already planted two hectares of trees and added that landscaping would have been taken “very seriously” in the development.

Afterwards he said the university would think about its next move.

A University of Sussex spokesman said: “We’re disappointed but we have a lot of options open to us, including appeal. It’s too early to say which of these we’ll choose.

“This does not affect our – targets for student recruitment.”

Comments (8)

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4:49pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Fight_Back says...

Rather ironic given the Uni's objections to a football stadium at Falmer. What goes around comes around.
Rather ironic given the Uni's objections to a football stadium at Falmer. What goes around comes around. Fight_Back
  • Score: 6

5:30pm Thu 26 Jun 14

community member says...

The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected.

But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character.

Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well.

The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder.

Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years .
The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected. But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character. Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well. The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder. Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years . community member
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Thu 26 Jun 14

stevo!! says...

I cannot see why they need to have more students at the Uni.
I cannot see why they need to have more students at the Uni. stevo!!
  • Score: 3

6:43pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Fight_Back says...

community member wrote:
The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected.

But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character.

Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well.

The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder.

Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years .
Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started.
[quote][p][bold]community member[/bold] wrote: The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected. But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character. Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well. The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder. Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years .[/p][/quote]Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started. Fight_Back
  • Score: 3

7:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

community member says...

Fight_Back wrote:
community member wrote:
The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected.

But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character.

Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well.

The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder.

Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years .
Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started.
Fight_Back says...
Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started.

Are you sure you have the right university ? What was this deal reached? As far as I know there were no objections in principle from Sussex, unlike Lewes and Falmer.
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]community member[/bold] wrote: The University didn't object. It was the residents of Falmer who objected. But I think B&H Council are right to reject the plans as they stand. Indeed there would be a “dense urban environment” and cutting down 65% of the trees (453 out of a total of 703) would surely have a devastating impact on the parkland character. Some other universities have a better mix of town centre and campus accommodation. Given the shortage of affordable homes in the City, wouldn't it be better for developers to build more housing in Brighton that could be used by students as well as others? Probably financially less risky for the University as well. The need for new academic buildings is different from almost tripling the number of bedrooms (demolishing 1492 bedrooms in the original 60s/70s buildings and replacing with 4022 new ones). It''s a shame they've all been lumped together in one giant planning application - proper scrutiny is harder. Pity the new students - the place will be a building site for years .[/p][/quote]Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started.[/p][/quote]Fight_Back says... Actually the Uni did object and right through to the second enquiry. A deal between the club and the uni was only reached days before the second enquiry started. Are you sure you have the right university ? What was this deal reached? As far as I know there were no objections in principle from Sussex, unlike Lewes and Falmer. community member
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Thu 26 Jun 14

SGK2000 says...

Both Unis saw the chance to do deals & benefitted from new buildings replacing some old stock which would have needed replacing anyway.

There is new student accomodation being built all over the place whilst local youngsters & families are having to move out on the City because family homes make more money as student lents.
Both Unis saw the chance to do deals & benefitted from new buildings replacing some old stock which would have needed replacing anyway. There is new student accomodation being built all over the place whilst local youngsters & families are having to move out on the City because family homes make more money as student lents. SGK2000
  • Score: 2

11:39pm Thu 26 Jun 14

rolivan says...

It's a pity the council can't make them buy Anston House and turn it into Student Accommodation as no one in the area wants it knocked down and redeveloped.
It's a pity the council can't make them buy Anston House and turn it into Student Accommodation as no one in the area wants it knocked down and redeveloped. rolivan
  • Score: 0

8:57am Fri 27 Jun 14

Can this be says...

rolivan wrote:
It's a pity the council can't make them buy Anston House and turn it into Student Accommodation as no one in the area wants it knocked down and redeveloped.
rolivan seems to have missed that Planning Permission was recently granted to refurbish Anston House and change it from office use to 44 flats. The key question is how has it taken the best part of thirty years to get to this point. It has been a disgrace on our main road into the town for all that time.
[quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: It's a pity the council can't make them buy Anston House and turn it into Student Accommodation as no one in the area wants it knocked down and redeveloped.[/p][/quote]rolivan seems to have missed that Planning Permission was recently granted to refurbish Anston House and change it from office use to 44 flats. The key question is how has it taken the best part of thirty years to get to this point. It has been a disgrace on our main road into the town for all that time. Can this be
  • Score: 1
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