A COUNCILLOR has celebrated the decision to put plans to sell farmland to the Royal Mail on hold.

Senior councillors at Brighton and Hove City Council were due to decide whether a long lease should be granted to the Royal Mail for Patcham Court Farm.

The existing sorting offices in North Road, Brighton, and Denmark Villas, Hove, would be demolished and replaced with nearly 200 homes - 110 in Brighton and the rest in Hove.

The announcement was met with a backlash from Patcham residents, who described the plans as “breathtaking”, as well as Conservative councillors including Alistair McNair.

On Friday, the council announced the withdrawal of the reports on the sale of Patcham Court Farm that was due to be considered the council’s Policy and Resource Committee.

“This is so that officers can continue to explore every viable option for housing on the sites being vacated by Royal Mail and councillors from all political groups can continue to listen to and respond to residents’ views,” the statement said.

“It’s imperative that councillors feel they have all the available information and options so that they can make an informed and fully considered decision about the future of Patcham Court Farm and securing Royal Mail jobs in the city.

“This will take more time to provide.”


Conservative city councillor Alistair McNair said the report was “clearly not ready” to be presented to the committee, and “bore little resemblance to residents’ experience of the consultation and process overall”.

“It has clearly been admitted by the council that much more work needs to be done by the council and Royal Mail with regards to public consultation and reports into the suitability of the site,” he said.

“Residents, Cllr Anne Meadows and I obviously feel the site is completely unsuitable, and hope this is initial recognition of this fact.

“Many thanks to the residents of Patcham who have been tireless in fighting this completely inappropriate development, and will continue to be so, as it would permanently ruin this historic and rural part of the city.”

Earlier this week, Labour also said they are “dismayed” by the council’s approach to the deal and called for a pause in proceedings.

There have been a total of eight approaches for the site in Patcham since the early 1990s, including a Royal Mail proposal in 2018.

A Royal Mail spokesman said their plans would create 85 staff parking spaces on site, as well as 13 motorcycle spaces and 40 bicycle spaces.