Plans to rebuild student housing and create a social club in a listed building in Brighton are due to go before councillors next week.

The plans – submitted by developer Cathedral, for Moulsecoomb Place, in Lewes Road – involve demolishing the existing student flats and replacing the buildings with four blocks of varying heights containing 566 student rooms.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee are advised to be “minded to grant” planning permission for the scheme at a meeting next Wednesday 5 April.

Each of the proposed four blocks would include a gym, wellbeing studio and flexible space. The tallest building would be 15 storeys high with a public café on the ground floor.

The Grade II listed Manor House and Tithe Barn would continue to house the Moulsecoomb Social Club.

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A new “hub” with a pub and 10 guest bedrooms plus a restaurant and event space is proposed for the Manor House as well as a single-storey “link building” and an accessible lift.

The report to the council’s planning committee said that the council had received 29 objections and 22 supporting comments from the public.

Public objections included the height of the buildings, the inclusion of a pub and the effects on community infrastructure such as dentists and doctors.

Supporting comments said that the scheme was a “sensitive regeneration” and cited the need for more student housing to reduce the demand for family homes to be converted into student lets.

Labour councillor Theresa Fowler has submitted a written objection to the plans. She said: “Blocks of up to 15 storeys are far too high for this site and will overshadow residential homes and is overdevelopment. This will seriously affect the listed Manor House and Tithe Barn.

“The development will also damage the flint wall, part of the original curtilage dating back hundreds of years and carefully retained and expertly repaired when the existing student block were built.”


The Brighton Society has also opposed the application because of the effect on the Manor House, saying: “The Georgian Manor House is currently surrounded by gardens and original flint walls, a perfect setting for the Manor House.

“To surround this building with tower blocks which would dominate and overshadow the building is just a crass proposal.

“Demolition of the existing halls of residence, of brick and tiled construction and only built 20 years ago would be an action that would go against all the current aims of the construction industry to avoid demolition of existing buildings.”

The Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership has written a letter of support for the application.

It said that the project would generate social value worth almost £5 million and help relieve the pressure on housing.

The community arts and technology organisation Exploring Sense CIC has also written to support the application and expressed an interest in using the community space.

The Argus:

Its letter said: “We are currently working in Baca (Brighton Aldridge Community Academy) school and at BYC (Brighton Youth Centre) with neurodiverse and neurotypical young people, delivering weekly arts and technology activities.

“We also work in partnership with Mascot (Managing Autistic Spectrum Conditions Ourselves Together).

“We still have a lot of equipment in storage for maker, arts and technology activities, but currently do not have a space to set up and deliver such activities.”

The planning committee is due to meet at 2pm next Wednesday (5 April) at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.