What is wrong with the City College development?

Photo:What City College will look like from Sydney Street

What City College will look like from Sydney Street

A summary

By Peter Crowhurst, NLCA Chair

The North Laine Community Association calls upon the Council to refuse the plans put forward to redevelop the City College campus.

The proposals  have the potential to greatly affect the quality of life of the residents of North Laine and the character of the area.  The  plans are for a new 8-storey College building on the existing car park, the erection of an 10 storey block containing 442 beds for students on the Tower site, and six-storey (or higher) development for 125 residential units on the east side of Pelham St.

The construction phase will last at least 4-5 years with piling lasting more than 20 weeks. The impact on local residents of the noise and dust will make the lives of those who live close by intolerable. Local residents may have to leave, as have residents who live near the London Road Coop development.

The development is too dense, too high and is out of scale with the surrounding Conservation Area. The excessive scale, massing and bulk of this development will dominate the skyline to the north of much of North Laine. This development is much closer to North Laine than the current tower and will appear more imposing, especially as the demolished tower (12 storeys) will be replaced by a denser 10-storey building. New developments are supposed to protect views out of the city and have respect for existing conservation areas. This development will loom large over North Laine and will appear as an obtrusive and alien element.

This project will increase late night noise in North Laine. Late night noise might be anything from groups talking loudly to shouting, arguing and sometimes fighting. With Brighton having a lively Late Night Economy it is naive to think that students who have just left home will not take advantage of it. It is almost expected of them.

The proposals have the potential to change the demographics of North Laine dramatically . Older owner occupiers are already moving out due to late night noise and anti-social behaviour, and this process will be accelerated. Nearby developments at the London Road Co-op, the former Buxton's in Oxford Street, and Circus Street will add about 1,280 students to the area. You cannot add 1,280 students to an area without that area changing in character.

The current balance between age groups and type of owners is a delicate balance and needs to be maintained . One of the features of North Laine is its diversity of people - there is a range of ages and types of householder, with most streets having young families with children, working couples, students and retired people. In any one street there will be social housing, Council houses, rented homes and private households.  This application will upset that balance with consequent implications for the city.

To object write to: Ms Walsh, Development Control Manager, Brighton and Hove City Council, Planning Department, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ or

Email: planning.applications@brighton-hove.gov.uk quoting Application No BH2013/01600

For more information about the proposals go to the NLCA chair's letter to the Planning Committee

This page was added on 20/09/2013.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.