Round Hill Ward

App Type:

Full Planning



58-60 Beaconsfield Road Brighton BN1 4QJ     



Change of use from builders merchant premises (Sui Generis) to vehicle rental premises (Sui Generis), including partial demolition of existing structures, installation of rental vehicle wash bay, amended fascia to existing shopfront, parking and associated works.



Rebecca Smith, tel: 291075

Valid Date:



Con Area:


Expiry Date: 



Listed Building Grade: 




Planning Prospects Ltd   4 Mill Pool   Nash Lane   Belbroughton   DY9 9AF              


Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK Ltd   C/o Planning Prospects Ltd   4 Mill Pool   Nash Lane    Belbroughton   DY9 9AF           




1.               RECOMMENDATION


1.1.          That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out below and resolves to GRANT planning permission subject to the following Conditions and Informatives:



1.         The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the approved drawings listed below.

Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.


Plan Type



Date Received

Proposed Drawing



6 October 2023

Proposed Drawing


23 May 2023

Proposed Drawing



18 August 2023

Proposed Drawing



14 September 2023

Proposed Drawing



18 October 2023

Location Plan



4 July 2023


Activity Noise Assessment  

23-10729 Rev B

17 October 2023


Planning and Heritage Statement  

21 April 2023


Transport Statement  

21 March 2023


Heritage Statement  

21 July 2023


Phase One Environmental Assessment Report  

EN23138 Cl 001b

18 August 2023




14 September 2023




18 September 2023

Proposed Drawing



6 October 2023

Proposed Drawing



25 September 2023


2.         The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.

Reason: To ensure that the Local Planning Authority retains the right to review unimplemented permissions.


3.         All ecological measures and/or works shall be carried out in accordance with the details contained in the Extended Phase 1 Habitat (Ecology) - Survey Report (Ecology Link, 25 July 2023) as already submitted with the planning application and agreed in principle with the local planning authority prior to determination.

Reason: To ensure that the measures considered necessary as part of the ecological impact assessment are carried out as specified, and to provide a net gain for biodiversity as required by paragraphs 174 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and Policy CP10 and DM37 of Brighton & Hove City Council's City Plan Part One and Part Two, respectively.


4.         No development shall take place until an ecological design strategy (EDS) addressing enhancement of the site for biodiversity, to include provision of landscape/buffer planting to the equivalent value of at least 0.13 Biodiversity Units in the current version of the Defra Biodiversity Metric and two bat, five swift and three insect bricks/boxes, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The EDS shall include the following:

a)      purpose and conservation objectives for the proposed works;

b)      review of site potential and constraints;

c)      detailed design(s) and/or working method(s) to achieve stated objectives;

d)      extent and location /area of proposed works on appropriate scale maps and plans;

e)      type and source of materials to be used where appropriate, e.g. native species of local provenance;

f)       timetable for implementation demonstrating that works are aligned with the proposed phasing of development;

g)      persons responsible for implementing the works;

h)      details of initial aftercare and long-term maintenance;

i)        details for monitoring and remedial measures;

j)        details for disposal of any wastes arising from works.

The EDS shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and all features shall be retained in that manner thereafter.

Reason: To provide a net gain for biodiversity as required by Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, as amended, paragraphs 174 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Policy CP10 of the Brighton & Hove City Council City Plan Part One and Policy DM37 of the City Plan Part Two.


5.         Prior to first occupation of the development hereby permitted, details of secure cycle parking facilities for the occupants of, and visitors to, the development shall have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved facilities shall be fully implemented and made available for use prior to the first occupation of the development and shall thereafter be retained for use at all times.

Reason: To ensure that satisfactory facilities for the parking of cycles are provided and to encourage travel by means other than private motor vehicles and to comply with policy DM33 of the Brighton & Hove City Plan Part Two.


6.         No development, including demolition, shall take place until a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. They shall include:

1.      The phases (if applicable) of the development hereby permitted, including the forecasted completion date

2.      A scheme setting out how the contractors will minimise disturbance to neighbours regarding issues such as noise and dust management vibration site traffic and deliveries to and from the site 

3.      Details of proposed site accesses and any pitlanes or loading / unloading areas within the highway, which shall be sufficient to allow all vehicles to enter and exit these in forward gear without reversing on the highway

4.      Details of hours of demolition and construction including all associated vehicular movements

5.      Details of the demolition and construction compound 

6.      A plan showing demolition and construction traffic routes and the type and the number of vehicles forecast to use these

7.      Details of measures to protect highway assets and to mitigate impacts on public transport and emergency services and provide for their continued operation during the works

8.      Details of vehicle cleaning facilities to prevent mud and dirt being trafficked onto the highway from the site or being washed onto it

9.      Details of any temporary traffic management and signage along the construction routes, at site access and elsewhere in the vicinity of the site 

10.    Details of employee and contractor parking

The demolition and construction works shall be carried out in accordance with the approved CEMP and no part of the development hereby approved shall be occupied until the approved highway works have been carried out in accordance with the agreed details.

Reason: As this matter is fundamental to the protection of neighbouring amenity, highway safety and managing waste throughout development works and to comply with Policies CP8 and CP9 of the Brighton & Hove City Plan Part One, DM20, DM33 and DM40 of the Brighton and Hove City Plan Part Two, WMP3d of the East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan 2013 and SPD03.


7.         The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced until details of a scheme of internal signage, warning drivers of passing pedestrians on the public highway have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: In the interest of highway safety and to comply with policies DM33 and CP9 of the City Plan.


8.         The proposed lighting for the vehicle rental use hereby approved, shall only be operated in accordance with the approved details including the Lighting and Boundary Treatment Plan L102 V2, received 14th September 2023; External Lighting Report (XXXXXX-HCA-23-XX-RP-E-0001 Rev P02), received 18th September 2023 and Ecternal Lighting Proposed Layout, Holophane Scheme (XXXXXX-HCA-23-XX-DR-E-0101 Rev P01), received 14th September 2023. 

Reason: This is to ensure that the lighting is not excessive for the required purposes and that the impacts on adjacent occupiers and the neighbouring wildlife, including the London Road Local Wildlife Site is kept to a minimum and to comply with polices DM20, DM37 and DM40 of the Brighton and Hove City Plan Part Two.


9.         The development hereby approved shall be carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Phase One Environmental Assessment Report (Preliminary Risk Assessment), ref EN23138 CL001b, received 18th August 2023. 

Reason: To safeguard the health of future residents or occupiers of the site and to comply with policy DM41 of City Plan Part 2, and SU11 of the Brighton & Hove Local Plan.


10.      The use hereby permitted shall not be carried out except between the hours of 08:00 and 18:30 on Mondays to Fridays, 09.00 to 17.00 on Saturdays and 10.00 and 17.00 on Sundays, including Bank or Public Holidays. 

Reason: To safeguard the amenities of the locality and to comply with policies DM20 and DM40 of Brighton & Hove City Plan Part 2.



1.         In accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and Policy SS1 of the Brighton & Hove City Plan Part One the approach to making a decision on this planning application has been to apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development.  The Local Planning Authority seeks to approve planning applications which are for sustainable development where possible.


2.         The site is known to be or suspected to be contaminated. Please be aware that the responsibility for the safe development and secure occupancy of the site rests with the developer. The local planning authority has determined the application on the basis of the information made available to it. It is strongly recommended that in submitting details in accordance with the above/below conditions that the applicant has reference to CLR 11, Model Procedures for the management of land contamination. This is available online as a pdf document on the Environment Agency website.


3.         The applicant should be aware that whilst the requisite planning permission may be granted, this does not preclude the department from carrying out an investigation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, should any complaints be received.


4.         To be in line with Policy DM33 of the City Plan cycle parking must be secure, convenient, well lit, well signed and wherever practical, sheltered. The Local Highway Authority's preference is for Sheffield type stands to ensure the main frame of the bicycle can be securely stored. All must be spaced in line with the guidance contained within the Manual for Streets section 8.2.22.


5.         The applicant is advised that Network Rail have commented on the application owing to the close proximity to the railway. Network Rial have supplied their suggested informatives from their Asset Management Team. The applicant is advised to take note of these and direct any questions to Network Rial using the contact details on their consultee response on the planning register where they will find a copy of the Network Rail response in full.



2.               SITE LOCATION


2.1.          The application site is a shopfront with builders’ yard to the rear, located on the eastern side of Beaconsfield Road. The yard area is crescent shaped, curving around on land underneath the railway viaduct, with vehicular access provided to the north of the former showroom unit at 58 Beaconsfield Road, and south of 62 Beaconsfield Road, now in use as a public house but previously forming part of the builders’ yard use.


2.2.          The last use of the application site as a builders’ yard ended in 2021, with the site remaining vacant since.


2.3.          The yard area backs on to the rear gardens of the properties on Springfield Road and Ditchling Rise, with  London Road Local Wildlife Site adjoining the application site, to the east, below the viaduct. 


2.4.          The site includes the railway arches of the Grade II listed railway viaduct, with the north eastern edge of the site  falling within the Preston Park Conservation Area. The site is covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).





3.1.          The application seeks planning permission for the change of use of the site from a builders' merchant (sui generis) to a vehicle rental premises (sui generis), with refurbishment of the existing showroom fronting Beaconsfield Road and associated alterations to the site. 



4.               RELEVANT HISTORY 


4.1.          BH2023/01187 - Display of non-illuminated fascia signs and wall mounted signs. Under Consideration 


58 Beaconsfield Road 

BN74/1911 - Alterations to existing builders merchant premises. 



5.               REPRESENTATIONS 


5.1.          One-hundred and sixty-six (166) letters have been received, objecting to the proposed development for the following reasons:

·         Adversely affects conservation area.

·         Impact on local residents through increased noise and disturbance (including from jet wash), air quality, loss of light and outlook

·         Overdevelopment, poor design,

·         Light pollution - impacts on residents and wildlife

·         Car parking layout inappropriate as there is inadequate room for cars to manoeuvre, and no footpaths for pedestrians.

·         No footpaths within the curtilage for pedestrians to safely navigate 

·         Opening hours are too long

·         Security risks for adjacent homes

·         Use would not enhance the area – lack of benefit.

·         Increased traffic and congestion, highway safety impacts.  

·         No engagement from the applicant with the community

·         Impact on garden walls and trees.

·         Increased ground pollution from vehicles

·         Damaging to trees in neighbouring gardens 

·         Increased use of water as part of the use 

·         Detrimental to safety of customers using BRZN Arms (including disabled access) and would prevent pop-ups in rear garden.

·         Adverse effect on listed building

·         Lack of adequate consultation

·         The current use as brownfield has not been demonstrated 

·         Demolition is not necessary

·         Impact on bats 


5.2.          Objections were raised in relation to impacts on existing businesses, views, and property value but these are not material planning considerations. 


5.3.          One (1) letter has been received, supporting the proposed development for the following reasons:

·         Site would return to a trade use with more satisfactory opening hours

·         BRZN Arms has been more disturbing than Travis Perkins was


5.4.          Caroline Lucas MP has objected to the proposal, a copy of their response is attached to this report. 



6.               CONSULTATIONS 



6.1.          Environmental HealthNo objection  

The application has been reviewed by the Environmental Health Officer, their full responses can be read on the planning register. The Environmental Health Officer has reviewed the reports provided in relation to contamination, noise and reviewed the lighting details.  Subject to appropriate compliance conditions there is no objection to the proposal. It has also been suggested that opening hours are secured by condition. 


6.2.          Heritage:  No objection  

The Heritage Statement states that "the proposals will not alter the neutral contribution the site". The existing proposal has a negative contribution to the character of the site while the proposed development will have the same level of negative contribution to the site and the conservation area and so the proposal will not increase the harm caused to the listed buildings or conservation area. The removal of existing buildings on the site will have no impact on the listed building provided care is taken to ensure that removal does not require demolition methods and machinery that causes any harm to the fabric of the listed viaduct.


6.3.          Following the above comments further amendments were made and a verbal comment from the Heritage Officer confirmed that if the existing shopfront design is retained with any new windows and doors being timber and matching the existing design and the fascia is amended to retain the corbels within the signage then the application can be supported. 


6.4.          Sustainable Transport:   No objection  

The proposals have been found acceptable, subject to the following conditions and obligations:

·         Signage, warning drivers of passing pedestrians on the public highway.

·         Cycle Parking is secured 

·         CEMP



6.5.          Ecology:  No objection 

The submitted Ecology Report is considered acceptable and the measures contained within the report should be actioned.


6.6.          Ecology have also considered the lighting arrangements for the site and have confirmed that the design and luminance on the latest plans would not be of significant concern. Conditions are recommended to ensure that development is carried out in accordance with the submitted documentation with regard to ecology. 


6.7.          Network Rail: No objection

Network Rail have responded to the consultation letter and not raised any specific concerns. 





7.1.          In accordance with Section 38 (6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, this decision has been taken having regard to the policies and proposals in the National Planning Policy Framework, the Development Plan, and all other material planning considerations identified in the "Considerations and Assessment" section of the report.


7.2.          The development plan is:

·         Brighton & Hove City Plan Part One (adopted March 2016);

·         Brighton & Hove City Plan Part Two (adopted October 2022);

·         East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Plan (adopted February 2013); 

·         East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Sites Plan (adopted February 2017);  

·         Shoreham Harbour JAAP (adopted October 2019).





The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 


Brighton & Hove City Plan Part One: 

SS1              Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

CP2              Sustainable economic development

CP3              Employment land

CP9              Sustainable transport

CP10            Biodiversity

CP11            Flood risk

CP12            Urban design

CP13            Public streets and spaces

CP15            Heritage


Brighton & Hove City Plan Part Two: 

DM18           High quality design and places

DM20           Protection of Amenity

DM21           Extensions and alterations

DM22           Landscape Design and Trees

DM23           Shopfronts

DM26           Conservation Areas

DM27           Listed Buildings

DM29           The Setting of Heritage Assets 

DM33           Safe, Sustainable and active travel

DM36           Parking and servicing

DM37           Green Infrastructure and Nature Conservation

DM40           Protection of the Environment and Health - Pollution and Nuisance 

DM43           Sustainable Drainage


Supplementary Planning Documents: 

SPD09         Architectural Features

SPD11         Nature Conservation & Development

SPD12         Design Guide for Extensions and Alterations

SPD14         Parking Standards





9.1.          The main considerations in the determination of this application relate to the principle of the use, the design and appearance of the proposals including the impact on heritage assets, impact on neighbouring amenity, transport and highway safety, ecology and sustainability.


Principle of the Development: 

9.2.          As already noted, the site was previously in use as a builders’ yard but has been vacant since December 2021. The site previously included 62 Beaconsfield Road which is now in separate use as a public house, albeit not yet authorised in planning terms, but not forming part of the present application.


9.3.          It is stated within the planning application that the proposed car hire use would provide employment for 10-11 people which is welcomed as a means of bringing this commercial site back into use.


9.4.          The proposal would make use of brownfield land within a well-connected location in the city which will ensure that the site continues to provide employment. It is also noted that vehicle rental would have the potential to encourage people to utilise sharing of motor vehicles rather than owning them which could contribute to higher rates of sustainable travel and lower car ownership. 


9.5.          The principle of the change of use is acceptable and is considered to accord with polices CP2, CP3 and CP9 of the City Plan Part One.


Design and Appearance: 

9.6.          As existing, the site comprises a shopfront under the railway arch, a shared vehicle access for the site and neighbour at 62 Beaconsfield Road and several storage structures in and around the arches of the Viaduct. 


9.7.          Initially, the applicant sought a more modern shopfront design making minor amendments to the fascia. 


9.8.          Following heritage concerns the applicant has decided to retain the existing shopfront design and alter the proposed fascia/signage to retain the corbels of the shopfront (the advertising signage is assessed separately under BH2023/01187). 


9.9.          The applicant was asked to consider inclusive access as part of the design which has been achieved by utilising a side entrance from the access road and an amended internal layout which facilitate use by those with mobility issues.


9.10.       A number of existing structures would be removed from the site, but an additional structure would be installed to provide an enclosed area for the jet-washing of vehicles. The structure would be up to a maximum of 2.45m in height, constructed in metal with a pitched roof and one open side. In conjunction with the removal of existing structures it would have a neutral impact on the appearance and character of the site, and would have limited impact off site.  


9.11.       A 2m timber close boarded fence is proposed to replace the existing mesh fence on the boundary abutting the gardens on Springfield Road. It is noted that these works could be undertaken under ‘permitted development’ rights but  are also considered acceptable in respect of their design and appearance, particularly noting the existing fencing on site. 


9.12.       Overall, the design and appearance of the proposals are considered appropriate for the mixed commercial use of Beaconsfield Road and to accord w ith polices CP12 of the City Plan Part One and DM21 of the City Plan Part Two. 


Impact on Listed Viaduct and Preston Park Conservation Area: 

9.13.       In considering whether to grant planning permission for development which affects a listed building or its setting, the Council has a statutory duty to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses. Moreover, when considering whether to grant planning permission for development in a conservation area the Council has a statutory duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area.


9.14.       Case law has held that the desirability of preserving a listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest it possesses, and the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of a conservation area should be given "considerable importance and weight".


9.15.       As noted earlier in this report the site contains grade II listed railway arches, and a small part of the site falls within the Preston Park Conservation Area. This is the north-east section adjoining gardens of Springfield Road and the south west section where the site would adjoin gardens of properties on Ditchling Road.


9.16.       Heritage Officers raise no objection subject to the retention and restoration of the existing shopfront fronting Beaconsfield Road, which has now been incorporated.   


9.17.       It is noted that 'demolition' would occur within the Conservation area as structures associated with the previous builders' merchant use would be removed. The structures are largely free-standing structures, but as some of the structures are under the railway arch, further information is required as part of the CEMP to ensure that the demolition is undertaken in a manner which would not pose a risk to the fabric of the listed Viaduct. 


9.18.       The proposal would not harm the setting of the listed viaduct or the appearance and character of the Preston Park Conservation Area in accordance with polices CP15 of the City Plan Part One and DM26 and DM27 of the City Plan Part Two. 


Impact on Amenity: 

9.19.       Policy DM20 of City Plan Part Two states that planning permission for any development or change of use will not be granted where it would cause material nuisance and loss of amenity to the proposed, existing and/or adjacent users, residents, occupiers or where it is liable to be detrimental to human health. 


9.20.       As noted above the existing lawful use of the site is as a builder's merchants, including deliveries to/from site, retail use, and the storage of materials. The proposed change to vehicle rental unit would result in a reduction in vehicular trip generation overall compared to the builders’ merchants, as well as fewer large vehicles and no loading/unloading so is considered beneficial in terms of the noise and disturbance over the permitted use.


9.21.       The proposed vehicle rental use would have similar weekday opening hours to the builders’ yard from Monday to Friday (08.00 to 18.30). However, it is proposed to open from 0900 – 1700 on Saturdays (where the previous use ceased at midday), and 1000 to 1700 on Sundays and Bank Holidays (where the previous use was closed) so this would be an increase in weekend hours.


9.22.       However, it is noted that there was no restriction on the opening hours of the previous use, so it could have increased to include weekends and Bank Holidays. Further, the applicant has provided a comparative analysis which suggests that Monday to Saturday their proposed hours are similar to the other commercial uses in the immediate area, which is acknowledged.


9.23.       While it is acknowledged that there would be some additional noise over the weekend in comparison to the previous use given the major road and rail networks forming the immediate setting, and the impact of vehicle movements and the increased hours proposed is not considered so significant as to warrant refusal of the application.


9.24.       The applicant has provided a Activity Noise Assessment (ANA) which has assessed the proposed use of a car wash bay and compressor. It is noted that the proposed location of the car wash bay would be adjacent to a similar function of a neighbouring business. The proposed car wash bay is located on the southern side of the site and would be closest to residents on the Ditchling Road. The report does set out that it has been completed on the basis of the jet-washer and vacuum being used for 1 hour per day. The Environmental Health Team are satisfied that noise from the operation of the site would be acceptable. 


9.25.       In terms of lighting, ’a Lighting Assessment and Lighting Scheme have been submitted in response to concerns raised by Environmental Health Officers (EHO), who have confirmed that there are no concerns in this regard.  This, along with potential contaminated land issues would be secured by condition.


9.26.       The proposed timber fencing and car wash structure Is acceptable in respect of height and siting and would not result in any significant loss of light, outlook or overbearing or enclosing impact to neighbouring residents.


9.27.       Overall, the proposals, subject to the suggested conditions would not result in a any significant harm to the amenities of adjoining occupiers, in accordance with policies DM20 and DM40 of the City Plan Part Two. 


Sustainable Transport: 

9.28.       The proposed change of use from builder’' merchant to vehicle rental has been reviewed by the Local Highway Authority (LHA), including the proposed layout of the vehicle parking spaces. Following the LHA response changes to the site boundary were made to exclude the land on the northern side of the accessway off Beaconsfield Road, with updated path analysis, which aimed to demonstrate that the site can operate safely without impeding access for the neighbouring premises. 


9.29.       In response to concerns raised about safety for vehicles entering/leaving the site, signage would be provided warning  staff and visitors about the one-way street and probability of pedestrians at the access which would be secured by condition. The impact of the use on highway capacity is also considered acceptable.  


9.30.       In terms of parking on site, as a vehicle rental use, the applicant has supplied a parking layout and a swept path analysis. This has been assessed and the layout found to be acceptable for 22 cars and three vans. It is also noted that there are three parking spaces which are adjacent to the site office (under the railway arch) which are proposed to be used for pick-up/drop off and are therefore outside the main car parking area. The layout is considered acceptable.  


9.31.       Overall, subject to the imposition of the suggested conditions, the proposal is not considered to represent a significant impact to highway safety or significantly impact the operation of the local highway and would therefore accord with polices CP9 City Plan Part One and DM33 of the City Plan Part Two. 



9.32.       The County Ecologist has reviewed the proposals following the submission of a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA). They have also been asked to review the proposed lighting scheme with regard to wildlife, including amendments made during the lifetime of the application. 


9.33.       The proposed vehicle rental unit would be adjacent to the London Road Local Wildlife Site (LWS) and following the most recent lighting proposals County Ecology are satisfied that the proposed lighting would not lead to significant light overspill which would be harmful to the LWS or to the proposed bat habitat set out within the PEA. The lighting scheme is proposed to be controlled by condition to ensure that it operates with regard to the details submitted and that no lighting is left on when the premises are not in use (with the exception of sensor triggered lighting). Additionally, the County Ecologist has requested an Ecological Design Strategy by condition, this is to be provided prior to any works onsite (including demolition). 


9.34.       Therefore, subject to the recommended conditions being attached, the proposal is acceptable in respect of nature conservation and biodiversity and the proposals would be in accordance with polices CP10 of the City Plan Part One and DM37 of the City Plan Part Two. 



10.            EQUALITIES 


10.1.       The applicant has indicated a layout for the enterprise shopfront which would allow inclusive access for users and employees which is considered beneficial. 


10.2.       The site boundary was amended during the course of the application to demonstrate that the proposed access to the site would leave sufficient space for disabled access at the neighbouring public house.