Agenda item - BH2022/02808 - St Agnes Church, Newtown Road, Hove - Full Planning

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

BH2022/02808 - St Agnes Church, Newtown Road, Hove - Full Planning


1.       The Planning Manager introduced the application to the committee. It was noted that the presentation was for all three applications for the site and comments would therefore relate to all three unless specified.




2.       Ward Councillor O’Quinn addressed the via a speech read out by the Democratic Services officer: Objection to Natural Fit gym applications: I believe there are three applications to make objecting difficult. The case has ongoing for nearly 3 years. The doorway to the terrace was created without gaining planning permission and the club has not asked for permission as their view is they don’t have to. Without the doorway they would not have access to the terrace and there would be no issue about a hospitality terrace. I was informed that everything was permissible as it was part of the purpose of the gym. However, my understanding is that there are planning laws that protect the historic church. I would argue that a real lack of respect has been shown for the planning system by the gym and for local residents who have not been consulted. I object to the creation of a hospitality area on the 1st floor terrace, including the lights, glazed terracing and music. There is a restaurant/café inside the club and members are allowed to take their drinks to the poolside area – this was allowed in the licence that the club applied for. However, no licensing permission was granted for the terraced. How can the terrace be used as a hospitality area where alcohol is being served? And how can it be considered a part of the gym’s purpose as it already has a licenced cafe. If the committee decides to grant this application, then I suggest the hours that have been put forward by the Environmental Officer are implemented and all the other conditions put forward in the officer’s report. I also object to the retrospective application for the ventilation ducts. They run from 7am-9pm and are a constant irritant to the neighbours. The noise is not such that you would get used to it and block it out. It does affect the nearby resident’s quality of life and ability to enjoy their garden space. I visited in Autumn 2022 and another 2 air conditioning vents had been added to the ground floor of the building. They were very noisy and were only placed there recently. I urge the committee to reject all three applications.


3.       Peter Rayner, as the applicant addressed the committee and stated they had bought the site in 2017 and the building had been used for the previous 35 years as a gymnastics space with large numbers of attendees. The current gym has 700 members, 15 full time members of staff and 15 part time. The building has won a Sussex Heritage Fund award. The use class covers all areas of the building, where members can relax. The balcony has a no alcohol or music policy. The protective screens are to be protect the neighbours. The windows are acceptable; however, the suggested conditions are not.


Answers to Committee Member Questions


4.       Councillor Loughran was informed that the Environmental Health Officers had sought the conditions and the noise management plan will be placed online for comments, but that members would not specifically be consulted.


5.       Councillor Shanks was informed that consent for the balcony was previously agreed. The case officer confirmed that the entire building was covered by the same use class. The door inserted to allow access to the balcony requires planning permission and therefore the conditions.


6.       Councillor Nann was informed by the case officer that the building was not very accessible for those with mobility issues but never had been so this was not considered sufficient reason to refuse the application.




7.       Councillor Allen considered the changes did not harm the building or area. The councillor supported the application.


8.       Councillor Earthey requested that the noise management plan come to committee for agreement and therefore proposed that items BH2022/02809 and BH2022/02810 deferred. The motion was presented by Councillor Loughran and Seconded by Councillor Earthey.




9.       A vote was taken, and the committee agreed unanimously to grant planning permission for BH2022/02808.


10.      A vote was taken and the committee by 6 to 1 to defer BH2022/02809 and BH2022/02810 in order to obtain a noise management plan from applicant.


11.      RESOLVED: That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to GRANT planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives in the report.

Supporting documents:


Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: | how to find us | comments & complaints