Agenda item - BH2023/00830 - Ovingdean Hall, English Language School, Greenways, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2023/00830 - Ovingdean Hall, English Language School, Greenways, Brighton - Full Planning


1.            The Planning Manager introduced the application to the committee.


2.         The case officer updated the committee that condition 6 had been reworded, the Tree Protection Plan had been accepted so would be secured by condition, condition 28 had been altered, the Conservation Action Group had supported the scheme and the S106 agreement would need to be completed within 2 months of the committee meeting if the committee agreed to grant planning permission.




3.         Paul Perrin addressed the committee as an objecting resident and stated that they wished the application to be refused as it was unreasonable and would overshadow and overlook the residents garden patio. Sunlight/daylight will be blocked by the development, which is higher than the existing buildings ridge height. Light standards are considered to fall short and be toxic to the neighbours. Morning sunlight will be blocked to the front garden and shadows will be cast over the main living area and garden. The proposed new block is not needed at this location. The committee were requested to refuse the application.


4.         Tess St Clair-Ford addressed the committee as the applicant and stated that when the college opened, they received 170 national and international students for advanced learning. The college worked with local groups. 80% of the students were boarders. The proposals would bring the college back to life and enhance the conservation area. £12m would be put towards stage one, and £22m for the rest of the scheme. The number of support and teaching staff will be increased. The multi-use games area will be available for local community use, as well as the full boarders. The design has been mitigated to reduce the impact on the neighbouring properties. The committee were requested to approve the application.


Answers to Committee Member Questions


5.         Councillor Allen was informed by Paul Joyce acting as the agent that the design of the development had been agreed with the Heritage officers.


6.         Councillor Robinson was informed by the agent that the alignment of the proposed blocks matched the existing, away from the listed building. This was considered the best location for the new blocks. The multi-use games area is conditioned to have a management plan and lights will be on timers.


7.         Councillor Theobald was informed by the agent that the plans show the existing buildings and those proposed, including a second access road to the rear of the buildings which can be used as an escape route. The new blocks were slightly higher than the existing, the distance between the listed building and the development was 10 metres, condition 12 covered the swimming pool removal and condition 19 covered the floodlighting.


8.         Councillor Shanks was informed by the case officer that the south east area of the site was a Local Wildlife Site so there were few options for development, with the existing location for the new blocks being the best achievable. Contributions towards local bus services could be secured via Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).


9.         Councillor Hamilton was informed that northwestern corner of the site was not changing. The case officer noted the existing boarding block was in the northwestern corner. The agent confirmed that the majority of the site to the southeast was a wildlife site.


10.      Councillor Theobald was informed by the case officer that the S106 agreement was in line with guidance as the site was already a school.




11.      Councillor Allen considered Ovingdean to have a distinct character and the proposed development appeared to be incoherent. The councillor was against the application.


12.      Councillor Cattell considered the drawings quality were not good. The listed building was beautiful, and the proposals would not enhance the setting, detracting from the conservation area. The councillor was against the application.


13.      Councillor Robinson considered the proposed blocks to be too large. The councillor was against the application.


14.      Councillor Theobald considered the developments to be too close to residents. The councillor was against the application.


15.      Councillor Loughran expressed concerns the new blocks were too close to neighbours and considered the development to have a negative impact on the living conditions of residents.




16.      A vote was taken, and the committee voted unanimously against the officer recommendation.


17.      Councillor Allen proposed, and Councillor Robinson seconded that the application be refused. The wording of the refusal to be agreed by the Planning Manager with the proposer and seconder.


18.      A recorded vote was taken, and the following Committee Members voted for the refusal: Allen, Cattell, Hamilton, Nann, Robinson, Shanks, Theobald, Winder and Loughran.


19.      RESOLVED: The committee refused planning permission for the following reasons:


1.         Design and materials would not preserve or enhance the distinct character of the Ovingdean Conservation Area.


2.         Unacceptable impact on the amenity of residents to the north of the site by virtue of the excessive bulk of the building and its proximity to dwellings on Woodland Walk.

Supporting documents:


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