University of Sussex to appeal against planning decision

The University of Sussex intends to appeal against Brighton & Hove City Council’s Planning Committee’s decision to turn down an outline application to modernise its campus.

The plans, which represent a potential £500 million investment in the local economy, provide a framework for the future development of the University and include provision for:

  • New state-of-the art academic and research facilities
  • 2,500 new student rooms on campus and facilities to support this expansion
  • Preservation of architect Sir Basil Spence’s famous listed buildings and surrounding landscape
  • Creation of an estimated 2,400 new jobs in the local community

The University, which currently employs 2,200 people and supports a further 1,500 local jobs, states the plans, which were turned down by the Council in June 2014, are vital to maintain its standing among the top one per cent of universities in the world.

Professor Michael Farthing, the University of Sussex’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We need to modernise and expand our facilities if we are to continue to attract the best and brightest academics and students as well as provide jobs that benefit thousands of local families.

“The University of Sussex is currently ranked 14th in the UK and is in the top one per cent of universities in the world. This is a huge achievement, but we can’t take it for granted. Some of our facilities are more than 40 years old and we need to invest now to secure a bright future for the University and for Brighton.”

If the plans are given the go ahead, the University can start to provide more accommodation and services for students on campus and help the City to meet its housing objectives.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The University of Sussex’s appeal is expected to be lodged before Christmas 2014. Following this, a public hearing is likely to take place in spring of 2015, with a decision expected by summer 2015.
  2. The Planning Inspectorate, a government agency that deals with all planning appeals, will assess the appeal. Following the public hearings the Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who will make the final decision as to whether the Masterplan is given consent.
  3. If the Planning Inspectorate grants permission for the Masterplan, the University will then need to apply for detailed (reserved matters) applications for different buildings before work can start. These applications will provide further details and include specifications on the architecture and internal layout of the buildings.
  4. A study carried out in December 2013 by the economic forecasting and modelling experts, Oxford Economics, found that:
  • The University of Sussex currently supports 3,700 jobs in the local area
  • Students spend and visitors to students support a further 960 local jobs

This study projects that if the University of Sussex modernisation proposals are brought forward they will create:

  • An extra yearly spend of £120 million in the local economy
  • An extra 2,400 new jobs in the local community

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Monday, 24 November 2014