Big changes are planned on the campus of Sussex University.
Five existing residential buildings will be demolished, together with a health centre. This will result in a loss of 852 student bed spaces. On the other hand, new buildings are proposed in their place which will make more intense use of the site and provide 1,921 new bed spaces, a new health and wellbeing centre and a new library.
The buildings which will be demolished pay homage to Sir Basil Spence’s design for the university’s first buildings, such as the Grade I listed Falmer House. However, they were probably not designed by Spence and are certainly not listed. Nor are they located near his original building. They are tucked away in the north west corner of the campus amidst a range of differing designs that have been used for more recently built student housing.
The Regency Society has no objection in principle to the demolition. However, we are disappointed by the somewhat unimaginative designs for their replacements.
The new library is seen as the focal point for the re-development. Its circular shape is justified by architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley with the argument that a circle “can represent the notions of totality, wholeness, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement …”. Well, it is a university!
At a more mundane level, we welcome the University’s attempt to follow the City Plan by housing more of its students on campus. Hopefully this will help to ease the growing pressure on housing in central areas of the city, and to reduce the much-disliked phenomenon of “studentification”. We also welcome the scheme’s efforts to minimise the loss of existing trees and to include considerable amounts of new landscaping.
To learn more about the plans, click here.
The Planning Forum, attended by members of the Regency Society and Hove Civic Society hovecivicsociety.org meets monthly to discuss planning applications which the Forum considers significant. Each society forms its own view on the applications and decides what action, if any, to take.