February 13, 2020

Objection to the Ovingdean Hall planning application

Some residents will already be aware that the language school have on 27 January 2020 submitted a planning application as follows “Temporary change of use for 5 years from education (D1) to hostel (Sui Generis) use with 90 day restricted stay.” Objections have to be in by 18 February and ORPS has been active in encouraging residents to object. We hope that the number of objections so far made will mean it has to go to Planning Committee.

Here is detailed list of objections by Steve Wedd, a member of ORPS.


  1. I oppose the application. Please publish these objections online.


  1. There are two corresponding applications under reference numbers 183 and 184. I understand that 183 is the planning part, and 184 is Listed Building Consent. The two applications although separate in law and in process are substantially the same.


  1. All of my remarks here cover both applications.



Occupation for up to 90 days

  1. How will the 90-day residence limit be enforced?


  1. What will stop residents moving out four times a year for one night, and moving back in two days later for another 90 days?


  1. What are the applicants proposals on this – and more importantly, what are the Councils proposals for monitoring and enforcement?



‘Temporary’ is not five years.

  1. Temporary quickly or slowly becomes permanent.


  1. The premises have been underemployed – maybe due to market conditions, maybe choice. I respect the occupiers need and desire to ‘do something’ with its premises, but not at the price of imposing a hostel on a Village.


  1. What happens at the end of five years? Do residents have to inform the Council of the elapsed time? I suspect that it will be much more likely that the applicants or their successors will apply to make five years permanent.



What is it going to be?

  1. Is it to be similar to a Youth Hostel?
    1. Is it a homeless persons hostel? A hostel for rehabilitation of the injured? Is it an addiction recovery hostel? A Police Federation medium stay accommodation? A Trades Union premise? What is it?



Detailed comments from the Application document

  1. Q18 waste storage and collection
    1. What are the existing waste provisions? The application blandly states ‘as existing’. The Hall is empty at present with three FT staff. This will increase to five FT staff servicing 62 residents. That is twelve times more waste. How many more waste disposal lorries will frequent Ovingdean?


    1. We regularly see heavy and large vehicles in the Village where the driver has followed the satnav unknowing what faces them down along Ovingdean Road and the Greenways bends.


    1. Will the Council impose a planning condition on consent that heavy and large vehicles visiting the Hall will only be allowed along Greenways and Ainsworth Avenue, the present approved and signed routes?


    1. Para 3.2 of the Transport Assessment informs us that there will be a café. That will generate waste.


  1. Q19 indicates that there is no change in the quantity of residential units.
    1. How does that sit with provision of 62 new hostel spaces?


  1. Are the 62 rooms single or double occupancy?
    1. They appear to be single rooms – please confirm.


  1. Q22 hours of opening
    1. The hours of opening are currently nil, and have been so for the last five years. What will the new hours of opening be? 62 rooms cannot be occupied without some sort of opening hours.


    1. Para 3.2 of the Transport Assessment informs us that there will be a café. What will the opening hours be for it?


  1. Noise
    1. Para 3.2 of the Transport Assessment informs us that there will be a café. When the Hall operated as a language school it was noisy especially at night, with outdoor games activities and music in summer.


    1. Some of the site premises have windows that back onto Ovingdean Road. Residents in Byre Cottages and The Ridings have registered complaints with the Hall about that noise in the past. The College has done what it can to control noise but then the students were teenagers on study leave.


  1. Q25 trade effluent
    1. Trade effluents/waste will be generated by 62 occupants, at the very least emptying their bathroom wastebins daily. Laundry effluent from 62 sheets, duvets and pillowcases will increased. Catering provision for 67 persons will increase trade waste. It is not enough to tick a box without making a full considered response to the question on the form.


    1. Para 3.2 of the Transport Assessment informs us that there will be a café.


Transport Assessment

  1. Para 3.3 understates the ‘frontage’ onto Ovingdean Road
    1. At best this a ‘backage’ onto that road, with only a fire escape and a (currently permanently fenced off) vehicle access road adjacent to the Upper Cottages.


    1. There are no parking restrictions on Ovingdean Road, but that is because it is a single lane medieval country lane, with the back of the Hall buildings built right up the kerbline of the road.


    1. All parking is in the extensive grounds in front of the listed building, where the presence of up to 80 cars detracts from the visual setting of the Hall. Please come and walk up into the grounds from the bottom of Ainsworth Avenue to get the whole effect.


  1. Para 3.5 Greenways is a rat run for much traffic from greater East Sussex into Brighton. Ovingdean Road is also 20mph limited.


  1. Para 3.7 is not true. On the eastern side of Greenways is a row of detached houses, but on the other side of the road is green farmland. Further south on Greenways farmland occupies both sides of the road.


  1. Para 3.9 the Cycle Map shows the City centre, with not one mention of Ovingdean or the Hall in it. Putting that within the TA is like saying that Greenways connects to the M25.


  1. Para 3.10 I agree


  1. Bus access – quantity
    1. Para 3.12 – the number 2 service does run along Ainsworth Avenue – once a day at 23:59 from Brighton, finishing at the A259 at the bottom of Greenways, half a mile away, whereafter it runs empty to depot.


    1. There is no service in the other direction at any time of any day. There is no service direct from the Hall to Hove, Portslade and Shoreham [sic]-by-Sea. Greenways does therefore just about include the number 2 service, but the Assessment implies more.


    1. Para 3.13 is not true. The number 2 service only serves Ovingdean anywhere as noted above. The nearest stop for the number two more frequent services is 1.23km away on Falmer Road.


  1. Bus provision – quality
    1. The Big Lemon CIC runs the Council-subsidised 52 and 57 bus routes, using small 29-seater buses. Those are already busy to full in the morning and evening peak hours, and empty the rest of the day. They cannot accommodate the potential 67 new residents and staff.


    1. When the College operated its now defunct language school it was common and regular to see dozens of students walking up or down Greenways to the coast road, either because they wanted to walk, or because they had missed the hourly bus, or because it was full.


    1. Greenways is not safe for young or vulnerable pedestrians. Sexual assault has taken place on the long, exposed, lonely (street lit) half kilometre walk from Beacon Hill to the coast road bus stop. Boy racers test out their cars there. People sleep in their camper vans and converted lorries there. People dump their cars there. There is a mobile phone no-spot halfway along it. If an incident takes place it is a long run for help and no one to hear a shout.


  1. Para 4.2 which market is being satisfied here?
    1. The three models suggested are different. Self-catering residents will have to walk 2 kilometres each way to find the nearest Tesco (at Rottingdean). The Village Shop is very close by but at present closes at 1800.


  1. Para 5.3 vehicle movements
    1. The assumption is that when it was an educational establishment a very large number of vehicle movements were generated. Not so. When it was a school for the deaf, the students were children and lodged there all day long. Only a small number of staff car movements were noted. When it was an English language school, most visitors were mid-teens and did not drive.


  1. Para 5.4 vehicle movements
    1. Please consider the recent traffic survey of Ovingdean, to compare the impact of many new vehicle movements a day.


  1. Para 6.3 conclusion
    1. Restates the false proposition that there are regular services between the site and Hove and Shoreham. There is one bus a day from Shoreham and it passes at midnight. Appendix 3 bus timetables proves so.


Planning Assessment document

  1. Under paragraph ‘principle of Proposed Use’
    1. It is suggested that there will be local employment opportunities.


    1. The staffing of the premises will increase from 3 to 5 – hardly substantial.


    1. Can a 62-bed hostel be run with five staff?


  1. The whole application is silent as the nature of the proposed residents
    1. The application proposes three-month stays. That is much longer than the couple of weeks that language students normally stay. Walkers and travellers will move on daily.