Brighton and Hove’s new plans for the Royal Mail sorting office

OVER a hundred people have objected to Royal Mail’s plans to move its sorting offices in Brighton and Hove to a single location in Patcham.

The Royal Mail has submitted a planning application to build a new delivery office at Patcham Court Farm on Vale Avenue, Brighton.

The plans went live on Brighton and Hove City Council’s website last week, but opposition to the move appears to have grown over the past six months.

The Royal Mail held two public consultation events – both webinars – and Conservative councillors, representing Patcham on the council, started a petition against the plans.

The proposal is to demolish the existing disused farm buildings and construct a storage and distribution center with parking and landscaping.

Two substations and a “vehicle maintenance facility” are also included in the application.

Artistic Impressions Royal Mail Patcham Court Farm 3

Artist’s impression Royal Mail Patcham Court Farm 3

Royal Mail currently has two sorting offices – one in North Road, Brighton, the other in Denmark Villas, Hove. These would merge into one at Patcham should the plans be approved.

But there would be no collection point for customers at the Patcham location, so Royal Mail is expected to look for a location in Brighton and Hove where people can collect missed deliveries.

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Royal Mail said: “The proposed development at Patcham Court Farm is a very sensitively conceived project which will bring significant employment opportunities to the site and provide an operational building to accommodate Royal Mail’s future growth and adaptation to a changing business enable model.

“The design is keenly aware of the sensitive site in which it sits and is making significant efforts to mitigate the impact of the development on both the conservation area and Patcham residents.

Artist's impression Royal Mail Patcham Court Farm

Artist’s impression Royal Mail Patcham Court Farm

“Feedback from both the pre-application meeting and the public consultation has been considered and incorporated into this design proposal, while ensuring the site remains operationally viable.”

Less than a week after the application went live on the council’s planning website, 118 letters of objection were received from residents and two letters supporting the program.

One objector, whose details have been redacted by the council, said: “This is a ridiculous location proposal due to limited space and parking in an already over-parked area.

“I am sorry to residents on Vale Avenue for the stress this would cause, the noise pollution and the heavy flow of traffic to an already busy road in and out of Patcham.

“Green spaces should be preserved in areas so that they don’t feel overcrowded and a place for people to walk, walk the dog, play, and enjoy fresh air and space.”

One of the anonymous supporting comments read: “I support these plans. They are well designed, create additional jobs in the area, support the use of local amenities and are environmentally conscious.

“This is in a derelict and neglected site which together with the road noise from the A27 makes this an ideal area for development and (will) improve the local area.”

Councilors are due to discuss a proposed lease of the site to the Royal Mail at a special meeting of the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Friday (29 July) at 2pm.

Should councilors agree, the Royal Mail will give the council’s joint venture with Hyde Housing – known as Homes for Brighton and Hove – four months to come up with proposals to convert one or both of the existing sorting offices into flats.

To see the plans and to comment, visit the Council’s website and search for BH2022/02232. Brighton and Hove’s new plans for the Royal Mail sorting office

Fry Electronics Team

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