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News - 2 December 2009

Royal Alex site to get a new planning brief

The local authority has appointed a conservation specialist to carry out an independent evaluation of the former Royal Alexandra Hospital site in Dyke Road Brighton.

The site, on the corner of Dyke Road and Clifton Hill, is part of the Montpelier and Clifton Hill Conservation Area. It was formerly used as the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children from the 1880s until 2006 when the hospital relocated to a new building in Eastern Road.

Many of the old buildings remain on site although they have suffered a number of inappropriate additions over the decades. Plans by Taylor Wimpey to demolish the hospital and build 149 flats with a garden open to the public were turned down by the planning committee in December 2008 (see earlier story). A subsequent appeal (in May 2009) was also dismissed (see earlier story) because the planning inspector determined that the south facade was worth saving despite English Heritage declining to give the building listed status.

Following the appeal, the council has decided to update the planning brief to guide future development of the site.

The conservation expert - Jack Warshaw - specialises in the rescue and repair of historic buildings and buildings at risk. He is a national authority on conservation matters and is often called as an expert witness. He will be assessing whether the Royal Alexandra Hospital buildings could be realistically converted and conserved as part of a new development.

The planning brief aims to set out realistic development options for the site and will also be informed by the recent consultation carried out with residents, amenity groups and the landowners and a report by the District Valuer outlining the financial viability of future development. Brighton & Hove’s conservation report on the former Royal Alexandra Hospital site will be carried out during December and a final report produced early in the new year.

Read related items on:
Development sites
Brighton & Hove City Council
Dyke Road

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