Council says yes to new campus car park

It will be built behind Jubilee next year

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After a tense and lengthy debate at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday, councillors voted in favour of building a new four storey car park with 362 parking spaces behind Jubilee building. Construction will begin in spring 2017, and may be completed as early as next autumn.

Fourteen of the new spaces will be for disabled users, and the car park will have a lift for easy access. Electric charging points for hybrid cars will also be installed.

An artist’s impression of the new car park as seen from Jubilee steps

John Duffy, the university’s registrar, said: “Through combining excellent functionality with the highest-quality design, we believe this car park will greatly enhance the heart of campus for pedestrians and cyclists by gradually relocating car parking to the periphery of the campus.”

There are currently only 116 parking spaces in single-level Jubilee car park, which is located on the West border of campus behind Silverstone and Jubilee.  With more and more students coming to Sussex year on year and campus set to expand, campus car parking is in high demandHowever, the overall number of parking spaces on campus is capped, so the new Jubilee car park will not increase the number of campus spaces overall; it will replace the spaces which will be lost when East Slope is renovated.

Permissions for the build were only narrowly granted, with seven votes in favour and five against. Although all councillors present agreed with the principle of the car park, many voiced complaints over its proposed grey concrete and cladding design.

Tory and Labour councillors were quick to criticise the design, which had not yet passed through the council’s design panel. Lynda Hyde, Conservative councillor for Rottingdean Coastal ward, said: “I think Basil Spence would be turning in his grave”. Mr Spence, who was commissioned to design Sussex’s campus in 1959, is famed for his use of red bricks.

Green Party councillors had fewer complaints about the aesthetics, but were not keen that the car park would border ancient woodland and require the removal of more than 30 trees. However, they voted in favour of going ahead with the build when 65 new trees were promised to be planted.