Thank you for visiting the consultation website for Royal Mail’s proposals in Patcham. The pre-application consultation period has now closed. Thank you if you have submitted comments to us already. All the comments we received are being carefully considered before the submission of a planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council.
Please visit the pages below to learn more about the proposals and if you would like to ask us a question, please do get in touch with us.
If you have any difficulties accessing any of this information, please do not hesitate to contact the engagement team who will be very happy to help and answer any questions you may have. Please note that any visuals or photographs shown on this website are for illustrative purposes only and will be subject to change.
News and progress of the project will be updated on this website. If you would like to be kept up to date with our emerging plans, please do take a couple of minutes to register with us.
Royal Mail in Brighton & Hove
Why We’re Moving
The Existing Site at Patcham
- Designated for employment use within the adopted 2016 City Plan Part One Plan
- Widespread asbestos
- Dilapidated agricultural buildings
- Highly overgrown with large quantities of abandoned waste
- Shielded by thick tree belt around the site borders
The Royal Mail Operation
The Proposal for Patcham
The Proposed Design
A Contemporary Design
- Natural materials help blend the building into the conservation area
- Reminiscent of agricultural barns found in the area
- Creative use of the site levels to limit the height of the proposal
- Loading bays located at the rear of the site to further reduce any potential noise impact
- Translucent panels used to break down the scale of the building
- Green roofs help to blend the building into the landscape if glimpsed from the South Downs
A Green Building
- A fully carbon neutral site, on the journey to net zero
- Exceeding building regulation sustainability requirements by 47%
- Biodiversity contributions across the site utilising a number of different strategies
- Protection of the principle aquifer and use of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs)
- Passive heating and cooling strategies in partnership with green technology
- Fully electric delivery fleet and provision for staff vehicle charging
- Contributions for local highway improvements and to local services
- Significant improvements to the safety of this derelict site and associated health benefits
- Subject to feedback, option to include a community room (with kitchenette and toilet) for local use. Please send us your thoughts on this space
- Improved visual outlook along Vale Avenue, through enhanced tree planting and other screening
- Employment opportunities through construction and operation
- Enhancement of the site to benefit local wildlife
- Beehives will be provided to help local bio-diversity
The Royal Mail Patcham Vision
- Consultation meetings held with Councillors and community groups throughout January
- Public consultation webinars held on 27th and 29th January
- Consultation event open for comments until Friday 18th February
- Design team to incorporate community feedback where possible
- Planning submission targeting week commencing 28th February
Our public consultation period has now closed. We would encourage you to view the recordings on the webinars that we held in January 2022. All the comments we have received will be carefully considered before the submission of our planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council.
If you would like to receive any updates on the emerging proposals, please register your details with us. If you would like to put a direct question to the team, please use any of the other feedback options detailed in the Contact Us section.
Have Your Say
Our consultation period has now closed. Thank you if you participated in our consultation. Just to reassure you, your thoughts, ideas and concerns you tell us about will only be seen by the project team and will not be made public.
Don’t forget to register your details with us if you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of the planning application.
A Customer Service Point (CSP) is not included as part of our proposals for Patcham. We would look to open a CSP in the central Brighton and Hove area for customers to collect items that could not be delivered first time and which residents would rather not have delivered to them at a more convenient time. This is to be progressed in due course should we be successful with the Patcham planning application.
We have received a lot of feedback on current traffic levels and vehicle movements in Patcham, and detailed enquiries relating to likely traffic flows associated with a new delivery office operation at this site. We are currently undertaking a detailed assessment of likely travel patterns by Royal Mail staff and fleet vehicle movements and will report further on this shortly.
Royal Mail does not forecast any job losses associated with relocation of the two existing Delivery Offices to a single site in Patcham. We anticipate around 350 staff in total working at this site, with a maximum of 220 present at any one time.
Staff will have the option to drive to work and park in a dedicated staff car park. Royal Mail also encourages the use of public transport, cycling, and walking to work where possible. There are also incentives for staff including car sharing and the opportunity for staff to retain their Royal Mail fleet vehicle as a means of transport to and from work. We are undertaking a full staff travel assessment.
The majority of staff at this site will commute to and from the Delivery Office outside of rush hour due to the nature of the job, thereby reducing the impact on local traffic during normal peak hours.
We have explored the potential of different access points around the site and following the consultation event are continuing to test access points to the west in more detail. Access points other than the existing Vale Avenue entrance are challenging due to the combination of a high speed road and a significant level difference between the road and the site. We will select an entrance point which provides the best balance of; traffic impact, road safety, visibility splays and noise impacts and will mitigate the resultant consequences to the best of our ability.
The impact on Church Hill is something which we are conscious of and Royal Mail are looking at several initiatives to reduce the impact of delivery vehicles on this road. As the potential completion of this facility is undefined however the details of this plan are still being developed.
As part of a planning application a full traffic and transport study will submitted. To ensure the robustness of this assessment traffic surveys were undertaken outside of any lockdown period.
Royal Mail has been searching for a new home in Brighton for their delivery office for some time as the existing building is not fit for purpose with the right space, access and facilities to support the modern postbag. The site at Patcham is allocated in the City Plan for employment use with excellent major road connections linking it to Gatwick Airport, where the Mail Centre supporting Brighton’s deliveries is located. Royal Mail Delivery operations do not include the use of the railway for moving mail, nor is there an appropriate site close to the railway station.
This site has been allocated for employment use within the adopted 2016 City Plan Part One but has struggled to find any employer wishing to purchase the site for this purpose. The Royal Mail operation will provide around 350 jobs as well as ongoing pipeline opportunity and whilst it does fall into the B8 warehouse and distribution category it will be a significant employment provider in the area. Full detail around the alternative use allocation will be provided within our planning application.
The site lies outside of the designated Patcham Conservation Area however, the design team is extremely conscious of its potential impact on both Patcham and the surrounding visual corridors from the South Downs. In addition to remediating a very dilapidated site, the architecture draws inspiration from surrounding agricultural forms and utilises a material palate inspired by the character of the Patcham Conservation Area. The building is set back from the road to reduce its visual impact and is set within a landscape belt to help soften the impact of the industrial form. All industrial activity will be located to the east and the north of the site (further from the road) with the southern and western facades focussing on community and staff welfare activities.
The building is two storeys tall at the front of the site, reducing to one storey at the back by utilising the slope of the site to our advantage. As such the eaves height of the building (standing at 7.9m) is not dissimilar to those already on site and is therefore largely hidden by the existing thick tree belt to the South of the site.
The highest point of the building at the roof apex stands at 10.8m and is located 46m from the tree belt at the front of the site. We do not therefore anticipate that this building will be visible from the church which is located further down the hill.
As part of the planning process and Construction Management Plan (CMP) will be agreed with the local authority which will set out the hours of operation and traffic routes etc. We anticipate construction will take about two years.
The construction process will be discussed in greater detail with the successful contractor. All details such as the location of contractor parking, delivery times and routes will all need to be agreed in writing with the Council before any works can commence.
Discussions have been held with planning officers at Brighton & Hove City Council in the preparation of a planning application, as is typical with planning proposals during the pre-application stage. A pre-application meeting was held on 17 September 2021 and dialogue between Royal Mail’s team and planning officers is continuing.
A consultation and engagement strategy was designed in the early stages of the project and this was informed by the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). The draft strategy was shared with the planning case officer as part of the pre-application discussions. The strategy was also shared with Councillor McNair and Councillor Meadows at individual meetings with them and their comments helped to shape the final strategy that is being pursued.
It takes several weeks to plan a face-to-face consultation event. To allow an event to be held in late January, this would have to have been booked before Christmas 2021. At that time, the venue suggested by the Patcham Ward Councillors was not accepting bookings due to COVID and we were requested by the venue, via the Ward Councillors, to not contact them again until late January at the earliest.
84 people joined our online webinar sessions. We have supported our web-based consultation with posted information to around 3,000 local Patcham addresses and have reached out to over 25 local stakeholder groups, as agreed with the planning case officer and Patcham Ward Councillors.
There will be a further opportunity to comment on the proposals when the application is submitted to the Council for determination. The Council will have its own consultation period for the application, during which members of the public will be able to send comments directly to the Council to inform its decision making.
This current consultation relates to Royal Mail’s proposals for Patcham. At the appropriate time, when redevelopment plans are being prepared for Royal Mail’s existing sites in Brighton and Hove, separate consultation events will be held for those sites.
The proposal is to submit a planning application in March 2022, allowing a year to complete the process, including the discharge of any planning conditions. Construction works would then commence in spring 2023 and would run to summer 2024, with the building becoming operationally live in summer/autumn 2024.
The aquifer should be unaffected by the development. The proposed drainage system for the site will not comprise of infiltration from attenuation structures or pipework. For example, any proposed permeable paving or swales will be lined with an impermeable membrane which will prevent infiltration into the ground. Surface water runoff from the site is proposed to be discharged into Southern Water's combined sewer to the south of the development. Southern Water have been contacted to provide pre-planning advice in relation to the forthcoming ground investigations and we will be issuing a pre-development enquiry regarding the proposed connection to the combined sewer upon further development of our design proposal.
We would like to hear from you with any further questions that you may have about the scheme and we would encourage you to contact us using the details below:
0207 446 6818
Freepost Royal Mail Patcham