Greater Brighton Metropolitan College Pelham Campus, Brighton

Paul Basham Associates were approached by the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (the MET) to support a hybrid application of 135 residential flats and a three-storey extension to the existing Pelham Campus at Pelham Street, Brighton.

The proposed development site was split across the existing Pelham Campus with the residential scheme located on the eastern side of Pelham Street and the buildings to the west of Pelham Street extended to provide an improved facility for the existing college.

The Brief

Paul Basham Associates took this scheme on from pre-application liaising closely with Brighton & Hove City Council to submit a planning application which encompassed both the residential and education proposals. The extension of the college on the west of Pelham Street involved the closure of the existing college car park and as a result the development sought to capitalise on the opportunity to promote sustainable transport modes whilst ensuring that any car parking demand associated with the development could be met through the existing capacity at public car parks in the vicinity of the site.

Our Approach

Involved from the outset, and working closely with ECE, we were able to provide input into the initial design and inform the masterplan for both the residential and education elements of the scheme. Negotiations with the local council were ongoing throughout the pre-application stage to agree a suitable methodology to assess the highway impact of the proposals.

One of the most important considerations within our work was the impact of the increased pedestrian activity in the vicinity of the site as well as the impact of vehicles travelling to alternative destinations on the local road network following the closure of the college car park.

Existing pedestrian movements were recorded from the college using survey information and were subsequently redistributed onto the network to represent a scenario bringing forward new pedestrian access points on Whitecross Street, Redcross Street, Cheapside, Pelham Street and Trafalgar Court. The pedestrian network was then modelled using the TfL methodology to assess the capacity on the surrounding footways taking into account obstructions such as street furniture and lampposts.

The vehicular impact of the scheme was assessed taking into account the likely origin and alternative destinations of staff travelling to and from the college following the closure of the car park as well as vehicle trips from the residential site. Traffic surveys on the road network provided the existing flow of vehicles through key junctions which was then compared to the proposed development traffic distribution, factored up to a future year scenario, to provide a percentage impact of the development proposals. These junctions were subsequently modelled using a combination of software including JUNCTIONS and LinSig.

The findings of these assessments were included in submissions to Brighton & Hove City Council in the form of a Transport Assessment and Addendum Transport Assessment which also included details on refuse collection, the proposed access arrangements, and car and cycle parking provision.

A Travel Plan was also prepared by Paul Basham Associates which was submitted as part of the planning application highlighting the highly accessible nature of the site with excellent links to pedestrian and public transport infrastructure. The Travel Plan set out measures to take advantage of these characteristics and promote sustainable travel as part of the development proposals.

The Result

Following planning success, this great scheme will significantly improve the quality of education facilities within the centre of Brighton.