The Next Steps
- Legal. The contracts for the transfer fo the Field, Chapel and Pavilion have been signed and exchanged. These include detailed specifications decribing the required condition of the assets at the time of Transfer to RPC.
- Preparation for the transfer of St Aubyns Field, Chapel and Pavilion to RPC. At Transfer RPC will assume responsibility for the maintenance, insurance, and utilities of the assets. Initially only the minimum investment will be made to ensure that the assets are secure and usable, eg; for security, fire protection, lighting, benches. Any further enhancements will be made on the basis of the cost versus the community benefit after Transfer and subject to the availability of funds.
- Transfer:The Transfer is expected around 31st March 2024 depending on completion of the St Aubyns building development. A one-off payment of £350K for future maintenance costs will be paid to RPC on Completion.
- Public Art: The Developer, Fairfax, is required as part of the planning consent to provide an Artistic contribution to the St Aubyns development to the value of £54K. A brief for artists has been written proposing that the contribution should be located on the St Aubyns Field for all to appreciate. The comissioning process will start in July and we expect to consult on a shortlist of ideas in the Autumn. The artistic component should be implemented by the time the development is completed.
• The Twitten lighting design study report had been issued. The Parish Council (RPC) were to meet the BHCC lighting design team on April 14th to discuss the next steps to develop a feasible and costed solution. BHCC had reminded RPC that there are currently no funds available in the next year for such a project. BHCC had been asked to consider Heritage lighting as an option during the feasibility study.
• A meeting had taken place on 27th March between RPC and Denes Mews residents to review the security and privacy issues from pedestrian traffic at the boundary wall with the St Aubyns Development now that the footpath was open to the public. As agreed in November 2022, the residents were now summarising the issues experienced as a basis for a meeting with Fairfax in the near future.
• All remaining points on the transfer of St Aubyns field and assets to RPC had been closed, contracts had been signed and exchange was imminent.
• As soon as contracts had been exchanged the Chancel Repair Indemnity would be taken out at the quoted one-off cost of £392 as approved by the Council.
• Final Completion was subject to a Third Deed of Variation being issued to include RPC in the list of parties exempt from certain Developer obligations. The first draft had been presented and it was hoped that the Third Deed of Variation can be concluded shortly.
• The Project Plan had been updated to reflect the revised Final Completion timetable of 31st March 2024.
• BHCC had notified RPC of a delay of a few months before proposals for the last round of the Urban Tree Challenge fund could be submitted. This gave RPC a bit more time to prepare a concept for tree planting on part of the St Aubyns Field.
• The revised brief for the Artistic Component had been circulated to Councillors for comment. The brief proposed that the Artistic Component, should, if possible, be integrated into the broader landscaping of the St Aubyns Field to have maximum impact.
Councillors are aware that, in these extreme conditions, the dust emanating from the St Aubyns site is causing a nuisance to people living in the vicinity. Councillors have discussed this with Fairfax and have been assured that they are doing all they can, when they are on site, to reduce the dust by regularly dowsing the areas within the site that are causing a dust nuisance.
- a large 1”.5 inch hose for the top part of the site and the main road into site for damping down,
- a cube of water with an irrigation pipe attached to the front of a fork lift,
- a large sweeper with water attachment, that they also use for the road,
- other hose equioement attached to the back of a dumper truck that drives around the site for dust suppression.
Logs of the dowsing programme have now been placed on the fencing around the site and will be updated regularly.
Fairfax have also instructed the machine drivers to slow down on site to avoid kicking up dust and they have advised us that they are also hoping to have the final area of the site to the west of the Twitten tarmacked by the end of August, that will also reduce the dust on the campus.
The Parish Council will continue to monitor the situation to ensure everything is being done to minimise the problem.
The Transfer of the former St Aubyns Field, Cricket Pavilion and Chapel
This is a unique opportunity to retain a large public green space in the centre of the village together with two heritage buildings available for community use.
St Aubyns school helped shape the history of Rottingdean village from the 1830s until its closure in 2013.
- The transformation of the old Grade II school is well underway, with 93 new properties bringing many new residents to Rottingdean.
- The abrupt school closure prompted Rottingdean Parish Council (RPC) to partner with the City Council to put together a Development Brief to ensure a mixed high-quality development to meet local housing needs, respecting its position next to the Conservation Area.
- The strength of local feeling that the playing field should be preserved as far as possible, was evident in the support for the campaign led by SAFE (St Aubyns Field Evergreen).
- This community reaction has been recognised by planning consent including a requirement for the developer (Fairfax Properties) to offer the transfer of 3.5 acres of the former St Aubyns playing field, the cricket pavilion, war memorial and George V water fountain as well as the former St Aubyns Chapel for community use under the stewardship of RPC.
- Before deciding to accept the offer RPC reviewed some of the potential opportunities for community use of the field and buildings, the expected future liabilities such as maintenance costs and considered options for governance and management of the assets on behalf of the community.
- A lump sum maintenance grant of £350000 will be provided on completion which is expected to last between 10 and 15 years based on estimated running costs.
- Therefore ongoing fundraising and/or income generation will be important where possible to extend the grant beyond this timeframe.
- There will also be an Artistic contribution of £54000 for investment in appropriate community art in or around the development.
- Rottingdean Parish Council (RPC) consider this transfer to be a unique opportunity to retain a large public green space in the centre of the village together with two heritage buildings available for community use. RPC accepted this offer in February subject to contract.
- Fairfax will refurbish the Chapel and Pavilion before transfer in autumn 2023 when the development is complete.
- See more details here on the Chapel, Pavilion and Field.
RPC wish to further explore the opportunities to maximize the community use of these assets after transfer. We would welcome your suggestions. Tell us what you think by completing the form below:
We have already received a number of ideas for possible future uses of St Aubyns Field, Chapel and Pavillion from individuals and community groups. These are set out below
St Aubyns Consultation Feedback July 2022
St Aubyns Field
|Inclusivity||A walking route across the Field that is suitable for prams and wheelchairs|
|Sensory Gardens, Area set aside with easy access to permit education and sensory experiences for diverse groups|
|Ecosystem||102 trees to commemorate ex St Aubyns pupils fallen in the two world wars|
|Wild area to encourage diverse flora and fauna|
|Manage the hedge height and depth especially along the Twitten and Steyning Rd to open up the Field when viewed from outside.|
|Tree planting to create shaded areas|
|Conrolled entrance for vehicle access|
|Recreation||Play equipment for children over 6 years of age|
|Adult Outdoor fitness equipment|
|Multi Use Games Areas|
|Social||Benches and tables at suitable locations and access to the Pavillion |
|Dog access to the park and bins|
St Aubyns Chapel and Pavilion
|Social ||Mother and toddler group|
|Open Shelter during daylight hours|
|Small Comcerts (max 35 people)||Community Cafe|
|Meeting for community groups||Meeting room for community groups |
|Children's parties (inclufing the Field).|
|Recreation ||Indoor sports||Indoor recreation games, yoga, etc|
|Storage area for outdoor games equipment|
|Christmas Artisan Fair|
|St Aybuns Alumni events|
|Heritage||Heritage trail/museum||Part of the heritage trail with QR code link to St Aubyns history|
|Information hub for the history of the Village|
|Exhibitions||Temporary Art Exhibitions|
|Permanent St Aubyns Exhibition|
Future Lighting of the Twitten
A recent site visit was undertaken by Rottingdean Parish Council and relevant experts to assess the potential to install lighting on the Twitten in parallel with the St Aubyns development completion.
• The Twitten will become an essential pedestrian link for Rottingdean residents including the new residents of the St Aubyns development. Increased pedestrian traffic will use the improved network of paths around the Twitten to particularly access the main bus routes, the High Street, Newlands Rd, Steyning Rd, the seafront, the new open space, the churches and the two primary schools.
• The Twitten will be bordered by high walls on both sides of the southern half of the Twitten and a high wall and high hedge on the northern half. There will be three main entrances into the new field side of the development and two entrances coming from the High Street side of the development.
• The Twitten will be used during dark mornings and evenings as well as daylight but has not had any lighting along its length in the past. Within the new development there is no specific lighting plan for the Twitten but there will be some light overspill from the new houses and some limited street lighting on the development adjacent to the Twitten. There is no lighting planned around the main entrances to the field side of the development at the moment.
• The Parish Council, Ward Councillor Fishleigh and local residents see the future importance of the Twitten for pedestrian traffic and are keen that it will have adequate lighting.
During a recent site visit organized by RPC the following was suggested:
• Providing lighting to the Twitten is complex. Physical placement of power supply and lights is difficult and potentially costly given the narrow area of the footpath.
• The impact of any lighting plan needs to consider not only the light to the path itself but also the overspill onto neighbouring houses, and the impact on the wildlife.
• The Parish Council will request BHCC for a lighting design assessment to consider the options for lighting that will ensure a safe pedestrian route while taking into account the impact on adjoining houses and the environment.
• Relevant BHCC departments will be approached to raise awareness of the issue and gain support for a solution.
The Parish Council vote to accept the transfer of St Aubyns Field, Chapel, Pavillion, War Memorial and Water Fountain
Rottingdean Parish Council at their meeting on the 7th of February 2022 tagreed, subject to contract, to accept the transfer of the following land and buildings located on the old St Aubyns school site in the centre of Rottingdean: a three and half acre green space (the former playing field), the former cricket pavilion, the war memorial and the former school chapel. This will bring these important heritage assets in to public ownership for the future use of the community.
This decision by the Parish Council follows some weeks of intensive work to ensure that the financial liability of accepting the transfer was understood, that the land and building being transferred could be bought into community use and that governance arrangements could be put into place to manage these assets and raise funds to cover future costs once the one off maintenance payment of £350,000 from the developer is exhausted.
Work can now start on the contract and transfer deed, between the Parish council and Fairfax properties the company developing the site, which will include details of the restoration and repair work to be carried to the field, sports pavilion and chapel prior to transfer.
Once we are happy with the legal agreement we can start to share ideas coming forward from community organisations as to how these assets could be developed to benefit the village. The transfer is expected to take place in September 2023 when building work on the site is complete.
Air Quality Management
High Street Chicane (Planter)
The Transport and Sustainability Committee met on 6th July and agreed to the removal of the Planter following a four week traffic flow measurement period ending on 22 July - see here for the details
The High Street Air Quality Management Area Measures
The Experimental Road Traffic Order (ERTO) and supporting measures to address unacceptable levels of pollution in Rottingdean High Street were put in place in October 2019 for 18 months and included yellow hatching at the narrowest point, the installation of a chicane - the ‘planter’, and no right turn out of West Street (subsequently made permanent). However, because of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on traffic flow the ERTO was extended for a further 18 months through until October 2022. These measures are now to be reviewed by the Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee (ETSC) at Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC).
The joint Parish Council/BHCC working group met to discuss the measures on 28th October and Councillors have since been considering the data from the air quality sensors in more detail and safety concerns expressed by a number of residents.
The significant improvement in air quality since the measures were introduced as shown by the sensor data is welcomed by Parish Councillors (see below) This indicates that the measures in place have made a contribution to improving the air quality in the High Street. However, the precise contribution of the measures either collectively or individually is less clear and there are some ambiguities in the data that are worth further investigation. In particular, the report to the ETSC committee in March 2021 suggested that the readings from the sensor closest to the planter indicated less of a reduction in pollutants and commented that vehicle queuing and launching, [which is more likely around the planter], were contributors to emissions.
This suggests that the planter could be less effective in contributing to the reduction in pollution than the other measures. In addition, there are some inherent safety issues associated with the planter that have been raised by a number of residents. In particular:
• Southbound queuing vehicles obscure the zebra crossing for northbound traffic
• Southbound traffic is forced to travel on the northbound carriage way to pass the planter close to the junction with Park Road
• Southbound traffic tends to accelerate around the planter to catch a green light at the junction with the A259.
In view of this and comments by residents made at the meeting on the 7th November 2022, the Parish Council wrote to the joint Parish Council/Brighton and Hove City Council working group on the 29th November 2022 requesting that the ETSC should be asked to consider adopting the hatching near the junction of the A259 as a permanent measure and removing the planter for a period of 12-months. This would enable any positive or negative impact on air quality of its removal to be measured and respond to the safety concerns expressed by a significant number of Rottingdean residents. This statement was ratified at the Council meeting on 5th December 2022.
Should the ETSC agree to the removal of the planter the Parish Council will consider what steps need to be taken to prevent vehicles mounting the pavement at the point on the High Street where the planter is currently located and to monitor traffic speeds through the village to further address pedestrian safety concerns.
5 December 2022
Extension to the Experimental Traffic Order - E.T.O.
In partnership with Rottingdean Parish Council changes were made to the road layout in the High Street in October 2019, including a ban on right turns out of West Street, a planter north of Park Road to encourage free flowing traffic northbound and a no stopping (yellow hatched) box in the narrowest part of the lower High Street.
While the first 18 months of the trial showed some positive results, travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020 significantly impacted on how the data could be usefully compared to previous years.
Therefore, recommendations were put to members of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) committee on March 16th 2021 to extend the trial for a further 18 months. The ban on right turns out of West Street will be made permanent though having received no objections. This was agreed and the Experimental Traffic Order was extended through until October 2022.
Brighton and Hove City Council Air Quality Action Plan (2022 to 2027)
This revised plan has been produced as part of the City Council's statutory duties under the Environment Act 1995, as required by the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) framework. Where an area is identified as at risk of non-compliance with legal limits of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), an Air Quality Action Plan is needed. This plan is required for the 6 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) that were declared by the council in 2020, because monitoring and modelling showed a risk of non-compliance with toxic NO2 and therefore a danger to public health. The full plan, which is now available for comment, can be seen here
Rottingdean High Street is one of the 6 areas (Air Quality Managment Areas) covered by the plan. The draft plan includes air quality data taken from the two diffusion tubes on either side of the southern end of the High Street (See page 21). These are part of a network of 60 tubes across the City with the data being collated and analysed by BHCC and shared on their website. You can comment on the plan here
A graph and accompanying data from the High Street and Marine Drive diffusion tubes are shown below.
Air Quality Data on Rottingdean High Street and the A259
E23-10 High Street Rottingdean (west side) 53.7 48.4 46.2 47.0 41.3 37.7 38.4 35.3 37.0 35.2 31.7 27.8
E22-09 High Street Rottingdean (east side) 48.5 44.0 42.5 44.5 39.7 39.0 39.9 40.9 36.2 32.7 28.4 26.6
E25-Marine Drive A259 35.5 31.7 27.2 27.5
The figures indicate that there has been a steady and gradual reduction in NO2 pollutants between 2010 and 2021. It should be noted that the Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) was put in place in October 2019. The purpose of the ETO being to allow north flowing traffic to flow freely with the aim of reducing the build up of fumes.
An additional factor which will have impacted on NO2 is that traffic flow was less in March/April 2020 due to the 'stay at home and stop non essential travel' Government directive.
There are probably several other powerful reasons for this steady and gradual reduction including:
- A cleaner bus fleet.
- The increase in the number of ultra low and zero exhaust vehicles.
- The increasing number of vehicles with automatic engine switch off while stationary.
- Drivers switching off their engines while stationary.
- New signage encouraging HGVs to avoid Rottingdean
If you have a question relating to this data then please address them to email@example.com Please understand that if we are unable to answer you directly then we will forward your question to BHCC.