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DEVELOPMENT: Further updates regarding Business Units application


Sussex Cricket recently announced that they have submitted a planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council to develop new offices in the north-east corner of the ground.

By way of background this proposal is part of the business plan adopted by the Board to develop the sustainability of Sussex Cricket. The aim is to build different revenue streams to enable Sussex to compete with the counties who host international matches. If the scheme is given the go ahead the funding will come from a Business Improvement Grant from the ECB.

The proposed structures form an integral part of the latest phase of ground redevelopment at The County Ground. The new offices will be sited in some of the currently unused space at the Cromwell Road End of the ground and will be of a design that will improve the look of the ground. We are seeking permission for six office units which will be available to local businesses wishing to run their operations from Hove.

If the planning application is approved in December, the offices could be available for occupation from spring 2015. Planning is being sought for the construction of five new units and the conversion of a catering unit. If the proposed five new units are successfully let then the north-east bar and catering unit will be considered for conversion to office use as the sixth unit. Should this happen then additional catering facilities for matches will be considered.

The layout at the north-east corner has been designed to allow for sufficient space for mobile catering units and other options can be included to meet demand. Supporters will be able to purchase refreshments from other areas of the ground to consume in the north-east corner. In the event of busier games, such as NatWest T20 Blast matches and knockout cup or tour matches, the Club will look at other options for bar facilities in that area of the ground, including temporary bars.

There will be no change to the provision of disabled parking at the ground. There will be a small, limited number of parking spaces available at Hove to members for LV=County Championship matches. There will be no on-site parking available for one-day matches, as has been the case in recent seasons.

Following complaints from local residents there will be no access to the ground for members’ parking from the north-east gate. This is because we need to stop the queuing of cars in Palmeira Avenue which has made life difficult for local residents to access this road by car.

As a by-product of the investment in improving the playing area, the land adjacent to the north-east corner that is occupied by spectators has now been ‘banked’ to a greater extent, This should offer a better view of the playing area for supporters, particularly those who enjoy sitting on deckchairs at the Cromwell Road End. There will not be a reduction in ground capacity due to this proposed development.

In summary the proposed structures form an integral part of the latest phase of ground redevelopment at The County Ground. We are very confident that this is a good scheme and, although there will be some impact on spectators, as detailed above, we are committed to ensuring this is kept to a minimum. All our surveys confirm that Hove is regarded as a very special ground to watch county cricket and we will strive to ensure that this continues to be the case

JR May

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