Wednesday, 4 February 2015

All change at Hove Town Hall

Planning permission has been granted for works to expand office capacity at Hove Town Hall and radically improve its energy efficiency. In the next five years the council needs to save over £100m out of its current £770m budget, due to cuts in funding from central government and rising costs.

The Hove Town Hall plan is part of modernising the council through flexible working using new technology, reducing accommodation costs and occupying fewer buildings. It will make use of the existing space within Hove Town Hall, to help to accommodate approximately 650 additional staff. Key features of the plan are the creation of new floors within the central main area, conversion of redundant space into new offices, refurbishment of existing areas and formation of new meeting spaces. The plan will mean the council can decant workers from its current HQ Kings House on Hove seafront, then sell the building which is currently being marketed.

To improve energy efficiency the entire glass façade of the building will be replaced with modern double glazed units.  The roof will have new coverings and solar panels generating electricity. A new heating and ventilation system will further improve efficiency.

The front entrance would be altered to create a café for public and staff and bring a more lively frontage to the building.  There would be outdoor seating under a canopy, complementing the regular street food markets.  The façade above the entrance would be brought forward to create additional space. All external landscaping, which is now attractively mature, will be unaltered.

In addition the Great Hall and its associated areas will be converted to retail on the ground floor.  New office space above would be let commercially to external organisations, improving income for the council.

From the end of March, while works are underway, the planning committee will move to Portslade Town Hall for up to 18 months.  Meetings will be webcast via the council’s website.  A hearing loop and full disabled access will be available.


  1. So the great hall - the best part of the building - is to be lost?

  2. Acoustically the Great Hall is amazing. What sort of "retail" will it attract, if any?! Very sad.

  3. It is sad. Leaves Hove without a large capacity versatile venue. I'm surprised there wasn't more protest.

  4. No-one knew about it! And it's the council granting itself planning permission - dressed up as a green measure. (We're turning the venue into "retail" and offices, but it's ok as it'll be double-glazed.)

  5. A delegated planning decision comes when there are fewer than five objections to take it to Planning Committee for decision. It was written about in the Argus and not hidden in any way. Policy & Resources discussed and agreed what they would seek to get planning for too. Councillors took it to the planning stage. All stripes and colours of them.


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