Brighton & Hove City Council: discussions continuing on restoration of Grade II listed Brighton Hippodrome

Graham Robson August 25, 2023

Detailed discussions are continuing on the restoration of the Grade II listed Brighton Hippodrome with applications currently expected to be decided at Planning Committee in October or early November.

The site has a long history as an entertainment venue having been first built as an indoor ice rink in 1896/97. The Hippodrome has undergone some major alterations over the years and was used as a live music venue until 1964. In 1969 it reopened as a bingo hall before falling into disuse in 2007.

Planning and Listed Building consents have been granted in recent years for the new roof covering to the auditorium and the clearance of dry rot from the building to assist its restoration.

Council planning officers are now working with developer Matsim Properties and organisations, including Historic England and National Highways, to address issues raised in the consultation on the two current applications, and to ensure all the information is available for the committee to determine them.

A full planning application and an application for a listed building consent have been submitted. They include not just the Hippodrome building (52-58 Middle Street), but also the adjacent Hippodrome House (51 Middle Street) and the rear former service yard which fronts on to Ship Street.

The applications include:

  • Renovation of the auditorium as a performance space with bar/café;
  • A new three to seven-storey apart-hotel building in the rear service yard, with retail at ground floor level;
  • Conversion of the existing Hippodrome Fly Tower to create additional rehearsal / performance space; and
  • Conversion of the adjacent Hippodrome House to provide a bar and members club.

Councillor Birgit Miller, Culture Lead and Goldsmid Ward Councillor, said: “The Hippodrome is a nationally important listed building and it’s a great shame that it has been closed for so long. Its renovation and development would have a lasting significance for the building and for the city.

“Planning proposals dealing with such a historic building are very complex. Statutory consultees such as Historic England and National Highways need to be satisfied with the proposals and our Planning Committee has to have all the information it needs to be sure that the proposals will provide lasting benefits while being considerate to the people who live around it.

“At this stage some key information remains outstanding and is required for the planning applications to be decided. We are working with the developers on this and hope the applications will be heard at Planning Committee in the next few months.”