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Richmond House 2015 3rd Proposal

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BH2015/00493 has been APPROVED

New use granted for Richmond House
subject to 9 planning conditions. See the DECISION document.

Richmond House

Click on the picture above to learn more about Cranstoun's philosophy and how they would use Richmond House. Click here to scroll down to concerns and responses

Application number: BH2015/00493
Richmond House D’Aubigny Road Brighton BN2 3FT

The application is for Change of use from B1 office to Sui Generis mixed use of B1 office and D1

Non residential institution. Erection of secure and covered cycle parking area in car park. Full planning consent is sought for the change of use of the building from B1 office to Sui Generis mixed use of B1 office and D1 Non residential institution. The development would provide B1 office accommodation on the entire top floor and half of the ground floor with D1 space on the remaining half of the ground floor.
The entire site would be used by the Pavilions Partnership to deliver and manage the city’s Drug and Alcohol Treatment & Recovery System.

Cranstoun will be the main users of Richmond House if the application is granted. Established in 1969, they exist to tackle alcohol and drug addiction.

Richmond House

Your Concerns

Most residents are not against this service being located here (we know it needs to go somewhere) but they do have worries…

Primary concerns expressed by residents relate to BHCC City Plan HO19 which requires new community facilities to have “no unacceptable impact on residential amenities”


  • This site is in the middle of a quiet residential area away from the city centre. We are not convinced that this is an appropriate site for delivery of your front line services.
  • There is high potential for anti-social behaviour from users / clients travelling to & from the site, or congregating around the site with accompanying friends, waiting outside for them during appointments.
  • There currently seems to be no firm commitment / requirement that would prevent Round Hill evolving into a drop-in / needle exchange in the future, which is inappropriate for a residential area with many families.
  • Long and potentially anti-social opening hours are planned and these could be extended in the future.
  • Poorly lit area around Round Hill, especially the car park at the rear, which is used by secondary school pupils walking to and from school via the footpath.

Richmond House

Our Response

1. Why have you chosen this site, in a very quiet residential area (which is a bus ride / 20 minute walk from London Road), to deliver your services?

This site have been chosen for a number of reasons.

Demographics indicate Richmond House offers a good location for the main base. It is accessible and will be fully compliant with legislative requirements for the operations of the Pavilions service. The geography of Brighton and Hove necessitates that ‘a best fit’ approach is taken. On award of contract, and the commencement of the mobilisation period for the new service, an extensive property search was undertaken and of a very small number of suitable sites identified, Richmond House was by far the most appropriate building with the best potential.

The Brighton and Hove area is not blessed with an abundance of suitable property or landlords that are willing to entertain this client group, and Mr Lambor (the landlord) has undertaken a thorough due diligence exercise as to Cranstoun’s credentials as worthy tenants and is supportive of the proposed operations Pavilions intends to provide.

2. Can you explain exactly what services will be delivered from the site?

The nature of the services will be a combination of pharmacological and psycho-social interventions to support recovery and abstinence from drug and alcohol addiction. This will include medical and health & wellbeing appointments, groupwork and individual sessions, a programme of workshop based activities that include pathways to employment and the development of training opportunities. The intervention packages are tailor-made to suit each individual and are practiced in all of Cranstoun’s larger integrated services. Each individual service user will have input from a care/recovery co-ordinator.

3. Which other sites in BHCC will you be using for your service?

Initially the service will use temporary accommodation in Whitehawk, Ditchling Road and Hove. In addition, as referenced above, Pavilions will be looking towards the development of suitable locations in other areas. One of the main aims of the service is to provide equitable city/borough wide coverage. With the exception of possibly the Hove site, the other temporary locations are not suitable for a number of reasons.

4. What arrangements do you plan to put in place to ensure there is no negative impact on the Round Hill community?

All service users who enter the service are required to be respectful of others. This includes other service users, the workforce and the local resident population. The way the service is to be developed, as referenced in the planning application, is that it will be predominately appointment based. Pavilions management will actively persue a policy of discouraging service users congregating around the building and local vicinity. Like all of Cranstoun’s existing services, it is not anticipated that there will be any negative impact on the local community. In order to discuss any problems that may arise Wendy Taylor, Cranstoun’s Deputy Director and lead for Pavilions will maintain an open dialogue with the Round Hill community in order to respond quickly to any issues that may arise.

5. What are your plans for your limited open access? How often, when and how many people will use these? What will be your extra arrangements to prevent negative impact locally?

Open access will be offered at set times each day and will be supported by a duty system of workers and peer mentors/volunteers who will be offering engagement, advice, information and assessment opportunities. A number of people who attend the site will be accompanied by members of the Pavilions outreach team and whilst the main aim of this type of intervention is to encourage people to access treatment and recovery, there are very clear ground rules for entry. For example people who are, or appear to be, intoxicated, will not be allowed entry. Again the experience of running this type of provision is that if you are offering the right type of environment, people respond accordingly. Some service users have complex needs and Pavilions will be employing experienced staff who are used to dealing with a range of issues presented. At the meeting with the Round Hill residents on the 26th of March this is an area worth exploring more, as it may be that there are assumptions made that need to be heard and responded to. In relation to numbers accessing open access at any one time, we would predict that there would be no more than 8-12 persons maximum.

6. Will methadone be distributed from Round Hill?

There are no plans to dispense methadone from Round Hill.

7. Will any drugs be stored in the premises overnight?

There will be no drugs stored in the premises overnight.

8. Can you confirm there will never be a needle exchange on site?

There are no current plans for a needle exchange on site, however this is something that maybe looked at in the future. This requires discussion at the meeting on the 26th of March, as it is important to fully explain the process of needle exchange and how its operation would not have a negative impact on the local community.

9. Where is the Needle Exchange?

This is currently operated from St Georges Place, with the current service finishing on March 31st. From the 1st of April, on site needle exchange will be operated from an existing NHS site in Ditchling Road and another Pavilions partner service at Richmond Place, near The Level. There is a well established pharmacy-based needle exchange facility that has operated across Brighton and Hove for a number of years and this we are looking to develop further. There are currently 17 pharmacies in the needle exchange scheme.

10. How many people will visit Richmond House for each session – AM, PM evening?

Drawing comparisons from other services, the busiest times will be between 10.00am – 4pm. Much of the footfall is governed by the activities that are taking place and it is between these times that most of the group based activities will operate. In addition there will be some earlier clinics where mainly 1:1 sessions will happen and initially for 2 evenings per week it is envisaged that the service will be open until 8.30pm. It should be noted that the evening opening hours are to accommodate those who are either working full time, at college or parents that have childcare commitments. The evenings will be mainly 1:1 sessions and some structured groups. It is unlikely that there will be open access sessions running after 6pm. As for the actual numbers of people attending, it is not possible to offer an accurate indication at this stage, but its worth remembering that the building will have limited capacity and a set number of rooms available at any given time.

11. Will your opening hours change over time? We feel the site should always be closed by 7pm.

Please see response above. Whilst subject to change, it proposed that the service is able to operate until 8.30pm on 2 days per week initially.

12. How will your service manage your clients’ behaviour as they travel through Round Hill to Richmond House and ensure they leave Round Hill after their visit?

Whilst Pavilions can only be responsible for services users when they are on site, reports of poor behaviour by any known individual will be addressed by the service managers. It is our belief that the type of operation we are looking to establish, and the governance and culture the provision is looking to instil, will require commitment and values from clients that are seen as within the ‘norms’ of acceptable behaviour. People who access the service will need to have good functioning levels and will be subject to the rules of the service, which is part of the therapeutic contract they engage in on admission.

13. How will you ensure clients’ friends and groups do not gather together and hang around Richmond House and the Round Hill area?

As in the previous response, Pavilions can only be accountable for those ‘on site’. However the question that should maybe be posed here is – Why would clients and their friends want to gather around Richmond House? If for example they wanted to take illegal drugs and become intoxicated with alcohol why would they go to a place that actively discourages this type of behaviour? Further more why would they jeopardise their access to the service? Drawing from experience of other services this type of situation simply does not arise. However with the implementation of the new Pavilions service we would be very mindful of local sensitivities and would be constantly monitoring those in and around Richmond House.

Download the PDF document prepared by Pavilions for Round Hill residents.

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This page was last updated by Ted on 10-Sep-2018
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