University of Brighton, Priory Square Building, in Hastings town centre. Picture by Bray Fox Smith SUS-210311-140519001

Take a look inside university building and old Post Office site for sale for £3m in Hastings

A university building in Hastings town centre is continuing to attract interest from property developers, prompting speculation it may one day be turned into flats.

The six-storey Priory Square building went on the market 18 months ago for a guide price of £3m, but has so far not received an acceptable offer.

The huge site is owned by the University of Brighton, which closed the building and its other two sites in the town in 2019 after failing to recruit enough students. The Hastings campus opened in 2003 and received £12m of public investment.

The Priory Square building was built in 2013, and is made up of the original 1930s Post Office building fronting Cambridge Road, and an extension overlooking Priory Square. It has a 160-seat auditorium, teaching facilities, laboratory space, terraces and two 13-person lifts.

Richard Harding, from selling agents Bray Fox Smith, said: “We’ve had a steady stream of enquiries on the building, but we haven’t got a bid that we’re prepared to go with as yet.”

He added: “Just this week I’ve had a couple of calls from people who want to have a look at it, so it’s not without interest. It’s just finding the right person at the right price. The University of Brighton see value in this and it’s not something they’re going to sell at any price, they’re going to want to get the right figure for it.”

He said there have been no pre-application plans submitted on the university building, which totals more than 43,000 square feet, and has D1 non-residential use planning consent. He said there is scope to turn it into flats, but it would require permission from Hastings Borough Council for a change of use.

He said they are not marketing it solely for educational use, adding: “We will consider alternative uses if the basis is right in terms of value, and the use is something which we don’t think will be too contentious to the planning process.”

He said when the University of Brighton’s Havelock Road site was sold, the buyer had a series of meetings with town planners before completing the purchase. The site is being turned into 106 self-contained studios for students who move to Hastings to study at one of East Sussex College’s main campuses, Station Plaza or Ore Valley.

The Post Office closed its Cambridge Road office eight years ago and moved it to the WH Smith branch in the town centre - sparking criticism from councillors.

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