The Beacon Hub Project Submit Their Proposal

Beacon Hub ProjectBeacon Hill local nature reserve is situated between the villages of Rottingdean & Ovingdean and within the administrative boundary of the South Downs National Park.

On the southern edge of the nature reserve is an 18 hole pitch and putt golf course which has fallen into disuse. The land is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and in the south east corner of the golf course is a building (kiosk) which was previously utilised as a café, toilets and to store golf clubs.

The Beacon Hub Project proposal to the council is that:

  • Beacon Hub CIC (Community Interest Company) be allowed to take up the lease.
  • The land should become a contiguous part of the nature reserve.
  • Beacon Hub CIC be granted permission to re-develop the existing building as a ‘hub’ for community and educational use.

Here is an artist’s impression of before and after redevelopment of the golf kiosk:

The Beacon Hub Kiosk

You can download their full proposal here – Beacon Hub Proposal (PDF)

Take a look and see what you think. Post your views and comments below.


  1. Tracy Holland -madwaxcandles says

    I am not totally against this but as a local trader I wonder how it will show supposed benefit to local businesses and the local economy. Presumably visitors will be bused into the site and refreshments will be served on the site and then they will leave (so only the site will benefit). The local shops and traders do need help to increase footfall, but unfortunately unless I have missed something I have not seen anything here that will help the existing local community and businesses.

  2. Libby Darling says

    Hi Tracy,
    The hub will only be able to offer tea, coffee and squash and in the future at most a small bowl of soup or sandwich, in the summer we will sell ice creams. We have already spoken to a few cafe owners and we have explained that will be advertising our village, its heritage, history and all of the fabulous businesses that lie within. So hopefully visitors will no be able to resist a wander down to the village to experience it for them selves. We will also have a leaflet/display area where local traders may advertise their businesses. We will be arranging health walks through the village and around the local area so footfall will increase.I see you sell candles…do you make them, could you hold a candle making workshop at the hub? I hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to e mail the group directly with any comments or concerns details on pg.27 of the proposal. Thanks for your comments.

  3. says

    I’ve lived for 3 years overlooking the golf course. I was attracted to live nearby as I’m also a keen golfer with a respectable 13 handicap having played regularly at East Brighton golf club. Rottingdean 18 holes was a good course for beginners and experienced players. As I also work at home my viewing position has allowed me to count the number of players every week for 3 years. In summer I counted 1-5 players daily mid week and 5-10 players daily on weekends. In winter these numbers were halved for obvious reasons. I spoke to many of them. 90% were locals who put the clubs in the car boot and went home afterwards, not into village cafes and shops. For the last 3 years from my counting and talking to players there was no business for local traders to lose. When the course closed it was because the local lessee traders had lost over £30k pa on a long lease. It was a financial disaster for them. Players did not even want to pay a paltry sum for refreshments. The Roedean pitch and put just 5 minutes down the road costs £4.50 per round instead of £6 and is just as good. As a golf course Rottingdean is a dead duck for local traders, council managers and anyone else.

    On this basis City Council were liaising for Segway to take the lease with battery driven machines originally designed for level ground use in dry conditions. These machines have a horrific record of injury (the UK business owner died on one) and would have scarred the grassland, frightened away our rare birds, ruined the peaceful ambience of the hill and frightened off many other groups especially walkers with small children and pets.

    The Beacon Hub proposal shows a detailed business case to bring tourists, photographers, artists, conservationists, walkers and hundreds of students per month to the cabin and surrounding grasslands. The proposal even shows written confirmations from all these groups.
    An extensive benchmark comparison was made with an onsite visit to an equivalent education cabin in a similar conservation environment. That facility currently attracts 5000 persons every year.

    Without golf and without Segway the old course now attracts 50 dog walkers every day. That’s over ten times the number of golfers.

    These are facts which the Rottingdean traders association members should be aware of. Let’s hope the RTF appraises its members of the facts before they throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s stick to the facts and the real numbers so that an informed community can make an informed decision without assumptions and misleading information.

  4. Kim Crudgington says

    I think the Beacon Hub is a wonderful idea. The Nature Reserve and it’s surrounding areas of Rottingdean and Ovingdean lie as a jewel in Brighton’s crown. To promote and inform of what this beautiful place has to offer can only be of benefit in bringing people into the area and will increase income in the villages. More importantly to myself personally, as someone who has lived on the edge of Beacon Hill for the last twenty three years, and who walks on it every day, to be able to have the opportunity to immerse others into it’s world is fantastic.
    I do have a major concern however. The reserve is a relatively small area and the increase in people visiting could have disastrous consequences to the wildlife residents if the mown paths are not kept to. In particular the Skylark population ground nesting from April onwards through the summer. Even now, before any increase in visitor numbers, there are some who do ignore the signs put up in the spring and allow their dogs, children and themselves to roam through the grasses. How would this problem be contained with many more people using the reserve?
    The reserve will need to be visitor managed to ensure the area is not damaged and can offer it’s treasures responsibly. The Hub can then benefit the Reserve and everyone and everything in it.

    • Libby Darling says

      Hi Kim, the beacon hub brighton team are involved with the teams that manage the beacon hill already, so there will be careful management of the land as a whole. We all have special interests in either bird and insect life, flowers and grasses and marine conservation. We will also seek advice and support from other experts in those particular fields and from the city council experts and their park rangers. I hope that puts your mind at rest. If you have facebook please come a take a look at our page. If you want to contact us directly take a look at page 27 of the proposal and you can see our contact details. Thanks so much for your comments and support.

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