Tag Archives: University of Brighton

£300m plan to regenerate Preston Barracks approved

From The Argus

The £300 million transformation of a Georgian barracks site is set to go ahead after developers were given planning permission.

The University of Brighton proposal was unanimously approved by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee yesterday.

Developers U+I will carry out the work to regenerate Preston Barracks in Lewes Road and the university’s Moulsecoomb campus.

The regeneration of Preston Barracks is predicted to generate £500 million for the city economy and create around 1,500 jobs, according to the university’s vice chancellor Debra Humphris.

Plans for the site, which has been derelict for 20 years, include building 369 homes, 1,338 student bedrooms and a new home for the university’s business school before 2021.

Professor Humphris said: “The university has been part of the city for 150 years.

“This development will go a considerable way to reducing pressure on local housing and reduce the need for cars and travel.

“We are committed to improving sustainability. It will provide a stunning new gateway into the city.”

The designs have undergone months of public consultation resulting in a number of objections. Among them are questions over the project’s viability, air pollution created by increased car parking and traffic, transport and congestion, lack of affordable housing and the effect it will have on Saunders Park View and Coombe Road residents.

During the meeting yesterday, Rebecca Barkaway, a member of the Coombe Road Area Local Action Team, said: “We are being transformed into the university’s campus.

“In an area that is already overwhelmed by a student community this just seems a step too far.

“We want to see investment in local provisions.

“We believe the 369 non-student houses should have a covenant placed on them so they don’t become HMOs.

“We also want to see money spent on improving the Saunders Park area.”

Environmental campaign group Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) objected to the proposed increase in parking across the development.

The group argued it would lead to increased traffic and air pollution. The group claimed that if built the development would keep air pollution levels above the legal limit.

More than 400 responses were received supporting the development before the meeting.

The original proposal was revised to include 19 additional homes, a reduction in the height of certain buildings, additional community facilities and a transport plan.

A new pedestrian bridge across Lewes Road will be built as well as new squares and crossings which are designed to improve pedestrian access.

Cycle docks and more than 1,000 cycle parking spaces are included in the plans, as well as 30 spaces for bicycles used as part of the city’s new bike hire scheme.

In March, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner requested more money to cover the cost of more officers and staff set up costs, investment in IT operations, additional vehicles and the cost of supporting additional officers, as a result of the proposed development.

Andy Taylor, who represented the commissioner at the meeting, repeated the submission for £217,336 to fund the cost of extra policing to accompany the development.

The planning committee agreed not to support the request for more money to fund extra policing.

Richard Upton, deputy chief executive of U+I, said: “This is a major milestone for the Preston Barracks project, one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration projects to have been brought forward in Brighton for a number of years.

“We have the opportunity to transform this area of Brighton, which has been derelict for 20 years and deliver a huge number of benefits to the local community and the wider city.

“Our Circus Street project is also moving forward at great pace, regenerating another important part of the city.

“We will deliver world class, imaginative urban design on each project, building on the bohemian audacity of the Prince Regent and leaving a lasting legacy that befits such an inspirational city.”


Revised plans for Preston Barracks and Lewes Road housing scheme

From The Argus

A proposed pedestrian bridge over Lewes Road connecting all three Momentum Lewes Road sites

A proposed pedestrian bridge over Lewes Road connecting all three Momentum Lewes Road sites

Revised proposals have been put forward for a scheme that aims to revive an old barracks site.

The number of homes set for the former Preston Barracks site and university land in Lewes Road, Brighton, will go up from 350 to 376 while the height of the buildings planned has been reduced.

The scheme, called Momentum Lewes Road, will transform the dilapidated barracks site and also develop the University of Brighton’s Watts car park and Mithras House car park sites on either side of Lewes Road.

A bridge has been drawn up to connect the sites.

The developer, U+I Plc, expects to create more than 1,000 jobs as part of the transformation and bring in £500 million of economic benefit to Brighton and Hove’s economy.

The scheme includes more than 1,300 managed student bedrooms, a 50,000sqft hub for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs and a new home for the university’s Business School along with new teaching and learning facilities.

Debra Humphris, Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “We are very excited about the proposed redevelopment of our Moulsecoomb campus.

“The plans are bold and imaginative and will help to transform a much-neglected stretch of Lewes Road. The new campus will deliver significant benefits for our students, staff and residents by creating a great place to live, work and learn.”

She said the 1,300 additional student bedrooms would take pressure off private housing elsewhere.

The developers said feedback during a public consultation held in April has been taken on board. The revised proposals saw the height of buildings reduced by five storeys on the Mithras site and three storeys on the Preston Barracks site. They also include small retail, café and workshop units for independent businesses and outdoor play equipment.

A transport and travel plan has also been developed for the proposals, following issues raised at the April consultation, detailing road junction improvements, 750 car parking spaces and more than 1,000 bicycle spaces.

Richard Upton from U+I Plc said: “We have taken the time to listen carefully to local people’s ideas and concerns and have taken them on board in our proposals, particularly looking at how to make a vibrant new area of the city that benefits residents and also students and staff at the university.”

Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said the development “was key to delivering new homes and jobs” and “driving economic growth which benefits the whole city”.

For more information, visit momentumlewesroad.com, a planning application is expected to be submitted by end of the year with a decision by spring.

Preston Barracks and Moulsecoomb Campus regeneration plans revealed

From Brighton & Hove Business

Draft plans for Momentum Lewes Road, the regeneration of Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus will be on display for comment at a public exhibition. They are expected to create over 1000 jobs and attract over half a billion pounds into the city’s economy.

A joint planning application for three sites; the University of Brighton’s Watts and Mithras car
park sites on either side of the Lewes Road and neighbouring Preston Barracks, will be
submitted to Brighton & Hove City Council Planning Department by U+I Plc and the university
later this year.
Richard Upton from U+I Plc said, “The partnership aims to create a new place that is lively
and bursting with creative energy, delivering a wonderful place to live, work and learn. This
major development will act as a marker to the city from the north, whilst contributing a vibrant
new place with a melting pot of uses, which will complement the existing community.”
A 50,000 sq ft ‘central research laboratory’, acting as an incubator centre and cutting-edge
facility to support new, hi-tech and design-led manufacturing start-up companies and
entrepreneurs will be at the heart of the Preston Barracks site. It has attracted a £7.7 million
Approximately 350 new homes, including affordable homes, will line new green public spaces.
Small independent retail units, workshops and cafes will be provided at street level and new
routes will be created to provide better connectivity from neighbouring residential streets to
the Lewes Road and Moulsecoomb Railway Station.

There will be a new home for the university’s Brighton Business School along with new teaching and learning facilities.

The scheme as a whole will deliver around 1,300 student bedrooms at Preston Barracks and on the Mithras House car park, ensuring provision of quality, managed accommodation for students at the university and taking the pressure off private rented accommodation.

All existing university parking spaces will be replaced by a multi-storey carpark on the Watts car park site and there will be additional car parking at Preston Barracks to serve the new residential and business uses.

The university and U+I have an established working relationship that dates back to 2006 and have worked closely, alongside Brighton & Hove City Council, on the development at Circus Street in Brighton city centre, adjacent to the university’s Grand Parade campus.

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said, “Preston Barracks has been on the drawing board for 14 years and it is a key site for new affordable housing for local people, jobs and growth. Brighton & Hove City Council City Plan envisages a joined up approach should be taken to development along the Lewes Road so it’s great that we are working in partnership with U+I and the University of Brighton to drive forward this much-needed regeneration.”

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said, “We see this as a great opportunity to improve the facilities we have for our students and staff as well as to open up our sites on the Lewes Road to the local community. This is a very exciting proposal for the city and for the university – one which will create an open and attractive location which generates jobs, brings economic benefit to the city and will reduce pressure on the private housing market.”

The exhibition will be taken to Churchill Square in the city centre on Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1. See www.momentumlewesroad.com for more information.