Preston Barracks development plans submitted to city council

View of new public bridge and square taken from current Watts carpark site
View of new public bridge and square taken from current Watts carpark site

Plans for 369 new homes, student accommodation, a new university building and office space in Moulsecoomb has been handed in to planners at Brighton and Hove City Council.

The ‘Momentum: Lewes Road’ project, by the University of Brighton and developer U+I, aims to regenerate Preston Barracks and the university’s Moulsecoomb campus.

Developers said the 369 homes will include affordable housing, and there will be 1,338 purpose built student bedrooms on site in managed halls of residence.

The blueprint also includes a new home for the university’s Business School and U+I will deliver a 50,000sq ft hub for start-up and SME businesses, dubbed the ‘Central Research Laboratory’; a project supported with grant funding from Coast to Capital, the Local Enterprise Partnership, which will create hundreds of new jobs.

The masterplan covers three sites: the university’s Mithras car park and Watts car park and the Preston Barracks site.

Developers said the design team have consulted with residents and have changed proposals significantly over the past year, increasing the number of homes on the site, lowering the heights of buildings, providing a range of community facilities and creating a comprehensive transport strategy. The scheme includes a new pedestrian bridge across Lewes Road, and crossings will aid access across the sites and Lewes Road, providing connections to the bus routes and Moulsecoomb station. The repositioning of existing car parking, new site access and signal junctions is set to improve traffic flow, developes said.

Richard Upton, deputy chief executive of U+I, said: “Working in close partnership with the University of Brighton and Brighton and Hove City Council, we have the opportunity to create meaningful and transformational regeneration in this important mixed-use scheme for Brighton. By helping to alleviate pressure on the city’s private housing market, attracting inward investment and developing a thriving hub for local businesses, this scheme will create long-lasting socioeconomic benefit for the local community and the city as a whole.”

Professor Debra Humphris, vice chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “This partnership is aiming to deliver one of the most ambitious and transformational projects for the city in a neighbourhood where meaningful regeneration is long overdue. The scheme has the potential to have a huge positive impact both for the local community and wider city, as we look to deliver on our aspiration to create an inspiring place where people can live, work and learn together.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “The planning committee will make up their own minds on the details of this scheme. However, it’s good to see progress with the council’s ambition to work with partners to regenerate key brownfield sites, in this case providing over 1,000 jobs and 350 homes, including affordable homes.”