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Business Forum

News - 14 November 2005
Preston Barracks

Council looks at changes to Preston Barracks

Councillors are to discuss proposed changes to one of Brighton’s largest regeneration projects to ensure its financial viability. Alterations will radically improve the design of buildings at the site.

The location on the Lewes Road is earmarked for hundreds of homes for people on the council waiting list, plus properties for sale and commercial space which could bring over 1000 jobs.

An outline plan by Chichester Diocesan Housing Association, members of the Hyde Group, and developers Wilson Bowden was approved in March 2004 after a development competition.

The report recommends changes to enhance the scheme’s financial viability. These include

  • More attractive design of buildings
  • Investigating the possibility the scheme could include regeneration of the adjacent Pavilion Retail Park
  • Relocating a proposed Innovation Centre elsewhere
  • More homes and slightly fewer offices.
  • A move away from three medium-rise blocks in favour of a landmark tower.

The latest proposal increases private homes from 241 to 302 units. Affordable housing units would also increase from 171 to 200.

The 2.28ha site was bought by the council with help from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and Brighton & Hove Regeneration Partnership in 2002.

Developers are drawing up plans to consult the local community on the latest proposals and to establish a cross-party project board of councillors advised by senior officials, similar to the one which delivered Brighton’s successful new library.

Regeneration councillor Don Turner said: “These are exciting proposals which can meet the high aspirations demanded of the development. But we recognise there are considerable challenges ahead.”

Additional resources have been secured to undertake a detailed transport assessment of the Lewes Road corridor the results of which will be critical to the success of the scheme.

Environment councillor Gill Mitchell said: “The project has improved in urban design terms and I’m delighted that the sustainability aspirations are the highest possible standard. However additional work is required to mitigate the transport and traffic implications on the Lewes Road to support our air quality management programme.”

Rhys Daniel, commercial director for CDHA said: "We have explored every option to produce a deliverable scheme that meets the aspirations of stakeholders. We are confident that our work reflects the vision and spirit of modern Brighton & Hove and will create a vibrant new neighbourhood that sets national standards for mixed use regeneration."

Read related items on:
Development sites
Brighton & Hove City Council
Mitchell, Gill
Turner, Don

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