The old municipal fruit and veg market in Circus Street may soon become a new eco-friendly development comprising housing, retail, offices and more.
A developer is due to be selected in mid April. However, the Kent-based Cathedral Group plc looks like a hot favourite from the shortlist of four drawn up by the council and the University of Brighton last November. At the time, the project attracted interest from 13 developers following national advertising.
The site encompasses the former wholesale fruit and vegetable market, the NCP car park to Kingswood Street and the University’s Circus Street annexe.
Cathedral’s proposal recommends an eco-friendly ‘zero-carbon’ mixed use scheme integrating residential and retail with a new university library, a new events square, studios for South East Dance and a creative industries section.
The plan was formulated after a council and university study into local needs, plus extensive public consultation involving residents of the nearby Kingswood and Milner flats and Tarner Area Partnership.
It includes 180 flats. At least forty per cent of homes would be affordable properties aimed at local people on the waiting list or key workers.
Work could start in March 2007 and be complete in 2009. Cathedral hopes to establish an office on site as soon as possible as a base for community consultation, events and project exhibitions.
Cathedral will be working on the £100m project, dubbed ‘Grow Brighton,’ with housing association partners Affinity, architects John McAslan and Partners and environmental consultant engineers ARUP. Cathedral has extensive experience of urban regeneration schemes including parts of London’s Canary Wharf. The Team has an understanding and appreciation of Brighton & Hove, with many of them living or having grown up in the area,
Council leader Simon Burgess said: “This will be a landmark development featuring top quality design. It will be of huge benefit in terms of bringing jobs and much-needed homes. We’ll go on working closely with people in the Tarner area and this plan should make a real difference to the quality of residents’ lives.”
The University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julian Crampton, said, “The University has welcomed this exciting opportunity to work with the city council and the community to regenerate and bring high quality design to the area.”
Cathedral’s Chief Executive Richard Upton said, “We’re thrilled to have been nominated to develop this important area of Brighton – a city with a unique character, a reputation for creativity and an unmistakable soul. Key to our proposals is a desire to create a sustainable new quarter, both ecologically and economically.
“This means that we’ll be supporting growth of local business through an enterprise hub, and involving the local community in our plans. We’ll be ensuring that Brighton leads the way in modern sustainable thinking, by implementing a scheme with zero net carbon dioxide emissions.”
A report to the council’s policy committee on April 19 will recommend the Cathedral Group as first choice with Preston-based Places for People in reserve. The University of Brighton will also need to formally approve the nomination.
A planning application for the scheme is expected in October 2006. The Brighton &Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) will be making a formal response to the planning application.
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