The derelict Preston Barracks site on Lewes Road may be developed by Brighton University in a scheme to include: 500 units of student accommodation, shops, public open spaces, 10000 sq m of office space, an 8,000 sq m business school and an innovation centre.
The new project has been drawn up by the City Council, the University of Brighton and the Regional Development Agency (SEEDA) which supplied the funding to purchase the site in 2002.
An alternative £100m Hyde Housing Association plan (see earlier story) to include 400 homes, an18 storey residential tower, offices and a Waitrose supermarket was abandoned in March of this year.
The latest outline proposals include the Barracks site as well as land at the university's adjacent Cockcroft Building on Lewes Rd.
City councillor Ted Kemble, responsible for major projects, said: "The vision would radically improve this neglected area of the city and create around 500 jobs. The idea would be to provide a really impressive and integrated gateway to the city.”
The council said the student accommodation was expected to relieve a shortage of family-housing elsewhere in the city by providing an alternative for young people currently living in shared houses.
Subject to Council approval, firms will be invited to tender by October for the contract to prepare a masterplan for the site and a preferred bidder selected by the end of the year.
It is not anticipated at this stage that SEEDA will fund any of the development of Preston Barracks beyond their original investment in purchasing the site. But the agency will provide expert advice on master planning and a delivery vehicle if required and facilitate partner engagement to ensure this development supports the strategic priorities for education and skills across the city.
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