Plans have recently been put forward for an ambitious redevelopment of the derelict Preston Barracks site on Lewes Road, Brighton. The developers U+I Plc are in partnership with the University of Brighton, and the plans include 350 new homes of which 20% will be “affordable” as well as a new 50,000 sq ft state-of-the-art central research laboratory which is expected to pave the way for design-led manufacturing start-ups and entrepreneurs alike.
In addition to this, the scheme will also deliver student halls of residence for 1,300 students on Preston Barracks and the existing Mithras car park. This will help ensure the provision of quality managed student housing as well as take the pressure off of private rented accommodation in Brighton. All existing university car park spaces will be replaced by a multi-storey car park situated on the existing Watts car park as well as a smaller amount servicing the residential and business zones.
The scheme also allows for 25,000 sq ft of retail space earmarked for small independent units and workshops at street level where it is currently very little in this regard. The University of Brighton’s Business school will also gain a new base as well as numerous other new teaching and learning facilities.
The scheme will also vastly modernise the area and help create a new and exciting entrance to Brighton from the North, featuring new bridges over Lewes road to link up the various areas of the development.
The developers U+I suggest that over 1,000 jobs will be created and over half a billion pounds will be contributed to the city’s economy over the next ten years. This includes 265 new jobs during the construction phase which will also have a multiplier effect on the local economy.
Increasing the number of student halls positively relieves pressure on the private housing market in Brighton and Hove and the fact that Preston Barracks has remained unused for the better part of 25 years is another reason the proposal should go forward. The developers who hope to gain planning permission are aiming to turn an unattractive area of Brighton into a sleek and exciting area for residents, students, business owners and entrepreneurs to gather, live and work and we believe this is a fantastic redevelopment opportunity well worth the investment.