From the Ground Up: creating the masterplan

The Lewes Road is one of the main arterial routes into the city of Brighton & Hove. The stretch that includes the long-neglected Preston Barracks site has been the subject of many failed attempts at regeneration over the past 40 years.

Things changed in 2009, when the University approached Brighton & Hove City Council with a proposal to develop their Moulsecoomb campus and developers U+I came on board with a proposal for Preston Barracks. All three partners then came together to start putting together a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable plan for the whole area working with international architects HASSELL.

In early 2017, after years of detailed work, the resulting masterplan was submitted for planning permission. The masterplan set out proposals to create a thriving addition to the Lewes Road which would contribute to employment, enterprise and entrepreneurialism; a place that people want to live, learn, work and be proud to be a part of.

In September 2017 the masterplan received unanimous approval at the Council’s Planning Committee giving the green light for work to go ahead.

Developers U+I are now pressing ahead on the Preston Barracks site. This includes a new business innovation and start-up centre, privately-managed student accommodation, over 360 new homes and mixed-use commercial units. Once completed the site, which includes new public squares and green spaces, will blend seamlessly into the University campus bringing residents, students and University staff together in a living community.

Work on the campus development, which uses existing land currently used for car parking, begins in June 2018. The first element to be completed will be the new multi-storey car park. With spaces for 551 vehicles, electric vehicle charging points and facilities for cyclists, the car park will also feature green vertical planting on its walls.

This will be followed by the first phase of new student accommodation, new Students’ Union and fitness facilities in the summer of 2019. A new academic building will open in summer 2020 together with a landmark new pedestrian bridge linking both sides of the campus.

The remaining student accommodation and landscaping of the campus will be completed by summer 2021 alongside completion of the Preston Barracks development marking the fulfilment of the masterplan that started back in 2009.

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