Preston Barracks regeneration scheme

Redevelopment of Preston Barracks and University of Brighton Moulsecoomb campus

The redevelopment of the Preston Barracks site started in July 2014 when the council exchanged contracts with the University of Brighton and developers U+I (formerly Cathedral Group (Holdings) Ltd & Development Securities PLC

This £150 million scheme on the Lewes Road is part of a wider regeneration project aimed at transforming this part of Brighton.

The proposals will deliver new employment space, new university academic buildings, student accommodation with 1,300 bedrooms, 350 quality new homes and 25,000 square feet of retail space. The proposals include the former Preston Barracks site, and part of the University of Brighton's Moulsecoomb campus.

FIELD Brighton pilot scheme

The developers have introduced a pilot scheme called FIELD. FIELD is providing a temporary home to seven innovative start-ups in Brighton. The FIELD pilot scheme will inform the development of a 55,000 square foot commercial building for start-ups and SME's in the high-tech manufacturing sector. £7.7 million of funding has been awarded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to support the development.

The wider project is in the design stage. Initial consultation began with a series of events in April 2016. The planning application should be submitted later in 2016.

History of the development

The Preston Barracks site is owned by the council. It was acquired from the Ministry of Defence because of its strategic significance and potential to contribute towards many of the city's priorities. We wanted to create a first class, sustainable, employment-led, mixed-use development to help regenerate the area. The site, on the main Lewes Road, is an 'urban gateway' to the city from the 'Academic Corridor' (close to Brighton and Sussex Universities).

Since 2009, the council had been working in partnership with the University of Brighton to explore wider development opportunities that included the former barracks site alongside adjacent university land.  This effectively doubled the area of developable land, offering the prospect of a more integrated and comprehensive development.  Having agreed a 'Shared Vision' that sets out joint aspirations for the redevelopment in 2009, a Site Capacity Assessment that examined development potential was then completed in 2010.

The council approved a planning brief (PDF 1.7MB) at the Planning, Employment, Economy & Regeneration Cabinet Member Meeting on 15 September 2011.  The brief provided a means of interpreting adopted planning policy in respect of the Preston Barracks site as set out in the Local Plan and the (Preston Barracks supplementary planning guidance note (SPGBH 14)(PDF 343KB). It also reflected the changed context of considering redevelopment as part of a wider package that included the University's Moulsecoomb campus and Mithras House site. The brief sought a mixed development across the three sites that would provide a strong and identifiable city quarter for the benefit of all.

In 2012, the partners commissioned a new masterplan covering the extended development area, the results of which lead to a detailed assessment of financial viability and a review of delivery options. The outcome of this review was presented to the council's Policy & Resources (P&R) Committee in July 2013, when it was agreed that the council should enter into negotiations to actively consider disposal of the council-owned barracks site to the University of Brighton and/or its development partner. Negotiations progressed well and following a report to the cross-party Project Board on 20 November, an update report was considered at P&R on 5 December 2013. The committee supported the work to date and agreed the detailed arrangements for the partners to conclude negotiations.

For further information on the scheme please contact:

Major Projects & Regeneration Team
Tel: 01273 291106
Email: mpt@brighton-hove.gov.uk