17 September 2014

Permission for hundreds of homes and jobs at derelict fruit and veg market

Councillors have approved a major regeneration scheme in central Brighton which will deliver hundreds of jobs and homes.

The planning committee today (September 17, 2014) agreed the Public-Private Partnership scheme by Cathedral (Brighton) Ltd, the University of Brighton and the city council to transform the one–hectare site off Circus Street. 

The former municipal fruit and veg market would become a mixed-use scheme and ‘innovation quarter’, expected to create 400 jobs and inject £200m into the city’s economy over the next 10 years.

Permission includes 142 new homes, 20 per cent affordable. 

New teaching and research facilities would be created for the University of Brighton, including a new library.  Pressure would be taken off the city’s family homes by the inclusion of 450 units of student accommodation, say officials.

Alongside will be a new dance studio for South East Dance, expected to attract 70,000 visitors and users a year. 

Workspaces would be aimed at start-up businesses, artists and larger companies.  A modern office building, including over 3,000 sqm of flexible space would help growing creative and digital businesses remain and flourish in the city.

Permission includes restaurants or shops at ground floor level, around a new public square.  Cathedral are promising a “new genre” of urban development with green walls, green roofs, 78 new trees and allotments for food growing - producing over 200kg of food per year for residents.

Developers have agreed to pay £250,000 to improve local transport and recreation provision and to use at least 20 per cent local labour for construction.

Planning committee chair Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty said:

“The new Circus Street brings us a host of exciting new developments for a community and an area of our city which has been marginalised too often.

“The city will have 142 new homes - so we are rising to the housing crisis facing the city. It is also of course, so important in terms of winning the City Plan - the city’s blueprint for development to 2030. We will have 450 student flats which will free up residential houses for our city’s residents and enable the University to house its students near to the campus.  

 “A new home for South East Dance will bring dance, performance and choreography hitherto unseen in the community and broaden the cultural offer for the city.

“The city will have a stylish new library and academic facilities for the University of Brighton which has an acute need to continue to offer students and the city contemplative places to question the world.

“Just some of the many benefits to the city include169 full time jobs in construction, 20 per cent local people and 262 net new jobs will be created.  Important start-up and growth business space will support our nascent city companies. Alongside this there’s a host of green spaces including fruit and nut trees.

“The design of the new Circus Street is absolutely stunning with a carefully-chosen palette of materials which echo the architectural history of the city. The city will have truly visionary architecture which is precisely what we need given the density of the build.

“This year marks 80 years since the demolition of Carlton Mews, Carlton Grove, Circus Court and Circus Mews in the slum clearance of 1934. Today we can say that a phoenix is rising from the ashes. The new Circus Street is the latest and most significant in a series of inner-city renaissance projects which support jobs and the future prosperity of the city. It is a sign of new hope in the city and affirms that our city is a place which looks to the future with confidence.”

See Cathedral's website, with images here