Momentum Lewes Road plans submitted

Pic 1 View of new public bridge and square taken from current Watts car park site

Plans for the comprehensive regeneration of Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus have been submitted by a partnership between the university and U+I, the mixed-use property regeneration specialist, to Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning department, following a year of engagement with the local community.

The project has a working title of Momentum: Lewes Road, and has been designed by award-winning architects, HASSELL, Studio Egret West, TP Bennett and Stride Treglown. Straddling the Lewes Road, Momentum includes: 369 new homes, incorporating affordable housing, and 1,338 purpose built student bedrooms in managed halls of residence, to address the large shortfall of managed student accommodation in the city. It also includes a new home for the university’s Business School and U+I will deliver a 50,000sq ft hub for start-up and SME businesses, dubbed the ‘Central Research Laboratory’; a project supported with grant funding from Coast to Capital, the Local Enterprise Partnership, which will create hundreds of new jobs.

The design team have consulted with local communities and listened to what they have to say and have changed proposals significantly over the past year, increasing the number of homes on the site, lowering the heights of buildings, providing a range of community facilities and creating a comprehensive transport strategy, improving access across the area.

The masterplan covers three sites: the university’s Mithras car park and Watts car park and the Preston Barracks site.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive of U + I, said: “Working in close partnership with the University of Brighton and Brighton & Hove City Council, we have the opportunity to create meaningful and transformational regeneration in this important mixed-use scheme for Brighton. By helping to alleviate pressure on the city’s private housing market, attracting inward investment and developing a thriving hub for local businesses, this scheme will create long-lasting socioeconomic benefit for the local community and the city as a whole.”

At the core of the scheme design is improved connectivity. A striking new pedestrian bridge across Lewes Road, new public routes, squares and crossings will aid access across the sites and Lewes Road, providing connections to the bus routes and Moulsecoomb station. The provision of lifts, ramps and landscaped steps will further aid accessibility, whilst the repositioningof existing car parking and new site access and signal junctions will improve traffic flow.

The designs promote a healthy, vibrant and sustainable new community with special features including a gym, a 1km running and fitness route around the site, with fitness equipment at key points for use by the whole community, and cycle docks to support the city’s new cycle hire scheme, as well as over 1,000 cycle parking spaces. New public spaces and independent-sized shops, cafes and workshops are also part of the plan.

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “This partnership is aiming to deliver one of the most ambitious and transformational projects for the city in a neighbourhood where meaningful regeneration is long overdue. The scheme has the potential to have a huge positive impact both for the local community and wider city, as we look to deliver on our aspiration to create an inspiring place where people can live, work and learn together.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said:  “The planning committee will make up their own minds on the details of this scheme.  However, it’s good to see progress with the council’s ambition to work with partners to regenerate key brownfield sites, in this case providing over 1000 jobs and 350 homes, including affordable homes.”

Media enquiries: Paula Seager at Natural PR, Tel: 01273 857242 or

Notes to editors:

Changes to the scheme following public consultation include:

  • Increasing the number of homes proposed on the site to 369, including family sized homes
  • Lowering the heights of buildings by 5 storeys across the Mithras site and 3 storeys across the Preston Barracks site.
  • Improving access in the area. The detailed scheme has been designed with connectivity at its core, with new public routes through the site, providing better access to bus routes on Lewes Road and to Moulsecoomb Station. Accessibility is also aided by the inclusion of lifts, ramps, landscaped steps and a new pedestrian footbridge across Lewes Road. This is opening up and connecting the whole area.
  • More open space and a commitment to sustainable development. This includes three public squares, supported by enhanced movement and increased availability of open space. The emphasis on public transport, pedestrian and cycling facilities will ensure the Lewes Road keeps its status as a high sustainability corridor
  • New facilities will also be made available for the public, university staff and students. These include: a new university gym (available for use by the public); outdoor play and exercise equipment for use by whole community; cycle docs to support the city’s new cycle hire scheme; a 1km running and fitness route around the site with fitness equipment for use by all.
  • A transport plan for the local area to minimise the impact on the Lewes Road, including creating two separate access points for the Preston Barracks and the UoB sites. Two signal crossings; an informal crossing in the middle (allowing for crossing the gaps in traffic between the signal junctions); supported by the new pedestrian bridge- to reduce the demand at the Natal Road junction for use of the surface crossing facilities. The scheme will have as low an impact as possible on the corridor. The key driver of the revised highway scheme is to manage and minimise the impact on the Lewes Road.

About U + I Plc: U + I is a leading specialist mixed-use regeneration developer specialising in transforming complex and challenging sites into healthier, happier and more prosperous places, creating new jobs, homes, retail and leisure facilities and generating value not just for the company and its investors, but lasting value for local economies, communities and businesses.

A market-leading pioneer in public private partnerships with a development pipeline of c£5 bn, U+I creates huge social and economic growth through design-led and innovative redevelopment in London and the south east , Manchester and Dublin . It is also leading the development of Circus Street in the city centre, in partnership with the University of Brighton, Brighton & Hove City Council and South East Dance.

University of Brighton: The University of Brighton is one of the most popular universities in the country in terms of student applications. It has a distinguished history going back to 1859 when its first classes were established in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. It was the first university to be named The Sunday Times ‘University of the Year’ and it won the ‘Outstanding contribution to the local community’ title at the Times Higher Education Awards. In 2011 the university won further international recognition for its community projects through the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.

An independent report in 2014 calculated that the University of Brighton contributes close to £700m annually to the economy and supports more than 7,000 jobs. Over 20,000 students study University of Brighton programmes from foundation degrees to doctoral research programmes. Courses span a wide range of academic and professional disciplines and the university receives national and international recognition for its world-leading research activity.

About HASSELL: HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in the United Kingdom, Australia, China and South East Asia. We judge the success of the buildings and places we design by the way people use and enjoy them – the clients who commission them, the people who inhabit them. Good design is about helping clients meet their needs and objectives. It is also about the way people feel when they experience it, a sense of meaning, connection and belonging.

About Studio Egret West: Studio Egret West was established in November 2004 by Christophe Egret and David West. We bring surprise and delight to place making. We follow no formula and no recipe. Not just architecture by architects and not just planning by planners. 50/50 Architecture and Urban Design with the public realm prioritised as the foundation of sustainable communities.

We are a growing practice of international architects, urban designers, landscape architects, graphic designers and model makers with diverse interests and skills. Our tight-knit team work together in a collaborative studio environment.

About Stride Treglown: Stride Treglown is an employee owned architectural practice. Our ethos is rooted in the complementary characters of our founding architects. Ray Stride was a stickler for detail, buildability and process, whereas Gerry Treglown was a socially adept, intuitive, creative powerhouse. Together they enshrined a culture of mutual respect and trust, and spirit that lives on in the practice today. Our talented studios are free to pursue interests and express their creativity in an atmosphere of authentic trust, bound by professional excellence. They are committed to designing for life, developing sustainable communities and creating spaces that people love to use.

About tp bennett:tp bennett is a leading architecture and design practice located in London’s Bankside Quarter and Manchester Northern Quarter with affiliate offices in more than 20 countries. The practice has three core divisions, architecture, interiors and town planning, supported by specialist areas in strategy, research and graphics.  Over 310 staff work across the practice with projects covering a range of sectors including offices, hostels, hotels, student residential, bars & restaurants, public/civic use, residential, education, health, retail & leisure and transportation.

Founded in 1921 by Sir Thomas Bennett, today tp bennett is led by a young, dynamic, fourth generation of Directors who are passionately committed to design and providing a first class professional service tailored to each client’s needs.

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