Brighton & Hove Planning Committee has granted approval for the £300 million regeneration of Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, which will create over 1500 jobs, hundreds of new homes and attract over £500 million into the city over the next ten years.

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WSP is the project manager and lead multidisciplinary designer for the University of Brighton, providing a range of MEP, structural and environmental engineering services. Along with its architectural partners HASSELL and Stride Treglown, WSP is working closely with the developer of the Preston Barracks site, U+I and their team, to deliver a game-changing redevelopment of this important site at the heart of Brighton.

The joint proposals, which straddle the Lewes Road, include 369 new private homes, affordable housing, and 1,338 purpose built student bedrooms in managed halls of residence, to address the large shortfall of student accommodation in the city. They also include a new academic building, part of which will become home for the University’s Business School.

Brighton & Hove City Council received over 400 hundred letters of support for the joint application from members of the local community and business leaders in the city. The design team consulted local people over the past 18 months and have incorporated some key elements into the site, which local people support, including energy efficient buildings; growing areas to promote locally sourced and homegrown produce and edible landscaping for foraging; safe pedestrian and cycle routes; an outdoor fitness route with equipment for use by the whole community; and over 1000 secure cycle spaces.

At the core of the scheme design is improved connectivity. As well as a striking new pedestrian bridge across Lewes Road designed by WSP, there will be new public routes, squares and crossings which 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 repositioning of existing car parking in to a new 551 space multi-storey car park for the University and new site access and signal junctions, will improve traffic flow. New public spaces and independent-sized shops, cafes and workshops are also part of the plan.

Graham Prowse, WSP project manager, said: “It’s through the diligent work of the whole design team and the close liaison and detailed coordination with U+I’s professional advisors that we have secured the planning permission. We are delighted that the joint planning application has been successfully approved and are very much looking forward to moving on with the next stages in the project and delivering first class facilities for the University, city and local community.”


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WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With 7,150 talented people in the UK and more than 37,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network.

About U + I Plc: U+I is a leading specialist mixed-use regeneration developer that transforms complex and challenging sites into healthier, happier and more prosperous places and generating lasting value not just for the company and its investors, but also for local economies, communities and businesses.

A market-leading pioneer in public private partnerships with a development pipeline of £6bn, 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 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.