Following approval from the joint venture board, construction of 242 new homes on land to the east of Coldean Lane is expected to start in the summer of 2021.
Ecology work was completed successfully in 2019 and an ecologist will continue to monitor the site during construction.
Building new low cost homes
The site of the new homes has been identified as suitable for the development of housing in the City Plan.
The homes will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats in six blocks of five, six and seven storey buildings, making the best use of the sloping 3.3ha site. There will also be a number of wheelchair accessible homes on the ground floor.
This matches the size of housing needed in the city. Currently, 82% of households on Brighton & Hove City Council’s housing waiting list are in need of one or two bedroom properties.
Half of the new homes will be available for rent from Brighton & Hove City Council to people on the council housing register, with the other half to buy available as shared ownership homes from Hyde.
It is estimated the homes will be completed and ready for purchase and rent from early 2023.
Listening to residents
Homes for Brighton & Hove held two rounds of consultation with local residents over the summer of 2018 before finalising the plans.
Following concerns raised about parking, the designs were amended to increase the number of spaces from 120 to 162. That offers parking for 67% of the homes - 17% more than vehicle ownership studies recommend.
A car club space has also been added, along with a Brighton Bike share scheme hub, offering shared transport options that can benefit the wider local community.
Changes were also made to the road junction plans to include a right turn filter lane, and two pedestrian crossing islands and 30mph speed signage were added to improve safety on Coldean Lane.
The height and scale of the blocks and number of homes were reduced to improve the visual impact of the site and allow better views from the South Downs.
The amount of green space and play space and the number of footpaths were also increased.
Maintaining the habitat
The development will provide more trees and chalk grassland than are currently on the site, offer long-term wildlife management and incorporate large areas of natural habitat.
An ancient woodland will remain untouched and 0.94 hectares of woodland will receive ongoing management to improve the health of the trees and help conserve the woodland.
Fewer trees will be felled than originally planned and they will be replaced with a greater number of new trees.
To improve chalk grassland, 1.6 hectares will be planted with native species – more than the 0.97 hectares lost from the development.
In addition a landscape and ecological management plan provides for the long-term management of habitats, species and other biodiversity features.
The proposal also offers half a million pounds for parks and gardens, play and indoor sports facilities and more than £200,000 for secondary and sixth form education provision to be spent in the local area.