Construction of 242 homes on land to the east of Coldean Lane began in July 2021.
Building new low cost homes
The site of the homes has been identified as suitable for the development of housing in the City Plan.
The 100% affordable homes will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats in six blocks of five to seven storeys, making the best use of the sloping 3.3ha site. There’ll be a number of wheelchair accessible homes on the ground floor. The homes are being built by contractor PMC Construction.
This matches the size of housing needed in the city. Currently, 76% of households on Brighton & Hove City Council’s housing waiting list are in need of one or two bedroom properties.
We’re committed to the new housing being 100% affordable. That’s why half the homes will be available for social rent from the council, for people on its joint housing register, while the rest will be available for shared ownership from Hyde. Shared ownership gives first time buyers an affordable way of getting onto the housing ladder. You can find more about shared ownership on the Hyde New Homes website.
The first homes are due to be ready in autumn 2023.
Ecology work was completed successfully in 2019 and our ecologist (who’s registered under the Badger Class Licence scheme) will be monitoring construction throughout.
The team is following Natural England Guidance and the relevant legislation, as set out in the project’s approved biodiversity method statement. We’ve discussed our approach with the Badger Trust, which visited the site, and our mitigation strategy was signed off by the County Ecologist.
We cut down a number of trees (some of which were diseased) to create the site entrance on Coldean Lane, to enable us to build the homes and to lay drainage. None of the trees had tree protection orders and we’ll be planting about 200 new trees on the site during the course of the project. Tree-felling was agreed with the council’s specialists and will be carried out to Natural England guidelines, as part of our long-term landscape and ecological management plans.
Landscape and ecological management
Our landscape and ecological management plan details how habitats, species and biodiversity will be managed after the homes are built.
The ancient woods will be untouched. Additionally, 0.94ha of woodland (roughly the size of a rugby pitch) will be managed to improve tree health, control invasive species and encourage diverse ground flora. We’re proposing a woodland walk in the trees along Coldean Lane, providing access and enabling more people to enjoy the woods.
Along with soft landscaping around the new homes, we’ll be planting 1.6ha of chalk grassland with native species – more than the 0.97ha lost through the development. We want to create and manage a biodiverse, flower-rich grassland, with open areas and micro-habitats for invertebrates. We’ll be encouraging bird nesting, with bird boxes, and swift bricks incorporated into the new blocks.