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Council's green wishlist for Brighton's Edward Street
4:39pm Monday 16th September 2013 in News
A “drab concrete” area is to be transformed into a “greened” area of offices, restaurants and dozens of homes.
As it looks to guide the development of the Edward Street area, Brighton and Hove City Council has drawn up a wishlist for those looking to lead the revamp.
The site, which includes the former American Express building, law courts and a police station, has seen little change since the 1970s.
But after receiving feedback from the public, the local authority has recommended that public transport links and high quality architecture form a key part of the proposal.
It also asks for developers to provide “green areas” adding that “green walls” of vegetation could be incorporated into any scheme.
Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “We are very pleased that so many residents, business people and representatives of local organisations have taken the time to comment on the brief and share their views.
“The area around Edward Street is a key site for the city and the planning brief aims to make sure it is put to the best use for future generations”.
The planning brief covers the Edward Street quarter, which includes Dorset Gardens Peace Park, John Street, and land north of Edward Street bounded by William Street to the west and White Street to the east.
The council said the aim is to “create a dynamic first class business and residential district with a strong sense of place”.
Any developer will be asked to provide between 15,000 and 20,000 sq m of office space, 65-plus residential units, some minor retail, restaurants and community facilities.
It also asks for plans to make the “drab concrete environment” more attractive.
Any plan will have to be built around an existing agreement with American Express whereby its former “wedding cake” building has to be demolished by 2016.
According to the council, 3,500 households and organisations were asked for their views in a six-week consultation.
The report, which will be discussed by councillors on Thursday, said that of the 199 who responded, the majority were broadly supportive of the scheme.
Some suggested that it should be seen as an opportunity to pedestrianise nearby St James’s Street. However, the local authority said any proposed changes to the road would need to be the subject of a separate in-depth consultation exercise.
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