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Council set to approve £79m college revamp
A £79 million college redevelopment has won council backing despite a mixed response from residents.
City College wants to revamp its Pelham Street campus in Brighton.
Bosses claim the proposal, which would be centred on a series of high- rise buildings containing teaching rooms, 442 student homes and 125 properties, would create “exceptional learning opportunities” for 10,000 students a year.
But, with the 1.28-hectare site sitting in the heart of North Laine, residents fear that enduring five years of development is unacceptable.
They add that the dust, noise and vibrations created would damage their homes and livelihoods.
But despite the objections Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee is set to give the proposal the go-ahead at its meeting tomorrow.
Lynn Thackway, principal of City College Brighton and Hove, said: “We want to play a key part in the wider regeneration of the city and create a scheme of which we and the city can be proud.
“We are conscious of natural neighbour concerns about noise and dis- ruption during construction and will have in place all measures expected of a city centre construction project of this type.”
The £79 million scheme, which would create 141 construction jobs, focuses on the 1960s Pelham Tower as well as the Cheapside, York, Trafalgar and Gloucester buildings.
Development would be in three phases, with the first seeing the creation of an eight-storey college building on the car park.
The second would see Pelham Tower demolished and replaced with 442 student flats, while up to 125 homes would be created on the other buildings on the site.
The proposal also includes a new public square and traffic calming measures in Pelham Street, which would give pedestrians priority.
Developers said that unlike similar proposal submitted in 2008 which relied on Government funding, this project had to “maximise the potential of its land and assets” to secure loans.
Official council papers show that 155 letters of objection have been received by the local authority, while both the North Laine Community Association and Brighton Society claim it would be detrimental to the area.
The statement from the Brighton Society adds: “The scheme is first and foremost a property scheme and will destroy the character, scale and grain of North Laine.”
The council said that it had also received more than 200 letters from people supporting the development, adding that the current buildings are not fit for purpose.
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