RESIDENTS and businesses are backing a £100 million development which could be given the go ahead later today.

Those living on the fringes of the proposed redevelopment of Circus Street in Brighton say the plans will bring much-needed regeneration to a long-neglected area.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee will decide on the application today with councillors being urged by developers not to “lose this opportunity” in transforming the derelict site.

The proposals would see the construction of student and private housing, a library, a dance studio, office space, restaurants and shops built on the site of the former fruit and vegetable market.

Those who spoke to The Argus yesterday said they welcomed the project – which could be completed by December 2017 if given the go-ahead.

But there were some reservations about higher numbers of students in the area with 500 set to move in.

There are also concerns about a loss of views across the city for existing residents.

Tommy Tickle, chairman of the Tenants’ Association of the Milner and Kingswood flats, said the majority of residents were supportive of the scheme.

He said it is bringing more investment into the neighbourhood to improve playgrounds and community gardens.

He said the positives of the scheme outweighed the negatives of living next to a construction site.

He said: “It’s a very underdeveloped area, it’s been neglected for a long time.

“Credit to the developers, they have not just pulled up and not listened to us, they have made quite a few alterations.

“Hopefully the development will stop the delinquents hanging around here.”

Milner Flats resident Scott Godden, 40, said: “I think it is good and bad.

“Obviously new homes but all I am going to see is a block of flats whereas at the moment I can see right to the old Alexandra hospital.”

Richard Simpson, director of the Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project in Circus Street, said he fully supported the development even though it meant his company would have to move – hopefully into one of the newly created shopping units in the scheme.

He said: “The staff all believe that this development will bring immense community benefits to the neighbours as well as economic benefits and jobs to the city.”

Richard Upton, chief executive of Cathedral Group (Holdings) Ltd, which is behind the project as part of a public-private partnership with the council and the University of Brighton, said they had worked with residents to reduce the impact of the tall buildings on the site.

He said architects were tasked with making a scheme unique to Brighton and that hundreds of people had been consulted over the past few years on the scheme’s design.

He said: “It’s a real opportunity to do something great in a place that is currently forgotten and lost.”