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New plans for former Brighton Co-op
8:57am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
Developers want to turn the former Co-op building in London Road, Brighton, into accommodation for 351 students.
After previous plans to bring the 80-year-old property back into use were rejected by Brighton and Hove City Council , revised proposals are now being drafted.
As part of the scheme students would be asked to sign a tenancy agreement encouraging them not to bring cars to ease congestion and pressure on parking spaces.
A spokesman for the Watkin Jones Group, which is behind the plans, said the measure had been “highly effective” in a number of other projects it had been involved in across the country.
He said: “If a student is found to have a car, and there have been very little instances of this to date, they are reminded of the contents of the tenancy agreement, which is a legal contract. The ultimate recourse for contravention is suspension or eviction. This has never had to happen to date, given the effectiveness of the methods of preventing car use.”
The previous application for the building, which has stood empty since 2007, was refused by the council’s planning committee in December 2011. It proposed to clear the entire site and replace it with a completely new building for 407 students.
The new design, for retail outlets on the ground floor and student accommodation above, is significantly reduced in scale and retains the façade of the original 1930s building. Secure, covered storage for up to 120 bicycles is proposed.
Students will also be encouraged to use the existing public transport links.
It would be managed by a specialist student accommodation company but the University of Sussex will allocate the tenants.
Charles Dudley, the university’s director of residential, sport and trading services, said: “The London Road site would enable us to offer housing to undergraduates and postgraduates who would otherwise be housed in the private sector.”
The plans were shown at a public exhibition this week. Comments will be accepted until Tuesday and a planning application is due to be submitted in August. If approved the site could be ready for the 2013/14 academic year.
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