A former Brighton children’s centre is set to be converted into more than 30 homes.

Councillors at Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy and resources committee agreed to lease the building to housing association Southern Housing Group.

The derelict building at 251 to 253 Preston Road will be converted into 24 flats and seven new homes and almost half will be affordable.

Town hall bosses said it will use the capital from the move to reinvest in council services and buildings.

Southern Housing Group emerged as the recommended choice in a competitive tendering process that attracted 13 bids.

Jeremy Barkway, regional development manager at Southern Housing Group, said: “Southern Housing Group has a strong presence in the Brighton and Hove area.

“In the last two years we have completed the developments at Albany Villas and Kingsway in Hove and are currently completing a new development at Pankhurst Avenue in Brighton.

“We saw the properties at Preston Road as a great opportunity to provide more mixed-tenure housing in the Brighton area.

“We plan to provide a mix of affordable and open market housing from the conversion of these properties.”

Other proposals for the building included a 150-place nursery, a conversion to 30 one-bed studio flats for 18 to 25-year-olds and six new houses, and another application for a nursery with 72 places, six new apartments and three new houses.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, chairman of the policy and resources committee, said: “As a council we no longer need this building and we are committed to making the best use of our assets.

“The proposal will bring the property back into beneficial use, providing much-needed homes and investment for the council to spend on improving services.”

A Southern Housing Group spokesman said a start date for work has not been set.