PLANS to build more than 200 homes and a “neighbourhood hub” with a doctors’ surgery, library and youth centre are taking shape, according to a new report.

And now council officials are asking councillors to authorise the submission of a planning application to build the £70 million scheme in Moulsecoomb.

The scheme is due to come up for discussion at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Housing Committee next week.

A report to the committee said that if planning permission is granted by next June, enabling works could start on site in September and construction could start in May 2023.

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The masterplan includes 211 homes, a doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, library, youth centre, adult learning classrooms, community café and meeting rooms.

The whole scheme is planned for a four-and-a-half-acre site west of Hodshrove Road and off Hodshrove Lane.

Old school buildings on the site are currently used by social workers who are expected to relocate to Portslade.

Residents and community groups have been consulted and their ideas – from football pitches and a skatepark to children’s play areas and a community garden – are included in the masterplan.

The council’s Housing Committee is being asked to agree to spend £2.1 million on the planning stage.

Already, after feedback from the council’s planning department, the number of homes has been reduced from 234 to 211.

Seventy of the properties would have one bedroom and 74 would have two bedrooms, housing house three or four people. Forty of the homes would have three bedrooms and 10 would have four bedrooms.

The report to the Housing Committee said: “There is high demand for all sizes and types of affordable rented homes in the city.

“The highest level of need on the city’s Housing Register is for one and two-bed homes and this project will help to meet that need.

“There is also pressure on larger family homes and local residents asked that larger family homes be included … particularly as a number of larger former family homes are now used for student accommodation in the area.

“The number of wheelchair-accessible homes has increased to 15 homes, bringing the project further in line with the affordable housing brief.”

The scheme has been granted almost £1.7 million for groundwork and infrastructure from the Brownfield Land Release funding scheme run by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The council has included further financial details about the scheme in a separate secret report.

And financial modelling in the confidential papers explored how the scheme might pay for itself through rents and grants over 60 years, matching the estimated life of the homes.

The council is applying for a grant from Homes England, a government agency, under its Affordable Homes Programme – but the scheme could still face a financial shortfall.

The Housing Committee report said: “Brighton and Hove has been identified as an area with high affordability pressures, meaning the council can apply for a grant for socially rented homes.

“The suggested grant levels from Homes England are not high enough to balance the capital costs of construction against the lower rents charged and therefore leave a significant investment requirement.

“However, the construction market is currently experiencing a peak in costs and, if costs reduce in the near future, there may be an opportunity to explore this further.”

The publicly available report also said that the construction market was “volatile”.

The council’s Housing Committee is due to meet at 4pm next Wednesday (17 November) at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.