New garden in Brighton’s Circus Street area will include over 100 trees

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Work has now begun to landscape Carlton Row, the public walkway that runs between the eastern edge of the Circus Street site and the existing Milner House flats, creating an attractive west facing linear garden for local residents, who have been engaged in the whole process.

Over 100 trees will be planted along with 10,000 shrubs, grasses and plants, contributing to the city’s green corridor next to Valley Gardens.

Project Director Rob Sloper, from developers U+I, said: “We are really glad to create a new garden space for our neighbours to enjoy, including flower beds, climbing trellises, a meandering pathway and benches; we are committed to its on-going maintenance. It will help link the local community to Circus Street, which will bring so many new services and public spaces right to their doorstep,” continued Rob Sloper.

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“We have always promised that Circus Street will contribute to the greening of the city and the ratio of trees we are planting in this 1-hectare space in the city centre site is as great as a park, which will improve local air quality, help wildlife diversity and create lovely public spaces for people to enjoy.

New Garden for Circus Street, Brighton SUS-210225-105934001New Garden for Circus Street, Brighton SUS-210225-105934001
New Garden for Circus Street, Brighton SUS-210225-105934001

“For us, the landscaping and planting element of the Circus Street development has always been a central part of our design, which is why we selected our landscape architects @jlg_london who are passionate about the role and importance of bringing nature into urban places.”

An orchard, including 20-year-old, semi-mature crab apple trees, has already been planted in the centre of the residential part of the site, with wildflower turf laid around it. At the centre of the scheme in the public square will be a ‘champion’ 14-metre elm tree, in recognition of the city’s important role in hosting the National Elm Collection, the largest collection of elms in any city in the world.

Said Jo Gibbons, who designed the landscaping scheme: “The planting at Circus Street has been designed to create a beautiful and biodiverse development; an exemplar of the biosphere philosophy and best practice in design with nature in a tight urban location.

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“It integrates habitat creation as a fundamental part of the site’s green infrastructure, so that the development can evolve alongside as a unique site for urban nature in the heart of the city, contributing to the network of 62 city wildlife sites across Brighton in its own nuanced way.”

The buildings’ green roofs are based on the calcareous grassland habitats of the South Downs, attractive to wildlife offering opportunities for natural colonisation by plants and invertebrates. Rooftop level ‘living butterfly roofs’ aim to attract Adonis Blue, chalkhill blue and white letter hairstreak butterflies.

There will also be bird boxes installed specifically for declining urban bird species such as the house sparrow, swift and house martin and a mix of bird box types will enable colonial, semi-colonial and territorial species to inhabit the development. Bat boxes will be provided and are likely to support the common pipistrelle, Nathusius pipistrelle, serotine and parti-coloured bat.

Continued Rob Sloper: “Circus Street is a truly mixed-use scheme with homes, public squares, street level cafés, shops and workshops, sized carefully with the independent operator in mind along with a high-quality office building. The Office is almost complete, designed with a view to supporting the city’s chronic need for high grade space, helping to keep key employers that need to scale up in Brighton. It is rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’ for its use of low-impact materials and has Wellness credentials and WiredScore Platinum for its internet connectivity, making it best in class.

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“With an exciting public art strategy combined with the delivery of a spectacular new Dance Space and home for South East Dance, Circus Street is soon to become a full circle sustainable and cultural landmark in the city.”

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