More than 350 people attended a public meeting about the future of the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove this afternoon (Friday 24 May).
The meeting at Hove Town Hall was organised by Hove Conservative MP Mike Weatherley.
He said that people at the meeting and those who had contacted him beforehand wanted sport to be the main focus of the site.
He said: “It was also clear from the meeting that there is overwhelming support for a 50-metre swimming pool.
“Keeping the seafront location was certainly considered important and another facility that proved popular was a large ice rink.
“It was great to see so many people attend the meeting today and contribute with their views on how the King Alfred should be redeveloped.
“We’ve received a huge amount of input on what a future leisure centre should be like and I will be writing to Brighton and Hove City Council with a summary of the day.
“I want to thank all the speakers who took the time to take part in this discussion.
“I hope that this meeting illustrates the need for progress to be made concerning the redevelopment of this important site.
“Quite frankly, everyone is fed up with council delays that have meant that nothing has happened over the past ten years.
“Residents know what they want – we just need it to be built.”
The council has set up a project board to come up with a development brief.
The board includes three councillors – Geoffrey Bowden (Green), Warren Morgan (Labour) and Andrew Wealls (Conservative).
The board hopes to agree a brief that can be put to councillors for sign-off in the autumn. It is likely to include more than 400 flats to fund the cost of building a replacement leisure centre.
The leisure centre may not necessarily be built at the current location.
The last scheme, drawn up by Karis with input from the architect Frank Gehry, included 750 flats.
It was granted planning permission but the investment bank ING, which was to finance the scheme, pulled the plug five years ago.
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