Brighton i360 given permission to scrap wind turbines

Posted On 16 Sep 2015 at 10:00 pm

The i360 has been given permission to scrap its proposed wind turbines and a water recycling feature.

The two measures were among the conditions imposed when the scheme was originally granted planning permission nine years ago.

But architect David Marks said that the two proposed turbines were not practical because of vibrations.

The 1360 a few weeks ago - pictured by Neil Brunnock

The 1360 a few weeks ago – pictured by Neil Brunnock

And changes to the law had highlighted issues with trying to recycle water that could be contaminated by, among other things, dog mess.

Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee lifted the conditions unanimously although committee members expressed disappointment during a debate at Portslade Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 16 September).

A report to the committee said: “The applicant states that following an in-depth review of the wind-induced vibration characteristics of the tower it was established that vibrations created by the action of the wind turbine could not be effectively mitigated by introduction of vibration dampening installations within the tower.

“The turbine therefore had to be removed for practical reasons otherwise the tower would be susceptible to damage.

“As the ‘roof’ of the building is predominantly pavement areas used by the public this significantly impacts on the range of contaminants present in run-off water (eg, oil, grease, organic matter, dog foul, etc) which will make it unusable for WC flushing without major treatment.

“There is no reason to dispute the applicant’s reasoning and the council’s sustainability officer in the Planning Policy Team confirms their case to be acceptable.”

Mr Marks said, however, that the i360 would use a different motor to drive the pod and this would enable the downward motion to generate energy.

Councillor Les Hamilton

Councillor Les Hamilton

The result was that more power would be generated than would have been the case from the wind turbine.

Green councillors Leo Littman and Phélim MacCafferty and Labour councillor Maggie Barradell were particularly unhappy about the loss of grey and rain water recycling.

Labour councillor Adrian Morris was astonished that the original design had not included a method of capturing the energy from the downward motion of the viewing pod.

Conservative councillor Lee Wares said: “The scheme is better without the wind turbines. The applicant has come back with better technology to produce better outcomes.”

Long-serving Labour member Councillor Les Hamilton said: “Next month it will be nine years since I chaired the committee that originally granted this scheme permission.”

Yes, changes need to be made as schemes take shape, he said, adding: “Even Aldi in my ward which was quite a small scheme has had loads of conditions changed.”

Despite reservations, the i360 was given permission to drop both measures.

Mr Marks said afterwards that the project remained sustainable and would use relatively little power or water.

His team would also continue to look for efficient ways to do things, in part to be sustainable and in part because it made the project more economically viable.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Salami slicing for economic viability or were these green measure never properly investigated before being offered? Were they in fact little more than window dressing sweeteners? After all the boasts about engineering expertise?

    The proposed generation of energy from the pod drive system is of course not quantifiable in advance although figures ARE given. Trip generation on high hopes is not actual delivery. If the expected visitor numbers are pie-in-the sky and the “attraction” runs as infrequently as the (much better looking) Brighton Wheel, then the pod drive system will generate diddly squat to justify the eco-claims now being made.

    The truth is worse. From originally estimating 500,000kwh power use, they now estimate 585,000kwh because their expectations for visitor numbers were revised upwards in 2012 (roughly when they lost their less than 50% backing and began to find they could not get private funding to build the wretched thing).

    The original planning application was for a heritage centre with ancillary retail uses on the ground too. Now its all about having a sky bar and advertising the building surround for conventions and weddings. Desperate or what.

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