Brighton open air swimming pool moves closer with grant of 150-year seafront lease

Posted On 20 Apr 2016 at 2:43 pm

Ambitious plans to build a £4.5m heated open air swimming pool on Brighton seafront are set to move closer next week with the granting of a 150-year lease.

Sea Lanes view from beach smaller
The 50m swimming pool, originally billed as Sky Wide Open and now known as Sea Lanes, will be an eight lane pool with a constant depth of 1.5m, teamed with indoor training pools, a sauna, training studios and therapy rooms.

A cafe, shops, offices and function rooms are also planned for the site on the old Peter Pan’s playground, next to Yellowwave.

A report to be considered by  Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy and resources committee next Thursday says: “The Sea Lanes development is an exciting and unique proposal which will provide a high quality and sustainable attraction for the seafront.

“The draft seafront strategy identifies Madeira Drive as a key area of the seafront in need of regeneration.

“The council’s desire is to establish Madeira Drive as an all year round leisure destination for residents and visitors alike.

“Brighton is fast becoming a national centre for open water swimming. However, most swimmers have nowhere to change, leave their belongings or shower afterwards.

“The developers all own local businesses and have a passion for open water swimming.”

The developers behind the scheme are Copsemill Properties, SwimTrek, Swimmergy and We Like Today. The £4.5m scheme will be funded privately through 50% equity investment and 50% bank funding.

Sea Lanes view from Madeira Drive

Rich Brett, creative director and principal of We Like Today explains: “This city, as any other, doesn’t deserve ‘anywhere architecture’ that separates people from their surroundings.

“I am interested in using design and architecture to make a difference and wanted people to feel pride of place for an area that used to be at the heart of Brighton and Hove’s leisure industries.

“Brighton shares a special relativity with the sea, yet at present, there is little integration between the two. The idea for Sea Lanes was to build an active and immersive destination, open up a dialogue with the sea and the local community, and revitalise Madeira Drive and this area of the city.”

Joe Mcnulty, Director of Copsemill Properties, highlights: “The redevelopment of this important site will help to regenerate this little used area of Brighton.

“The focus on sea swimming will help to cement the reputation of Brighton as the spiritual home of sea swimming. The commercial space will help to create a new place for people to work, eat, shop and exercise.

“The bold and exciting architecture will help to prove that Brighton is highly capable of delivering world-class design. We are all really excited about this project and cannot wait to turn this vision into a reality.”

Simon Murie, Managing Director of SwimTrek adds: “As an international swimming holiday operator based in Brighton we take thousands of swimmers annually away on overseas trips each year.

“We are proud to be part of this exciting swimming development which will give swimmers an opportunity to swim in a 50M open air heated pool situated right on Brighton Beach.

“With this facility, the city will become a premier swimming destination once more and encourage both national and international visitors to visit our vibrant city.”

  1. Dee Edmonds Reply

    It would be great if it was seawater and near black rock as there is a lot of space there.

  2. Daniel Reply

    No mention of how this will impact upon Saltdean Lido.

    • Nicole Reply

      I don’t think it will too much – this is an exercise pool, rather than a LIDO. Grateful to have the possibility of both!

    • Mark Reply

      As a serious swimmer including in sea, I have always been frustrated at the lack of facilities in uk. Having a pool or lido is not the same as a dedicated swim pool. Even in gyms half the pool is used for playing, lounging, kids etc. It’s like the difference between a field and a football pitch. Brighton REALLY needs regeneration: it’s lost it’s theatres and historic front so let’s at least replace it with something positive.

    • Gary Freemantle Reply

      You seem to be confusing Brighton Council with people who……..
      A) think? B) Give a Darn about anyone else

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    An obvious point, missed. The attraction of swimming in the sea is the waves. Twenty minutes in the sea is the equivalent of much longer in a pool.

    • me Reply

      I think you are confusing Swimming with jumping around in the waves. Distance swimming is a sport not a leisure activity

  4. a Reply

    Not everyone is confident or enjoys so this is a great idea. Swimming has so many benefits that it will be great to get more people swimming. We should also have a 50m in the King Alfred plans but that’s unlikely …

  5. Gary Watts Reply

    Absolutely brilliant!!! Hope it happens!!

  6. Thor Reply

    brilliant idea, and a good middle point for people that want to start sea swimming eventually so to move from indoor to heated outdoor to cold outdoor and sea.
    Also some people are not able to sea swim or it’s not possible due to weather conditions so this would be nice

  7. C Gull Reply

    I think the stakeholders of Saltdean Lido will be extremely unhappy about this. Once again it looks like they have been hung out to dry by this Labour administration.

  8. Martin s Reply

    Really? We had great open air pools at saltdean, rottingdean and Blackrock. All allowed to go into disrepair and eventually abandoned by the council. By all means provide an area for outdoor swimming but spend on an indoor pool too for people who like to swim indoors! Why would i open water swim in a pool? The whole point is ‘open water’

  9. Chris Reply

    Presumably if or when a new conference centre is built at Black Rock that will mean one less outdoor pool as competition for this proposed one.

  10. Kerrie Reply

    The report says the ‘old Peter Pan site’ the Peter Pan site is still current and is used constantly and it looks like the graces place cafe is being rebuilt. Is there a different old Peter Pan site? Maybe it is to the east of yellow wave volley ball court. Also intrigued as to how the volks railway will be built into this?

  11. Joe McNulty Reply

    Yes its the old Peter Pan playground site just to the east of Yellowave. Its currently an abandoned concrete slab . The Volks railway will stay where it is and run through the new development . There will be two crossing points . To see more images go to

  12. Joe McNulty Reply

    sorry west of Yellowwave

  13. Janet Reply

    What a great idea just what Brighton and Hove needs seeing there is no competition from the appalling lack of decent sized public swimming pools that have had the insight to have an outdoor pool. Am crossing my fingers the plans get through!!!

  14. Sharon Sullivan Reply

    What about Hove & Portslade? We need a pool. Isn’t there enough in Brighton? David Lloyds is only along the road from Peter Pan. Ok it’s not open air but Mile Oak & Portslade don’t have anything!

  15. Gunter Reply

    This’ll be great, if delivered as described, and revitalise a really bleak section of beachfront. I for one will be a regular

  16. RGS Ritchie Reply

    50m pool with up to Olympic capability (?) but little or no provision for any open competitions with spectator viewing.

    Disability access only to the actual sea. Access to pool only (?) via bridge. Is that adequate?

    Will that beach become a restricted public access area when built?

    Bearing in mind the prevailing SW winds, and the tonnes of litter left on beaches to the West, will there be some means of catching and disposing of the wind-blown rubbish before it gets to the pool area?

  17. Gayle Sheriff Reply

    Will it ever happen. We older residents remember using Saltdean Lido and what’s happening to that now? And also the sea water pool at Black Rock Brighton needs to clean up and be great again.

  18. Sonya Chalkley Reply

    Yes several months on and will this actually happen? Also, as a keen swimmer including sea swimming and since i don’t think there any accessible lakes to swim in nearby, I am also frustrated at the lack of showers / locker facilities along the seafront to allow for stress free wild swimming. I really don’t understand why there seems to be provision for other sports and not for sea swimming in Brighton and Hove; its all very well having buoys and lifeguards but what about showers please for cleaning off the salt water?

  19. Christine buckingham Reply

    Explain to me, WHY
    was the wonderful Blackrock swimming pool demolished all those years ago??????
    As a Brighton youngster it gave so much pleasure to the town.
    People would come from far and wide to swim and eat there.
    Even had a.gate onto the beach.
    So why get excited about a
    “New pool ”
    When Brighton had a classic example of an Art Deco building
    It should never have been pulled down.
    The same goes for our local
    Rottingdean pool we used as kids in the 1950’s onwards.
    All our history has been taken from us.
    Well done Brighton Council

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