Historic Brighton night club site to become hotel

Posted On 14 Jul 2016 at 2:52 pm

A historic Brighton night club venue is to be demolished and turned into a hotel as part of a significant redevelopment near the bottom of West Street.

The 133-room hotel will be built on a site that housed Sherry’s for most of the 20th century. Sherry’s featured in the Graham Greene novel Brighton Rock.

The club was most recently known as Hedkandi and – in the intervening years – as the Pink Coconut, Paradox, Creation, Tru and Project.

The building is currently the temporary home to Synergy, a multimedia community arts centre, café and bar.

The plans – submitted by neighbouring landowners London and Regional Properties and Smart Space UK, working together – were given permission yesterday (Wednesday 13 July) by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The council’s Planning Committee decided two separate applications which were submitted as part of a masterplan drawn up by architect Mike Ford, an associate director of the Morgan Carn Partnership.

An artist's impression of the new look for the bottom of West Street in Brighton

An artist’s impression of the new look for the bottom of West Street in Brighton

The new complex will be up to seven storeys high and will include a second 91-bedroom hotel that includes 22 “micro-rooms”.

The redeveloped site will also include shops, bars, restaurants or cafés and financial and professional services on the ground floor.

The plans include an extension to the backpacker hostel over the Walkabout bar to create 11 extra rooms, giving a capacity for 290 hostel bed spaces in total. And there will also be three two-bedroom flats and a one-bedroom flat.

The building will stretch from West Street to part of South Street and Middle Street.

Councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the Planning Committee, said: “This exciting new development will significantly regenerate the area, providing jobs and reinforcing Brighton’s role as a vibrant, thriving regional centre for shopping, leisure, tourism and business.

“We also welcome the high-quality design of the scheme which we hope will raise the bar for other new developments in the city.”

Historic England said that the scheme would “regenerate and enliven this neglected and run down part of the Old Town Conservation Area”.

The Synergy Centre is the temporary tenant in the former night club with an undistinguished 1960s frontage

The Synergy Centre is the temporary tenant in the former night club with an undistinguished 1960s frontage

Morgan Carn director John McLean said after the plans were approved in a meeting at Portslade Town Hall: “Two landowners working together are getting a much better end result than they would working in isolation.

“This is excellent news for the city. West Street is a nightmare and is a terrible advertisement for our city and needs some investment.”

Mr McLean acknowledged the potentially conflicting demands for improvements to the “public realm” and the retention or creation of places to pick up and drop off people by car and taxi.

But he pointed to the joint working so far and the fact that millions of people passed along West Street every year.

The team behind the scheme, including the landowners, would work with the council and other landowners to create the best possible end result, he said.

Several members of the 12-strong Planning Committee praised the “sensitively designed” plans and the approach behind them.

Councillor Julie Cattell

Councillor Julie Cattell

Councillor Lynda Hyde, who used to chair the committee, said: “When this was presented, I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a brilliant use for this site.

“South Street is very untidy. This is a massive improvement. It will provide employment – more jobs.”

She praised planning officer Maria Seale for her work on the scheme in remarks echoed by Councillor Cattell.

Councillor Carol Theobald said: “This is a great improvement for that area. It’s such a scruffy area.

“The tall building looks a bit out of place although it does have some character. I’ve complained again and again about South Street. It’s so scruffy. It looks like a third world country.

“This will be great for our city.”

John McLean

John McLean

Councillor Joe Miller said: “I welcome the jobs, tourism and business rates for the council. It’s a well-designed hotel, architecturally. I just hoped it’s developed as quickly as possible. The city needs it and West Street needs it.”

Councillor Leo Littman praised the design too, saying: “It’s a very cleverly constructed proposal. My only caveat was one that was cited by Historic England – the loss of the frontage in Middle Street. The harm of course is outweighed by the benefits.”

And Councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner said: “There is a possibility that the architecture is actually stunning.”

The scheme was approved unanimously.

  1. Alex Reply

    Since when have councillors cared about tidiness or scruffiness? Great that they seem to. Let’s now roll that out to the whole city. Much of it is very shabby and an embarrassment.

  2. Philip Hilton Reply

    The greatest idea yet, and after that, start turning all the nightclubs into hotels.
    The West Street will be able to be a place where one can walk down at night without being heckled by drunken louts and idiot foreigners who get away with being under age.

  3. terry farley Reply

    Destroy the nightlife and why would anybody want to spend their money in Brighton ?

    • steve Reply

      The nighlife is being destroyed everywhere.Staying at home with a mask on is the new normal.

  4. Shaun Whitton Reply

    Sad to see the building go I worked at the paradox for eight years and made lots of friends and had a great time clubbing there myself

    • Evangelos Siozos Reply

      I agree. I also used to work there in the 90’s . I think I remember you Shaun, and you definitely remember me. Paradox was the best nightclub.
      Evangelos from Greece.

  5. Alicia Reply

    What about the Odeon? Get rid of that and keep the Paradox. That is part of West Street’s heritage and it’s not awful in the slightest. No one wants another bloody hotel, Brighton is totally awash with them, just in case you hadn’t noticed. Time to hammer it home to these people that they are out of touch with what the people want.

  6. Anna Reply

    I was waiting for the part where they say ‘It will bring more jobs’. That excuse of screwing up our towns heritage is wearing thin now. Predictable. There’s plenty of ways of giving employment to people in town, other than carving up the landscape. Look around you, or are you too busy counting the money you made from backhanders?

  7. Toby Nanakhorn Reply

    It’s honestly been strange seeing West Street go from people having a good time clubbing and arcades, to generic restaurants and accommodation.

  8. Hove Guy Reply

    Ah Sherrys! When I was a very young child, my parents would take me with them to the Tea Dance there every Sunday and I have very happy memories of the place. I remember the lovely murals on the walls, with views of places like Switzerland. I have forgotten the name of the band that played there, but there was a vocal group called The Fraser Hayes Quartet, with their leading vocalist Annabelle Lee. Afterwards they appeared often on the radio, And there was always a cabaret about half way. For me, one of the joys was having toast followed by pastries.
    After that closed down, in the 1950s, my parents went to the Tea Dance every Sunday at the Metrepole Hotel. In those days this was held in a huge conservatory, called The Winter Garden, and it looked out onto beautiful gardens at the back of the hotel. They would have two alternating bands, and there was always a wonderful friendly atmosphere, as the regulars got to know one another, as if in a club. Sadly this was all demolished to make way for the hideous exhbition halls. Best of all were the delicious sandwiches and pastries. And the entrance price for this was just 5 shillings (25 pence in today’s money).

  9. Shaun Whitton Reply

    I do remember you Evangelos hope your keeping well the club’s gone now just a big gap still we have some good memories of when we were there keep safe shaun

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