A huge storm drain running underneath the site of the SeaLanes development could throw a spanner in the works after Southern Water said it should not be built on.
Dozens of people have commented in support of a planning application for the 25m pool on the beach next to Yellowave on Madeira Drive, on the site of the old Peter Pan’s playground.
But Southern Water has also commented to say that a 6m wide sewer runs right underneath the area where the developer plans to put temporary blocks for commercial use – and that it would not allow anything to be built above them or 6m either side.
And without the commercial units, the pool’s finances would take a big hit, putting the viability of the whole scheme into question.
Sea Lanes remains hopeful that it can negotiate a solution – and Southern Water says this may be possible but only after “extensive discussions and investigations”.
A spokeswoman for Southern Water said: “Southern Water is not a statutory consultee on planning applications but we encourage planning authorities to consult us on applications that would have a significant impact on our infrastructure. We do, however, have a legal duty to protect our crucial equipment.
“In this particular instance, given how critical this particular sewer is to the system, we would not allow any structures – temporary or permanent – within six metres either side of the pipe.
“If any allowances could be made, it would only be possible following extensive discussions and investigations with us.”
A spokeswoman for Sea Lanes Brighton said: “We are aware of the overflow culvert that Southern Water are referring to in their comment on the planning portal.
“We have had correspondence with Southern Water on the issue in the past and it was considered when developing the proposed plans.
“We plan to respond to the comment shortly through the planning process and don’t foresee any changes to the proposed plans.”
The sewer also runs underneath Yellowave, both the courts and the cafe. However, the planning officer’s report on its 2005 planning application made no mention of the sewer.
The sewer, or storm drain, was built in the 1990s to prevent sewage being washed out to see during heavy rainfall and is big enough to drive a car through.