What should be done with Black Rock? Council wants your views

Posted On 22 Nov 2019 at 1:41 pm

The city council is asking people for their views on its plans for improving Black Rock ahead of a major development there.

a planning application to clear the former lido site to the west of Brighton Marina is about to be submitted, which also includes proposals to create recreation space, improved access and renovating the Grade-II listed Old Reading Room.

In the long term, the site has been earmarked for a new conference centre to replace the Brighton Centre, creating space to extend Churchill Square to the seafront.

Since 2014, the council has been in complex negotiations with the owners of Churchill Square, Aberdeen Standard Investments.

But now the council wants to clear the Black Rock site so it can be used for other things in the meantime.

Proposals include:

  • Clearing the site (removing lido foundations, old sea defences and anchors, and a disused military pillbox) and improving the look of the area
  • Creating space for events and recreation (such as a multi-use games area)
  • Improving access for cyclists and pedestrians, including a fully accessible pathway along a rebuilt and extended sea wall, and a new link for cyclists and pedestrians between Madeira Drive and Brighton Marina via Black Rock
  • Renovating the Grade-II listed Old Reading Room, making it available for future letting for a suitable use
  • Making a new pedestrian link from the Volk’s Workshop at Duke’s Mound via a beach boardwalk and the new sea wall into the south part of Brighton Marina

Leader of the council, Nancy Platts, said: “The Black Rock site has been derelict for around 40 years and this funding offers a golden opportunity to breathe new life into this important, but neglected part of our seafront.

“I am excited by the prospect of regenerating this area and the potential to improve walking and cycling routes at this end of the city.

“We need to know what the community think of the proposals so I am really pleased that we are hosting two events for local people to have their say. I hope people who live and work nearby will come along and give us their feedback on our ideas.”

“Once this project is complete, we’ll have the opportunity to create a new future for Black Rock and improve the area for residents and visitors.”

Two sessions are being held for residents to view the plans, ask questions and provide feedback.

  • Wednesday 27 November, 2-7.30pm at St George’s Church, St George’s Road, Kemp Town, Brighton, BN2 1ED
  • Thursday 28 November, 2-7.30pm in the Function Room of The Master Mariner, Marina Square, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA

The proposals, including the Waterfront Project, are due to be discussed by councillors next month. Reports for the Policy & Resources Committee are due to be published on Wednesday 27 November.

The planning application is due to be submitted in mid-December. If all approvals are in place, work at Black Rock is scheduled to begin next year. Completion is targeted for Spring 2021.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Cllr Platts mentions Funding but nothing about its source.
    How long will it be vacant before The Entertainment and Conference Centre is going to begin construction?
    Why not get The Madeira Terraces up and running to create additional revenue streams?

  2. Rolivan Reply

    As for the site perhaps it could be used temporarily to put up more Container type accommodation and move them somewhere else after.

    • Bob a job Reply

      Where is the electricity, heating, water, sewerage facilities coming from for this temporary accomodation use?

      Answer, there isn’t any without major works.

      Much more suitable to put something there that doesn’t require any enabling works like an open air sports facility especially as it’s only till Spring 2021 as it states, about 16 months away.

  3. Gary Freemantle Reply

    As retail is dying on its backside at the moment and Aberdeen Standard Investments have absolutely no intention of extending Churchill Square down to the seafront and that proposal is just a red herring in order to obtain the land for a knockdown price so they can build swanky £1m+ apartments overlooking the sea, why not build the new multipurpose arena on the Odeon and Brighton Centre sites making it fit for purpose this time with an ice arena, plus second ice pad for use when the arena is being used for concerts, conferences, etc?

    If you want examples of such projects which are proven to add 3-4 times the amount of money into the economy than a flagship Department Store, you could try looking at Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham to name a few. That’s just in this country.

    Brighton is an historic venue, all bands want to play here but many have been put off buy the unsuitability of the Brighton Center and it’s poor acoustic performance.

    • Nick Reply

      100% agree with you here. Build the new venues on the site of the current Odeon and Brighton Centre. An extended retail space from Churchill Square isn’t going to happen. Black Rock can be a sports / recreation area.

  4. Mad Banana Reply

    Gary, you are clearly not thinking like a councillor. That would be far too sensible to put something locals and tourists want next to the transport links, rail, restaurants and town centre.

    No – we need to put stuff like that at the far end of the city where it is hard to reach. Then more cars will be driven there to be charged for parking. And more taxis and pollution will be created. Just like the Old Steine improvements.

  5. Eleanor Reply

    A permanent ice rink and sports centre in Brighton would provide the only ice skating rink in Sussex.

  6. John Adams Reply

    I have an online petition on 38 Degrees to save the Brighton Centre. This is the ideal position for it, long may it stay there. We could build an ice rink or anything else on top of it. By all means, build a second conference/ entertainment/sports centre at Black Rock with improved public transport services. But keep the magical Brighton Centre where it is.

  7. John Adams Reply

    Bob a Job- Container homes have been constructed cheaply and quickly with all services in many parts of the world. Likewise, prefabricated homes. these have lasted for many years, providing comfortable homes for otherwise homeless people, or people on waiting lists.
    We don’t need more shops in an enlarged Churchill Square.

  8. KD Hove Reply

    Ice rink please. Olympic sized plus other sports facilities – Basketball, squash, gym, badminton, sauna, steam room, spa pool. Any other sports that are unrepresented locally.
    Lovely large cafe on the upper floor overlooking the sea.
    Proper vehicle link to the Marina from Madeira Drive including for buses.
    Proper coach park.

    • Steve Hart Reply

      Totally agree. An olympic ice stadium with facilities for lavish shows ans well as public skating and ice hockey. Put Brighton on the map as the go to city for top class entertainment and sport. We used to be famous for the Brighton Tigers.

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