Marina developers will revert to 40-storey tower plans if new scheme is rejected

Posted On 23 Mar 2021 at 4:21 pm

The scheme being appealed today

The owners of Brighton Marina will press ahead with plans for a 40-storey tower if their appeal against refusal of a 28-storey one fails, a hearing was told today.

A planning enquiry was held today into the Brighton Marina Company’s plans to build 1,000 flats in nine blocks, including one of 28 storeys, on land reclaimed from the western side of the marina.

The plans have automatically gone to appeal because Brighton and Hove City Council failed to decide them within statutory time limits.

However, officers said they should have been refused and councillors on the city’s planning committee agreed.

The original Brighton Marina plans approved in 2006, including a 40-storey tower

In 2006, a previous scheme for 853 flats in 11 buildings ranging from six to 40 storeys was approved, part of which has already been built.

Today, the developers’ QC Rupert Warren said the original plans were still an option if today’s appeal failed.

However, he argued that the new scheme would link the marina and the rest of the city in a sympathetic and exciting way.

He said: “The city has a dense urban form, with strong horizontals punctuated by vertical elements such as the i360 or Sussex Heights.

“This scheme has strong horizontals, for example the crescent, and verticals in the form of the 28 storey tower.

“It would be fluid, address the sea and read well with the main city, complementing many of the ideas and features while sitting apart.”

He added: “The whole idea of the marina has something heroic about it and the scheme would complement that in the same exciting and streamlined way that Brighton has done over the last few centuries.”

Appearing for the city council, Anjoli Foster said the council was usually positive about large developments, and rarely found itself as the appellant in large planning enquiries like this.

And she said the fact the developer has confirmed it would now be going ahead with the rest of the original scheme if the new one was refused meant arguments about meeting housing demand were less pressing.

She said the latest scheme had significantly increased not just the number of homes, but also the footprint, resulting in an unacceptable quality of both building design and public realm.

She said: “It would cause unacceptable harm to the surrounding townscape.”

Planning inspector Paul Griffiths said he would be concentrating on four areas. The first is the effect on the character and appearance of the area, including heritage assets and the South Downs National Park.

The second is the provision of affordable housing, the third outside space and finally issues around daylight and sunlight both within the flats and outside spaces.

This afternoon, the city council’s principal planning officer Fraser McQuade gave evidence on the council’s assessment of the development’s impact on the local area.

He said: “I think that the experience of walking through the lanes [between the blocks to the western promenade], the spacing between the blocks combined with the height of those buildings would be quite oppressive.

“The experience of the buildings would be a negative one.

“I considered the massing through the site contributed to a low quality of design.”

He also said the close proximity of the buildings interrupted sea views both from the marina and the cliffs.

The enquiry resumes tomorrow.

  1. Greens Out Reply

    She said: “It would cause unacceptable harm to the surrounding townscape.”

    Has Anjolie Foster ever even BEEN to Whitehawk Docks?

    What more harm could be done to it. The place is a souless dump.

    Why is it that everyone that seems to ‘represent’ the council appears to be completely and utterly clueless.

  2. Derek Wright Reply

    I think that was referring to Kemp Town not the Marina

  3. Greens Out Reply

    And how would building more bland monoliths on that dump have any more of an effect than the existing bland characterless place it already is?

    • Steve Reply

      The problem is that buildings at the Marina are visible from most of the seafront. What used to be ok now looks like a prison complex. Anything new being built there should try and improve on that.

  4. Hove Guy Reply

    The precedent for extremely tall structures was set by the ghastly 1360, which is hated by most residents. If this buildiing is allowed to go ahead, we shall soon see the character of Brighton and Hove so utterly different, as more and more extremely tall, totally out of scale buildings are constructed. Do we really want the city to become a Costa del Sol in Sussex? Maybe is should be put to the vote of its residents, since we cannot trust this council about anything.

  5. Escape Brighton while you can Reply

    Whitehawk docks has always been a fairly vile place, almost as if a chunk of Croydon had been vomited out and landed on the south coast. What many people don’t know is that along side the yachts and such it was designated as a prison camp to be used during war or civil insurrection. All ways in and out controllable and no where to run to. HMP Kemptown, there are plenty of Brighton residents who should be placed there🤣

  6. BAHTAG Reply

    We just have to hope that the Inspector will see how truly ghastly the two recently-built blocks (6 or 8 storey?), just south of Wetherspoons West
    Quay hostelry look when viewed from where most people see them – going eastbound along the A259 Marine Parade, and from Brighton Palace Pier!

    And yes, the 40-storey Roaring Forties tower has always been a totally unacceptable threat to the aesthetics of our heritage City!

    Our City Council is (hopefully!) still the freehold owner of Brighton Marina?

    The Council certainly was when the Labour administration of the day gave Landowners Consent for that monstrous proposal.

    Credit is due to the two brave Labour councillors who dared to defy their Party line and voted against it – in the belief that the then Conservative Leader, Councillor Brian Oxley, had promised them that all of his Group would vote with these two Labour rebels, to give a voting majority to refuse consent for the Roaring Forties.

    But at the vote two Tories (known to be members of that secret society under Royal patronage that dare not speak its name) treacherously betrayed that pact, so Landowners Consent did get granted (and two brave and decent Labour councillors got landed in hot water!).

    Party-politics is a dirty business, and all the more so when influenced by external ‘Dark Forces’!

    So our hope has to be for a return to the halcyon days of the main political parties not beong involved in local government!

    Which nowadays seems to mean a need for us to elect a majority of Independent councillors at the next municipal elections (and possibly for 1/3rd of the membership of each Council committee to be volunteer non-voting local residents, selected by drawing lots, in an open public event, from a self-nominated pre-selected candidate list (for which an important qualification would be to not have held any elected or appointed position in any political party at any time during the past 10 years. And also to have lived in our City as their main residence continuously for the past 10 years))?

    Hopefully such arrangements will bring some common-sense to our City becoming well-run and honestly?

    • Gabriel Mills Reply

      What an awful proposal: good for the Council in rejecting it. The Marina is an insane place to propose a further 1000 flats: guaranteed to cause even worse traffic jams on the A259 coastal road. This is (or used to be before the pandemic) a solid traffic jam after 4pm between the roundabout turnoff to Oveingdean, and Saltdean.

      Hopefully the developers will be wasting their money (as well as the Council’s time) on submitting plans for a 40 storey block instead. This is hardly likely to be successful if a massive and ugly 28 storey development has already been refused.

      • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

        Unfortunately, Gabriel, they already have planning permission for the 40-storey tower and other blocks as part of the original 2006 permission, which eventually saw the Sirius and Orion blocks built with shops (fast-food chains) underneath. They never proceeded with the second bit, which was the 40-storey tower etc (reasons unknown), but still have the option to do so, just because they started the approved project. However, Sirius etc have been up for a few years now – people say that some are empty, some sold to foreign investors, so it may be that from the developer’s viewpoint, the initial development was not that successful. No idea, but there must be a reason that the developer put in the revised application and decided to throw everything at the 28-storey tower idea. We all await further ‘developments’ (sorry for the awful pun, but this thing has been going on for 15 years now and is likely to go on for many more – whether anything is actually built or not – and it is very fair to say that those of us living in the vicinity of the mess are more than sick of it all.

  7. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    The residents nearer to and in the Marina do not regard themselves as Whitehawkers and, therefore, the Marina is not Whitehawk Docks to them. I agree absolutely that it is a soulless, concrete eyesore, but putting up these huge blocks of flats, exposed to the very horrible weather, is not the answer to anything. The flats that have already been built (Sirius building etc) look quite nice from the Marina aspect, but the backs of them are just concrete eyesores (i.e. the money to pretty them up was all spent on the fronts). Additionally, the ‘shops’ that went up underneath are just another conglomeration of very boring fast food joints.

    And, as for the developer’s threat that, if he loses the appeal, he will proceed with the already approved 40-storey tower, this is just cynical blackmail on his part.

    The clue is in the word Marina. A marina is supposed to be about boats, not concrete monstrosities. We all deserve a lot better than this.

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