Councillors prepare to approve £13m revamp of Hove seafront

A £13 million project to create a seafront park in Hove is due to go before councillors next week and looks likely to win their approval.

The Kingsway to the Sea project covers land west of the King Alfred Leisure Centre and includes the eastern end of Hove Lagoon.

Brighton and Hove City Council was awarded £9.5 million towards the costs of the project by the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The council’s Policy and Resources Committee is due to consider the project in principle next Thursday (7 July) when members will also be asked to approve a further £1 million in borrowing.

More than 2,700 people responded to an online survey between Friday 20 May and Friday 10 June when the council invited opinions about the project.

The online engagement followed a public consultation last September and, in May, drop-in events attended by 550 people.

Of those who responded, 89 per cent either strongly agreed or tended to agree that the proposals would improve the West Hove seafront.

And 86 per cent either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the proposed range of sports facilities and “improved green space”.

A new skate park had the strongest support, with 70 per cent of responders backing it.

A proposed pump track was the second most popular, with 55 per cent of responders backing it, while green space had backing from 52 per cent of responders.

A proposed croquet lawn had the lowest level of support, with just 13 per cent giving their approval.

Residents, dog walkers and beach hut users raised a petition, attracting 144 signatures, to rewild part of the old pitch and putt course rather than create the pump track, skate park and roller rink.

Some Hove residents petitioned for part of the Kingsway to the Sea land to be rewilded

A report to the Policy and Resources Committee said: “Some negative feedback was received on this proposal during the recent engagement sessions.

“This feedback covered the loss of green space, anti-social behaviour, lighting and noise.

“Designs were reviewed and consideration was given to moving the pump track or roller blade area to other parts of the park, with the skate park remaining in its current position, adjacent to the Big Beach Café.

“These options were discounted as alternative layouts because they impacted on the provision of space for a dedicated public park which feedback indicated is one of the main benefits residents want from the scheme.

“Concerns regarding light pollution were addressed with modern ‘down lighting’ that will not be operational throughout the night. The timing will be assessed as part of the planning process.”

The report also said that the new outdoor sports hub would increase the number of toilets available on the Western Esplanade and include changing facilities, accessible toilets and a new café.

Toilets at Hove Lagoon are also due to be refurbished as part of the project – and a new sports pavilion will include toilets for people using the sports courts.

The Policy and Resources Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall at 4pm next Thursday (7 July). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Simon Phillips Reply

    Under normal circumstances, I’d be all for this. Unusual for me to be in favour of another of the Greens vanity projects.It’s probably acceptable – if there were not more pressing priorities!
    Our roads are in an shocking state; resembling a third world state in places!
    I know the car loathing Greens couldn’t care less about the roads that cars use, but cyclist use them too! These pot holed and uneven roads cause damage to cars and are dangerous! But they’re lethal for cyclists!
    This could be a golden opportunity for the Greens to (just for once), get ALL of Brighton’s residents to be on their side for a change?
    So if there’s this kind of money floating around in the Green Council’s coffers, then I ask, nay demand that they use it to resurface as many of Brighton & Hove’s appalling Roads as soon as possible! And I urge all Brighton’s readers to this page who live on badly damaged roads to demand this also!

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      If you read the article, you will see that national money was awarded for this, and so it cannot be spent on roads. Whenever I see the cliché “vanity projects”, I groan: why trot out such phrases rather than refresh the language?

      As for the seafront, it is a mercy that the proposal for a shed on it – putatively for lifeguard training! – was a spiv speculative one and went nowhere

      • Hesperus Reply

        Don’t mention the i360!

    • Valerie Reply

      I agree; but pavements and crossings are unsafe and need resurfacing. And its not about tree roots. I feel like a rally driver negotiating the terrain in my power chair as each bump knocks steering and potholes threaten an overturning! Especially in Clarendon Road/upper Goldstone Road and parts of Goldstone Villas

  2. Chris Reply

    Who’s going to maintain the flower beds, others around Brighton and Hove seem to just grow tall weeds?

  3. Susie Reply

    Build another glorified lift but now in Hove. We can name it the suspended Hove seagarden. What could go wrong?

  4. Robert Pattinson Reply

    No need to rewild any of it as every street in Brighton and Hove has now bee rewilded.
    I hope something is done about the public toilets, we must have some of the worst in the country on Hove seafront. Especially the one at King Alfred.

  5. Hovelassies Reply

    Let’s hope this projects results in having decent, clean, accessible, functioning, well maintained public toilets. The current situation with public toilets in Hove is diabolical.

  6. Tom H Reply

    I think more often than not the council overthinks and then poorly executed these projects.

    Of course there are radical rethinks and additions s that could be done to positively change the sea front but I think the most effective step would be to just maintain what we have to a much higher standard.

    The south facing beach, sunny microclimate and calm shallow sea sea is really the attraction of Brighton & Hove going back to Victorian times.

    All that really needs to be done (imho) is to restore and maintain the existing sea front infrastructure. Police it well, keep it safe & clean and this will be the attraction. Fro there visitor numbers will be strong and with a well thought out planning strategy local business will make the rest of the investment as they vie to appeal to the visitors drawn by the clean beach and well kept sea front.

    I live on the Hove side but it saddens me that we can’t did the money to restore Madeira Terrace – what an amazing attraction that could be.

    Numerous other seaside towns do it well so why can’t Brighton & Hove?

  7. Jon Reply

    I filled in the consultancy and a skateboard and pump track seemed a good idea.
    Later I read opposition that said it’s catering to a small demographic. Mainly males between maybe 10-18 and believe it or not a lot of this demographic are not interested in a skate park
    They’re right. The consultancy offered no real alternative. The council shows no imagination . They see some space have some money and think .
    A green space can be used for by everyone for many things

  8. Valerie Reply

    Its a shame the seafront is a hostile environment for trees because this proposed entertainments playground is not a park. There is hedging that cd grow taller to bring vertical pathmaking and social spaces to a properly parklike design. Seating?

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