Madeira Terraces propping work to start next week

Posted On 27 Jan 2023 at 12:40 am

Temporary structural propping work is to start on the Madeira Terraces next week, Brighton and Hove City Council said.

The props will support four of the 152 bays beneath the terrace as “part of the safe management” of seafront landmark.

The council said: “The grade II* listed terrace is regularly inspected to identify any recommended works, such as propping, which may be required to prevent further weakening of the structure.

“Following recommendations from the latest inspection, structural steelwork will be installed at four locations along the length of the terrace.

“This is important preparatory work ahead of Phase 1 of the major renovation project which begins in the autumn. That covers 40 arches between the Royal Crescent Steps and Shelter Hall – the Concorde 2 venue.

“It is important that this preparatory work is carried out to provide extra support to the historic structure.

“The propping work specifically excludes any elements relating to the Green Wall. Consultation on this work has been undertaken with Brighton and Hove Building Green (a local community group closely involved with Madeira Terrace and the Green Wall), the council’s biodiversity officer, planning conservation officer and the Madeira Terrace Restoration Project Team.

“To enable the propping work to take place, the fig tree to the eastern end of Madeira Terrace will need to be coppiced as this is currently preventing access to two of the bays which require structural support.

“This work has been discussed and agreed with James Farrell, of Building Green, and with the council’s biodiversity officer.

“Coppicing is a traditional method of tree and shrub management which involves cutting the plant to ground level. This promotes the fresh growth of many smaller shoots, which quickly grow upwards.

“Where plants are growing at a high-level in the bays and covering the beams on the underside of the arches, these will be cut back to allow a structural inspection of these beams to be done.

“Without being able to fully survey the structure, concealed deterioration to the beams could weaken the terrace.

“Contractors will also remove metal and timber debris beneath the arches to allow safe access for the propping work to be carried out.

“This will be carefully managed to ensure that the Green Wall to the rear is protected, even where vegetation has started to grow around the debris. No pesticides will be used in this work.”

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Over the last 130 years it’s inevitable that the coastal weather has weakened some of the structure of the Madeira Terraces.

“In order that we fully understand the nature of the problem, specialist teams are now inspecting the structure so restoration can get under way.

“Extra steel supports will be installed to help prop up the terraces to keep the structure safe as this necessary work happens.”

Councillor Mac Cafferty added: “Local experts are working with council teams to secure this next step on the path to a restored Madeira Terrace.

“Longer term, the new terrace will signal a rejuvenated eastern seafront with a valued asset for generations to come.”

  1. Stuart Roberts Reply

    I certainly appreciate the arches being restored. Shame it is not a commitment to all of them and shame it has taken so long. However, I’m sure they will look brilliant when done but will not be generating money for future repairs which will always be necessary. I feel that opportunities have been missed to perhaps install power, water and drains along the length which would allow more loos to be installed out of sight, plus the opportunity for small pop up businesses. kitchens for small production cafe food, fruit and veg, alcohol free drinking areas, arts and crafts etc. None of these need to effect the arches and could be stand alone perhaps even with a small mezzanine floor. These could then become an amenity for visitors and locals and bring another area of Brighton for people to see. Thhe most important thing is that such things are kept within the space and not allowed to overspill.

    • Derek Reply

      The arches will be used for pop up businesses , like a collectors market, sports training . some food carts. Laying on full services proved to be too expensive . Lots of thing you mention cant be done due English Heritage restrictions . More outdoor events are planned involving the Terraces includes charging for spectating from the deck. There are plans for a sun terrace next to the Shelter Hall . All details on B&H website

      • ChrisC Reply

        But there can’t be any more events that require the road to be closed as the council is already at the 28 days legal limit.

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