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Leader calls for action over delayed project


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COUNCIL leader Warren Morgan has called for an urgent update on the Soho House development.

The Brighton and Hove City Council leader has written to Richard Franklin, the leaseholder of the site, asking for urgent information following lengthy delays to construction.

Councillor Morgan expressed frustration at the Brighton Seafront Regeneration (BSR) group’s slowness to react.

He said: “Richard Franklin, along with Nick Jones of Soho House, confirmed construction was due to start last month.

“However, no work appears to have been done on the site, two years after planning permission was granted.

“We simply will not wait indefinitely for BSR – or indeed any developer – to start works once planning permission has been granted.

“We have powers to act if necessary and we will make use of those powers.”

The poor appearance of the seafront development, to the east of Brighton Palace Pier, has led to complaints and there are fears that it will affect tourism.

Cllr Morgan said: “There are many positive developments in this hugely important area: the Zip Wire, Sea Lanes, the Madeira Terraces appeal. But the Aquarium Terraces site is a dreadful eyesore and doesn’t provide residents or visitors with a positive impression of Madeira Drive or the city as a whole.”

He added: “The continuing lack of compliance with these clauses is having an increasingly detrimental effect on the buildings and local environment and these matters must now be attended to and your responsibilities fully met.”

The development of the exclusive Soho House club, which is set for the site, previously caused controversy when it was first raised back in 2015.

Plans show that the construction of two buildings will block the sea view along Marine Parade by between two and four metres.

This area includes many hotels and bars which rely on their view of the seafront to attract tourists.

Terry Kinsella, who lives in the Van Alen Building which overlooks the Aquarium Terrace site, said: “The longer the delays, the better it is. But we know it’s going to go ahead eventually.”

Soho House is a group of exclusive private members club based in 18 locations around the world, including Miami, Barcelona and New York City. It is marketed at members of the creative industries. To become a member, you must be nominated by two existing Soho house members.

Cllr Morgan has set a deadline of November 10 to set out a clear plan of action and timeframe for construction.

Source: The Argus