Brighton & Hove City Council’s Planning Committee has agreed to the scheme, which includes building a new sea wall and promenade near Brighton Marina in order to lay the groundwork for future development.
Other aspects include restoring the 19th century Grade II listed Reading Rooms and Temple, building a public toilet and a “pump bike track”, as well as making it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to access the Asda car park at Brighton Marina.
The Council proposed a package of environmental, heritage and infrastructure improvements to “prepare the site for leisure/recreation development in line with the Council’s allocation within the adopted City Plan”.
The plans set out for the rejuvenation of Black Rock include the following “operational and environmental improvements”:
- Site preparation, decontamination, infrastructure provision and wider rejuvenation to attract investment
- Improved connectivity for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians, with a beach boardwalk and ecology trail promoting access and inclusion for all
- New activity hub will include a multi-use games area and a children’s play area
- Bolstered coastal protection with new sea defences
- Improved landscaping and the creation of a new enhanced ecological habitat (in part to mitigate for the relocation of the existing local wildlife site)
- A new beach boardwalk, along with an access link from Brighton Marina to Madeira Drive via Black Rock
- Highways improvements at Duke’s Mound
- Heritage improvements including renovating the Grade-II listed Old Reading Room and improving the park and gardens around this historic building.
- By preparing the Black Rock site for future development, this will also provide the opportunity for temporary ‘meanwhile use’ as a large seafront events space.
The Black Rock site was previously earmarked as part of a wider “Waterfront Project” with a relocated Brighton Conference Centre and concert hall in a partnership between the Council and Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), which owns Churchill Square, the Kings West site and NCP car park.
However, it is now understood that the council is considering whether a replacement Brighton Centre on its existing seafront site would be a better option.