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Brighton trust on rocks as West Pier pastiche panned

Plans to rebuild Brighton's derelict West Pier using a pastiche of Modern and Edwardian styles have come under fire from the local architectural community.

The Brighton West Pier Trust is seeking private capital to create a £45 million modern leisure facility incorporating a replica Edwardian concert hall and artefacts from Eugenius Birch's Grade I-listed masterpiece.

The trust held talks with Brighton and Hove City Council and English Heritage last week, but the scheme has drawn scorn from Nick Lomax, managing director of Lomax Cassidy & Edwards, which has developed a 'state-of-the-art' alternative with Bennetts Associates (AJ 5.2.04).

Lomax believes an architectural blend would be the 'worst of both worlds' and is sceptical the project can win funding.

'Mixing styles is silly. It needs to be either totally modern or a replica rebuild, ' said Lomax.

And local architectural writer Chris Morley has also attacked the scheme, calling it extremely disappointing. 'I am not for pastiches.

Developers want something new and exciting because that is what customers want, ' said Morley.

But Brighton West Pier Trust general manager Rachel Clark believes the project is far less controversial than previous proposals.

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