I feel the AJ paints a needlessly bleak picture of the future of Hove's King Alfred project, following the recent council elections (22.05.03). Despite the change from a Labour majority to no overall control, I am still very hopeful that we shall have a world-class scheme on this site, including a new sports centre and much-needed homes.
Officers have been briefing other political parties on how we arrived at this stage, with bids from Frank Gehry (pictured) and Wilkinson Eyre on the table. Our Green Party colleagues have at no stage told us they are insisting on 60 per cent affordable housing on the site; 50 per cent is their stated policy on developments. However, I hope that they realise we are being given a £30 million sports centre in this case and there are limits to what any developer can give away.
Most other cities would cut off the civic right arm to have such architects knocking on their doors. If we fail to agree on one of these two schemes, in the future top designers would avoid the King Alfred site specifically and the city generally. We would become the architectural equivalent of the man who turned down not just the Beatles but the Rolling Stones as well!
Ken Bodfish, leader, Brighton & Hove City Council