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Gehry's King Alfred scheme finally faces council

The future of Frank Gehry's divisive King Alfred redevelopment, dubbed Tin Can Towers, hangs in the balance as it finally faces Brighton and Hove City Council today.

Officials have recommended that the heavily revised King Alfred scheme is given the go ahead - while CABE and English Heritage (EH) are also on board after blasting the original concept.

However, opponents are said to be furious with planners after it emerged that approval is subject to 86 conditions being fulfilled. These are believed to include the continued involvement of Gehry and the use of anti-wind measures.

Averil Older, councillor for Central Hove, says the scheme should not be given approval while so many questions remained unanswered.

She told Brighton's Argus newspaper: 'It baffles me that we have gone this far through the planning process and that it has been readvertised five times and it still takes 86 conditions before the officers can give it approval.

'That this has come forward with [so many] conditions makes a mockery of the planning process.'

Gehry drastically revised the King Alfred project after CABE and EH attacked its height and affordable housing elements.

The lower buildings have been reduced in height by two storeys and now feature a curved roof. The new images are not yet publicly available.

But the two towers have been increased by three storeys, and the multicoloured palette has been changed to plain white.

by Clive Walker

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