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The road finally clears for Gehry's troubled Hove scheme

In an unlikely reversal of fortunes, the pieces required for the successful development of Frank Gehry's planned Hove seafront scheme appear to be falling in to place.

English Heritage (EH) has now followed CABE by throwing its weight behind the recent redesign of the King Alfred project.

Only a year ago the scheme, which would be Gehry's first commercial project in the UK, appeared to be on its last legs. It was under attack from all sides, with councillors, local heritage groups, CABE and EH all slating it.

But EH has now confirmed that it supports the proposed shape and height of the

buildings and advises that 'the changes to the perimeter blocks create the potential for a much more cohesive scheme'.

In particular it endorses the design of the east plaza which 'now works well in creating the visual invitation from St Aubyns and providing the connecting views

through to the sea.'

EH has offered specific advice on design issues but is 'for the most part

content with the revised form of the scheme'.

Commenting on the report Josh Arghiros, managing director of King Alfred developer Karis, said: 'We are delighted that EH has confirmed its support for the revised plans.

'Both EH and CABE have now confirmed that they have no reservations

regarding the height and scale of the development, the number of apartments, or the design of the sports centre and the public realm.

'This is a fantastic endorsement of the work that has been put in to enhance the proposals by Frank Gehry and our design team,' Arghiros added.

by Ed Dorrell

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