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Island paradise to keep Brighton's sun shining

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Alan Phillips Architects has drawn up proposals for a man-made island off the coast at Brighton where the sun will always shine, whatever the weather.

The practice is now trying to attract a developer to put up the £500 million needed to realise its vision for Paradise Island.

The resort, which would be sited a kilometre offshore, would include a large eco-sphere with a controlled climate to allow all-year-round swimming, snorkelling and surfing. There would also be a world-class hotel and spa, conference centre, restaurants and other leisure facilities. A cluster of housing towers would combine luxury penthouses with affordable housing. Visitors would reach the island on high-speed bullet boats from a ferry terminal on Brighton's West Pier.

Alan Phillips Architect's Nathan Zaver said the sight of a shivering family huddling on Brighton's wind-swept beach inspired the idea. 'Alan saw the family on the beach and thought maybe what we needed was a Center Parcs-style place where people could enjoy sunshine no matter what the weather.'

However, a spokesman for Brighton Council said the proposal was being treated with 'a fair degree of scepticism'.

'People are comparing this to the Palm development in Dubai. But it's hard to see David Beckham taking a timeshare in a man-made island off the coast of Brighton, ' he said. 'When you think of the difficulties just getting the West Pier restored, it will be pretty hard to get this built.'

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