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Developer asks for more time to weigh up Haworth Tompkins’ King Alfred scheme

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The long-running saga of the King Alfred site near Brighton appears no closer to a conclusion after the developer behind Haworth Tompkins’ plans asked for more time to consider its options

Crest Nicholson told Brighton and Hove City Council it had yet to complete viability assessments for the practice’s plans to provide 560 homes plus an 11,200m² leisure centre and 1,140m² community arts facility, according to the Brighton & Hove Independent newspaper.

A previous proposal for the site by Frank Gehry – dubbed Tin Can Alley because of its crumpled metallic towers (pictured below) – was shelved in 2008 almost five years after the starchitect won the original competition (see AJ 10.11.08).

Crest was named preferred bidder for the Hove seafront plot in February 2016 but last year asked the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide £10 million to bail out its project.

Now the Brighton & Hove Independent has reported that the council wrote to the developer earlier this month asking for a commitment to the scheme.

‘We have received a response from Crest that restates their commitment but which is seeking a little more time to further update their viability appraisals,’ a council spokesperson is quoted as saying.

‘The council continues to be in contact with them and we are expecting a more detailed response shortly. In parallel with the developer’s ongoing viability review, the council will meet with them to agree options for progressing delivery of the scheme.

‘We remain committed to ensuring a scheme which delivers a new leisure centre and pool complex for Hove alongside a significant housing development.’

Haworth Tompkins, which is acting as masterplanner, has been working with sports specialist LA Architects on the all-new scheme which will see the 1930s King Alfred sports centre flattened.

The council website says HCA successor Homes England is ‘completing a period of due diligence, a process due to be completed by mid-2018’. It adds that Crest Nicholson’s ‘consultation programme’ will start by early 2019 with a planning application expected by early 2020.

Crest Nicholson, Brighton and Hove City Council, Homes England and Haworth Tompkins have all been approached for comment.

gehry king alfred

gehry king alfred 

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