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Government rejects 3DReid's 'alien' pumping station

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The Secretary of State has put the kibosh on 3DReid's £200 million proposed water-treatment plant for Brighton and Hove, branding the scheme 'alien' and incongruous with the landscape.

First unveiled back in May 2005 (REID reveals radical new water-treatment plant), the controversial project for the new treatment works at Peacehaven and associated pumping stations at Brighton and Portobello became the centre of a public inquiry after East Sussex County Council failed to deal with the planning application.

However, the appeal against the council was dismissed by the Secretaries of State for DEFRA and DCLG and the planning application was also refused.

The scheme for Southern Water - dubbed Poohaven by its detractors - was expected to process around 95 million litres of waste water every day.

Interestingly, while the planning inspector agreed that the site was appropriate for the much-needed works, it was held that the design of the proposals was not suitable for the location.

The report read: 'The [scheme] is a very large development which would not sit comfortably within the existing valley.

'The matt-surfaced grey-metal-coloured sheeting to be used for the external surfaces of the building and roof would emphasise its alien nature.'

It goes on: 'Whilst the Secretaries of State accept that the exposed eastern elevation would aid comprehension of the design concept, they consider that this would be of little comfort when compared with its permanently intrusive incongruity.'

by Richard Waite

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