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Move to save Gehry's Hove towers 'may not be enough'

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A last ditch bid to rescue Frank Gehry's radical twin-towers on Hove seafront may still not save the project, observers have warned.

Yesterday Brighton & Hove Council revealed that new ideas had been submitted to Dutch finance house ING, the backers behind the controversial King Alfred redevelopment, in a move to keep the scheme alive.

However it emerged at yesterday's Policy and Resources committee meeting that no new designs had yet been submitted despite urgent calls from CABE and EH for a major rethink of the project - dubbed Tin Can Alley by locals.

Funding fears were also raised in a report to the meeting by council officers. The document details concerns that any new 'design solution' would trigger spiralling architectural fees that would in turn undermine the 'viability of the project'.

Among those present at the meeting was architect John Small, honorary secretary of Brighton's Regency Society, who was unimpressed by the lack of obvious progress.

He said: 'This was just a lot of waffle. The scheme has definitely stalled.'

It is hoped developers Karis will come back with more definite plans at the next committee meeting on 27 July.

However Selma Mountford, Brighton Society boss, is not convinced that the project will ever go ahead. She said: 'The scheme is fundamentally flawed - not just its design but the whole concept is wrong.'

by Richard Waite

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