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'Secret' alternative to Gehry's Brighton scheme on hand

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Recent reports have emerged claiming that an alternative to Frank Gehry's King Alfred scheme in Brighton is waiting in the wings should the planning application fail.

According to a letter published in a local Brighton free paper, Nick Lomax of LCE Architects has been helping to draw up new designs offering an Olympic-sized swimming pool and less than 450 units on the same site.

The alternative scheme is being backed by local tycoon Mike Holland, and a team of surveyors has been sizing up the viability of the second development.

Gehry's scheme, backed by developer Karis, is yet to go to planning committee but has been granted use of the land by the council.

The £290 million project has been the focus of a great deal of political fervour, with claims that the 700 units planned on the site are an overdevelopment by nearly 400 units.

Local campaigners have recently claimed that the council is legally obliged to allow Karis to develop the site, granting the developer ownership for more than 250 years.

A decision from planners is expected this month, but should it be unsuccessful Holland's alternative scheme could be put forward.

by Richard Vaughan

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