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We have not given 'unqualified' support to Gehry Hove scheme, says EH

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A massive question mark has arisen over whether English Heritage (EH) supports Frank Gehry's hugely controversial plans for the Hove waterfront.

The heritage quango has written a furious letter to local planners in which it rejects claims by the scheme's developer Karis that it supports the King Alfred project.

It angrily denies that it has thrown its 'unqualified' weight behind the contentious towers, a claim made on more than one occasion by the developer.

In the letter, EH's historic areas advisor for the South East Graham Steaggles made it clear he was far from happy with the Karis claims.

He said: 'The applicant's statements appear to be concluding that a lack of objection is endorsement; and yes EH is broadly in support of this scheme, but we must reiterate this support as indicated in our letter is qualified.

'And we would argue that a large set piece scheme such as this, in such a prominent position, deserves considerable attention if its objectives and longevity are to be delivered,' the letter adds.

The public nature of Steaggles' letter will come as a blow to Karis, who had won positive press after claiming EH's support for the towers.

by Ed Dorrell

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