King Alfred: scheme details released by BHCC today

2.2.16…..In grey text, cut and pasted below, is the Brighton & Hove Council website press release material uploaded today.  The design isn’t perfect.  In fact, the comments behind the Argus article roast the designs comprehensively – comparing the inspiration for them to New England House, The Brighton Centre, Kings West Odeon, Milton Keynes and Croydon.  All fair comment. The appearance of the Community/Leisure/Sports Centre does not look substantial or durable.

It really must be recalled and taken on board that the Frank Gehry concept drawing that won Karis its chance at redevelopment was nothing like the scheme that went forward as a planning application gaining consent, and neither will this one be the same in a year’s time when it has been revised for its planning application.  Here is a reminder of what the Gehry competition drawing for Karis looked like; and unlike the other shortlisted schemes, a drawing is all that was shown at the public exhibition in the King Alfred itself.

Frank Gehry 2003_1

And this is what the two different versions that went through planning looked like: profoundly different, what?

First planning application scheme

First planning application scheme

Second application scheme

Second planning application scheme

Here is the text from the council website with the CURRENT designs.

We are redeveloping the King Alfred site to create a modern new sports centre. The current centre no longer meets modern expectations and it is expensive to operate and maintain. The site will also include 560 apartments.

Crest Nicholson chosen as the preferred bidder

The council began a procurement process to select a development partner in October 2014. Bouygues Development and Crest Nicholson were shortlisted in December 2014.

Both bidders submitted final tenders and these were evaluated by specialist council officers and Deloitte Real Estate consultants.

On 21 January 2016, the Policy & Resources committee chose Crest Nicholson in partnership with the Starr Trust as the preferred bidder.

  • Sports centre architects: LA Architects
  • Master plan and wider development architects: Haworth Tompkins (winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2014 for the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool)
  • Construction: Crest Nicholson are planning to engage Willmott Dixon to deliver the sports facility.

The Council website is careful to indicate that these are “Indicative” illustrations. These images are the initial designs for the site.

Detailed plans will be developed as part of the public consultation.  It is incredibly important to note this particular comment and take it to heart.  THESE ARE NOT THE FINAL PLANS FOR WHAT WOULD BE BUILT!

saveHOVE_King Alfred_road view

saveHOVE_King Alfred - Public space and gym

Plans for the site


The sports centre will cost around £40 million. This will be largely paid for by the development of 560 flats on the site.

The council will contribute around £8 million towards the sports centre. This will be funded by the improved financial performance of the new centre compared to the old centre.


We expect the planning consultation to start in the second half of 2016.

Sports centre

The sports centre is proposed to include:

  • 25 metre, eight lane swimming pool with moveable floor and 352 spectator seats
  • 20m by 10m teaching pool with moveable floor and a 400sqm leisure pool
  • Sports hall, the size of eight badminton courts and multi-purpose hall
  • 120 station gym, bike spinning room, workout studio, quiet activity studio and a sauna suite
  • Gymnastics centre
  • 3 rink indoor bowls hall
  • Martial arts dojo
  • Café
  • Crèche and soft play room
  • 200 space car park for sports centre users.


  • Around 560 flats in four main blocks
  • The highest block would be 18 storeys
  • 20% of flats will be affordable homes – for rent or shared ownership.

About saveHOVE

Concerned with planning, development and the conservation of historic Hove, we actively seek to prevent inappropriate, negligent and abusive redevelopments!
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