Brighton and Hove Council approves the refurbishment of Madeira Terraces

Plans to restore Brighton’s ‘jewel in the crown’ received unanimous support from City Councilors when they approved the Madeira Terrace plans.

Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to give planning permission for the first phase of the £7million repair of 40 of the listed arches.

The plans include a new additional elevator, general repairs and upgrades to the existing Shelter Hall elevator, a new staircase from the deck to Madeira Drive and landscaping.

Labor Councilor Daniel Yates asked for confirmation that the new lifts will be available 24 hours a day and that a maintenance schedule is included in the terms to ensure wheelchair users and those with mobility issues can access the beach at all times.

The new elevator will be available 24 hours a day with lighting, and the renovated elevator in the shelter hall will not require an operator.

Councilor Yates said: “Madeira Terrace is the jewel in the city’s crown, even more so than the Pavilion, because it’s a place that more of the city has access to and more of the city is asking us to do, more than anyone else except sorting the trash cans.

“It’s a joke that this city doesn’t invest in its seaside architecture.

“Just days after another stretch of West Pier collapsed into the sea, the last thing people want to see is our horizontal pier collapsing, as it has threatened for many years.

“The nature of this as an improvement in the amenities of the city cannot be underestimated. Whatever proposal is put forward for this space, it is a critical space, a critical infrastructure, and meets very many of the city’s needs in terms of design.”

Green councilor Marianna Ebel said she likes the designs as the arches reflect the existing structures and open up the area for more flexible use.

She said: “Right now the middle layer is not used for security reasons. It will be a fantastic venue for performances and there will be plenty to do under the arches such as pop up stores.

“This is a fantastic improvement. I walk along there often, and it’s quite difficult to walk up those stairs. An additional elevator will make this area much more accessible for wheelchair users and those with young children, the elderly and anyone not fit enough to walk up the stairs.”

The Argus: impression of the restorer of the Madeira Terraces

Former Labor and now Independent Councilor Nick Childs, whose Queen’s Park parish includes part of the terrace, asked why the new lift didn’t reflect the existing design of the shelter.

He was told that the see-through top and simple design were created so as not to distract from the shelter’s more complicated elevator.

Councilor Childs said: “I think it’s great that this is upon us and that action is finally being taken which has become an embarrassment for the city combined with the situation of King Alfred.

“I don’t like the elevator, I find it quite boring and doesn’t suit the architecture, but the overall benefit of the application really outweighs it. It is crucial that this area is regenerated.”

The committee’s chair, Green Councilman Leo Littman, said he was pleased to support the motion after following the process “for a long time”.

He said: “We’ve seen different ideas come and go and I think this is by far the best we’ve seen.

“It manages to retain everything that’s iconic about what’s there, while still bringing it totally up-to-date into the 21st century and offering accessibility.”

Future planning applications are required before the restoration of all 151 arches in the Victorian structure.

22 car parking spaces will make room for new planted hard shoulders, a pedestrian crossing, bicycle parking and drainage.

Seating is included at deck level and plans also include green wall protection.

Electricity and sewage are also provided to support events in the area. Brighton and Hove Council approves the refurbishment of Madeira Terraces

Fry Electronics Team

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