Residents and businesses are to be asked to have their say on how to transform the Brighton and Hove seafront.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants people to come up with ideas for how to improve the look of the eight miles of coastline from Hove Lagoon to Saltdean.

Officials want to create a seafront strategy to set out ways to develop the unique character of the area to create attractive environments for residents, businesses and visitors throughout the year.

Madeira Drive is earmarked as a key area for improvement, with the emphasis on family leisure attractions.

Among the topics to be considered will be the regeneration of rundown areas, ways to attract more tourists and ideas to encourage more people to use the seafront to stay active.

The seafront is the city’s chief attraction, pulling in more than eight million visitors a year and contributing an estimated £732 million to the local economy.

On November 15 councillors are expected to approve the beginning of public consultation on the strategy.

Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of the policy and resources committee, said: “We have to look to the future and ensure the seafront continues to thrive.

Vitally important

We want to broaden and enhance its appeal for visitors and residents – widening out the main tourist area beyond the two piers and providing more year-round appeal.”

Labour councillor Brian Fitch said: “The seafront is one of the major arteries supplying the economic lifeblood of the city. It is vitally important that it is developed and kept up to date.”

Claire Ottewell, the chair of the city’s tourism alliance, said: “Enforcing a compulsory maintenance and decoration standard so all properties on the promenade have to keep their properties well maintained and clean would be a step in the right direction.

“There needs to be more restaurants and better lighting. Let’s light up the West Pier with ambient colour-changing lights, turning an eyesore into something beautiful.”

Gingerman group boss Ben McKellar, who plans to open a new restaurant at The Terraces complex in Madeira Drive, said: “The Hove Lawns area works really well for families but the area around the West Pier is not so attractive and the Madeira Drive end is very underdeveloped.”