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King Alfred development - Introduction
Architect Frank Gehry's controversial vision for the King Alfred site in Hove won a crucial decision in September 2005, allowing developers to push ahead with their plans.
Brighton and Hove City Council agreed that proposals for a £220 million leisure and homes complex at the site in Kingsway, Hove, met the tough planning conditions it had laid down as land-owner.
The decision paved the way for Karis, the developer behind the scheme, to submit its first formal planning application for the £48 million sports centre and 754 flats.
The flats would have been built in two towers about 75m and 60m high, surrounded by eight lower blocks of up to 11 storeys. Of these, 474 would have been sold and 280 would have been a mix of rented and shared ownership.
The sports centre, paid for with money generated by the homes, would have included a 200sqm teaching pool, a 250sqm leisure pool and a 440sqm competition pool.
The plans also featured two piazzas for general public use, with direct access and views to and from the seafront, which could act as a seating, congregation and performance area.
The new King Alfred centre would have become the first project to be built in England by the man who created Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum.
Gehry's initial vision of four futurist towers - one 38 storeys tall in the scheme that won the 2003 council competition for development of the site - were significantly scaled down in the technical planning, but still proved highly controversial.
However, the final nail in the coffin for the scheme was not residents' opposition, but the economy. In the face of financial uncertaintly following the withdrawal of key backer, Dutch bank ING, Karis announced it was "finished" in November 2008.
But director Josh Arghiros remains hopeful a project could go ahead once the economy recovers in two or three years.
Since then, the row over the leisure centre's future has continued, with opinion split amongst those who want significant investment to bring the existing facilities up to scratch and those who say no more money should be spent on it if there is a still a possibility Gehry's scheme could be revived.
In November 2008, a £1.5million emergency repair scheme was agreed by Brighton and Hove City Council.