THE current project to double the population of Brighton Marina is just the start of redevelopment plans, the scheme’s developer has told The Argus.

Two nine-storey towers are currently being built at the marina as the first phase of a £250 million scheme to add 853 homes, restaurants, offices, a new lifeboat station and a floating yacht club.

However, Andrew Goodall, from Brunswick Developments, said the marina had the potential for a further £250 million overhaul to house up to 1,000 more residents.

Building work, bringing together a 15-year plan that has been 15 years in the making, has involved the first two towers shooting up to five storeys, with new floors constructed at a rate of one a fortnight.

Homes are being plastered and fitted out as the towers go up, with the first completions expected in October ready for full occupancy by July 2016.

Further phases of the development, which will include the construction of a 40-storey tower, are set to begin next year.

The towers are being built over the sea, resting on a bed of 930 piles driven 30 metres deep into the sea bed and a 3ft slab of concrete with “self-healing” crystals which can repair hairline cracks that might appear.

Mr Goodall said he was delighted at the progress and extremely positive about the impact the future development of the marina could have to help Brighton and Hove’s housing need and support the East Brighton area.

He said it was key that improved transport links, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, are developed to integrate the marina into the city.

The marina currently has 850 homes and 70 “floating” holiday lets. That will double with the completion of the current project.

Mr Goodall was hopeful that his project would also inspire Land Securities, landowners of the stretch which includes McDonalds, Cineworld and the David Lloyd gym, to redevelop their part of the marina.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s city plan also includes proposals for the redevelopment of the ASDA site, which is owned by the supermarket giant.

Plans by Explore Living to develop both sites with a 28-storey tower, 1,300 flats, new shops and offices were rejected at a 2010 planning inquiry.

Mr Goodall said: “That western end of Brighton Marina needs to be completely regenerated.

"It’s certainly the intention of the city authorities.

"Land Securities, the UK’s biggest property company, have expressed a desire to improve that part of the marina."

“Brighton Marina has huge potential to continue to develop.”


IN his early days at Brighton Marina after Andrew Goodall bought into the site in 1996, he had to buy coach drivers a sandwich and a drink just to convince them to stop off.

He said much had changed in those years and that the area was now going from strength to strength and growing into a “fantastic leisure complex”.

He said: “Back in those days, we had to pay for the coach drivers’ lunch and a drink just to convince them to stop off here.

“There wasn’t an awful lot to bring you down to the marina back then.

“When people first came up with the idea, it needed time and the opportunity to develop. 

“Now with very significant investment, the marina has the potential to be the jewel in the crown in the South East.”

As part of its current expansion project, the number of waterfront restaurants at the Marina will double from seven to 14.

The new sites, which will open next summer, will range between 3,000 to 6,000 sqm.

Mr Goodall said he was looking at adding “bespoke” restaurants to the current mix of more high street chain offerings and that, with up to 40 firms interested in the seven sites, he was able to pick and choose.

He said: “People are very keen to bring their restaurants to Brighton Marina, so we are able to be selective about which restaurants come in.

“They have to look at the likely footfall and they have to believe there will be enough people coming in. 

“It’s a huge investment for them. It could cost up to £1 million to fit their restaurant out, so they have to be sure.” 

Mr Goodall said that, in the new developments, about 20 homes had been sold to Moat housing association and would be offered through shared ownership.

He said that unlike some places in London, the affordable homes would be accessible through the same entrance as the market value homes and many would come with a sea view.

He said: “There are not that many shared ownership homes offered in Brighton and Hove every year, so that 20 will make a big difference.

“If you are offering homes, then other affordable homes in the city will be freed up by people upscaling, downscaling or moving across.

“Building just affordable homes is not what the city needs, it needs a mixture.

“If we attract a certain type of person to the city, it will benefit the whole city. It will bring investment to the city.”

Concerns have been raised about whether the marina apartments might be too attractive a proposition for investors to miss – squeezing out potential homeowners.

Mr Goodall said: “If a hypothetical foreign investor wants to buy one of these flats and then make them available to rent, then that’s great. We want that mixture.

“The most important thing is occupancy, that the flats are used.” 

Plans for the Brunswick development were first worked up in 2000 and initially rejected in 2005 before being granted permission a year later.

Mr Goodall said: “Planning takes a considerable amount of time – not just in Brighton and Hove but in the whole of the UK. It’s a long process.

“Everybody is given their opportunity to put their view across and that feeds back into the development.

“Because of that process, we ended up taking out two buildings and widening the gaps between the buildings to retain those nice views from the cliffs. 

“It’s a very democratic process.”

That democratic process has involved a determined band of opponents taking the development all the way to the High Court in a bid to stop it.

High Court judges dismissed the appeal last month and denied permission for a judicial review wanted by residents who claimed building above the cliff height breached the original act of parliament which allowed the construction of the marina in the first place.

Judges ruled that the act did not prohibit further development at the marina.

Mr Goodall said the legal process had no impact on the building schedule and would have no impact on the further phases of the scheme.

The construction of this phase of the marina’s development is far outstripping its original construction in the 1970s, which took seven years.

Construction director Peter Green said it was difficult to compare the two projects and that it was an unfair contest with modern technology. 

Mr Goodall said the speed of development relied more on the economic climate than the speed of workmen.

He said: “A project like Brighton Marina has to work within the economic environment it is presented with.

“We needed this recession to stop. There was no point building in an economy which proved to be on its knees.

“The economy didn’t really come back until 2012/13.

“If the economy goes down the pan again, we will have a pause between phases but we hope it won’t.

“Brighton Marina, when you look at its history, has had to take its opportunity to build when the economy allows it.”