THE release of the masterplan to save Brighton’s crumbling Victorian seafront has been put back until next year.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan had promised the plans would be made available before Christmas once legal and financial issues had been resolved.

But he has now told The Argus residents and businesses will have to wait until the new year with officers taking “a little more time” to get the project “absolutely right”.

It has led seafront traders to say they have lost faith with the council’s ability to deliver a successful regeneration project.

Meanwhile Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby called on the local authority to show greater urgency.

Frustration has been building over the speed of the council response after the Victorian structure in Madeira Drive was deemed unsafe and businesses were told to move out in August.

The council has announced that 865 metres of "Brighton blue" anti-climb fencing will be installed along the seafront arches over ten weeks with a break for Christmas.

Madeira Drive will continue to be open to two-way traffic while work is in progress.

The council is also expecting to hear whether they have been successful in bidding for £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund that will pay for specialist expertise to develop a practical investment strategy.

Mr Kirby MP said: “I have been contacted by many concerned residents, businesses and also the Seafront Traders’ Association about the lack of any information regarding the council’s plans for the Madeira Terraces.

“I would urge the council to treat the issue with greater urgency if we are going to revitalise our seafront.”

Neil Sykes, owner of seafront Modern World Gallery, said: “It’s no surprise at all that it is delayed, ever since the first notice given to the JAG Gallery, they have not stuck to one thing they promised.

“I have zero faith in the council, I have found the whole of the council to be incompetent and not capable of delivering on this project.

“I don’t expect we will see any real progress on this for the next year if I’m honest.”

Cllr Morgan said the council was giving the seafront "high priority". He said while there was no quick fix, there had been no delay to finding a long-term scheme.

He said: "Putting investment packages together is a complex process and we are working hard behind the scenes to produce a viable and lasting scheme.

"This is an incredibly important project and we need to get it absolutely right. If that means taking a little more time then we will."