COUNCIL bosses have been accused of keeping hush about a year’s delay to the £200 million King Alfred project.

Councillor Robert Nemeth has accused Brighton and Hove City Council of “hiding” the bad news about Hove’s biggest project in council papers which would be read by less than ten members of the public.

The Conservative councillor, who is on the project board for the leisure centre redevelopment, said the delay was “big news” and the authority should have publicised the slipping behind on timelines.

Economic development and culture committee chairman Alan Robins said dates for the King Alfred project were only “indicative”.

At the start of 2016, the council had hoped the development agreement would come before councillors in May 2016 to allow work to begin in mid 2017.

The Argus reported in September how the project had been delayed by six months while legal issues were settled and early this year reported an extra 80 flats could be added because of rising costs, Brexit and problems delivering affordable housing.

In the council’s latest major projects update, it is now expected that the legal, contractual, and viability work could be completed in time for the project to be discussed at committee by mid-2017 to allow the launch of a public consultation ahead of a planning application being submitted.

The timetable after the next committee meeting is currently “under review” but under the original timeline, the leisure centre is not likely to be completed until early 2021.

The King Alfred project is no stranger to delays – in 2013 the council project board proposed a planning application could be submitted by April 2015 with work starting in April 2017.

Cllr Nemeth said: “This is the biggest project in the history of Hove so to have the project delayed by a year, the council should be open about it.

“Ten people from the public read these documents.

“There should be a press release about this, its big news.

“Do we think its acceptable that the public, councillors of all parties and anyone interested in this project be kept informed by simply changing the figures in a report.

“Its’ such a big subject to have a year’s delay for something so important to people.”

Cllr Robins said: “I only get the information in the same way.

“I could have asked you [Cllr Nemeth] about it because you are on the delivery board.

“The delays have been reported in the press and if it has not then it’s the press at fault.”