RESIDENTS have slammed plans for shops and a hotel to be built on Madeira Terrace as “too ambitious”.

Roger Wade, who runs retail and leisure development company, Boxpark, has submitted a proposal to Brighton and Hove City Council to build shops and a hotel to revive the crumbling Victorian arches.

The project is estimated to cost more than £100 million.

But members of the Save Madeira Terrace campaign said the ambitious scheme is not suitable for the public’s and the council’s vision for the arches.

Fundraiser John Oetegenn said: “The fundraising projects we have done indicates there is a lot of public support to see the arches restored back to their original look.

“We’ve raised more than £460,000 since last September. Our first step is to restore three arches.

“They are a listed structure so I can’t really see how they would be suitable for the developer’s plans.

“From the artist impression it appears they need to rebuild the arches to accommodate a major building like a hotel. I think the idea is ludicrous.

“We are always open to ideas but I think they shouldn’t impact on the arches.

“We don’t object to having retail like pop-up shops because we still need to come up with long-term ways to maintain the upkeep of the arches.

“It seems like a very ambitious plan for Brighton. Plans should reflect the character of the area.”

It would cost £24 million to restore all 151 arches.

Another member, Jax Atkins, said: “The money we have raised from the raffle is a drop in the ocean.

“However, the main purpose is to keep the idea alive and to keep public interest running.

“We aim to renovate three arches first, but we don’t expect someone to come and build something completely different which could change the look of the arches.

“We have ideas for how we should use the arches.

“We want to preserve the Concorde, Madeira Cafe and Volks Railways. But I think a hotel could really change the whole look of the terrace.

“I am not old-fashioned, but I believe we need to maintain certain architectural things. Madeira Terrace has incredible architecture. If you are at sea and you look at the terrace, it is like a window to Brighton. It’s incredible.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven, said: “This is a fantastic plan for the city.

“The council needs to look closely at the plans and make sure the developer has substantial financial backing and resources.

“I hope it won’t be another false promise. In the past there have been a lot of plans for Madeira Terrace and the West Pier, but they never came to fruition.

“It’s not because there were a lack of ideas or interest, but it’s been insufficient finances.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of Boxpark’s interest in being involved in regenerating Madeira Terrace.

“We will need to look at the proposed financing of their plans as well as their potential heritage and environmental impact.

“We also need to be mindful of other interested parties such as English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, who both have an interest in important historical structures.

“No exclusivity deal has been agreed. Such a move would have to be approved by councillors and would have to be based on a detailed assessment of the proposals.”