MOST people know the West Pier fire left Brighton with just one pier.

But a century ago the city could have had a third.

Brighton-born author Kevin Newman’s new book Brighton and Hove: Unique Images from the Archives tells the story of how Hove seafront could have looked very different.

While the plans for the West Pier were in motion in the 1860s, separate plans were drawn up in 1864 to build Hove its own pier.

The planned pier was set to be decorative rather than a pleasure pier.

But after the Brunswick Square Commissioners, who planned a number of developments in the city, came out against the plans the next year, it appeared to kill the idea of a pier in Hove dead.

Twenty years later planners had another go, but it wasn’t until 1930 when some truly ambitious plans were proposed.

By this time, architects had gone back to the drawing board five times.

Planners hoped to build Hove’s first theatre on the pier, which would have been placed opposite Sussex Road.

An electric tramway running from the shore to the end of the pier was planned.

But underneath the pier is where the magic would have happened.

A health spa complete with hydroelectric baths, electric light, and X-ray treatments were all tipped for the pier.

There would even be a pump room supplied with mineral water from every spring in England.

But ambitious plans never came to fruition and Hove has remained pierless ever since.

Mr Newman’s book also details other big developments that never materialised.

Millionaire Harold Poster purchased the Brighton Metropole in 1959 with the idea of revamping the decades-old building.

He hoped to build a massive extension out the back in the style of the Sussex Heights tower block, complete with a rooftop swimming pool.