A £2.8 million “eco-vision” for the crumbling seafront arches has been revealed in a leaked document.

Brighton and Hove City Council, which owns Madeira Terrace, is spending £550,000 to find a design team to create a plan to restore 30 of the 151 arches.

The leaked “design brief” shows it wants the Grade II listed structure restored at half the price of previous estimates.

One fifth of the restoration cost would go towards implementing “sustainability measures”.

Campaigners have accused the council of making the seafront arches a “guinea pig for its carbon neutral policies”.

But supporters of the brief say the eco-measures would save money in the long term.

The council admits it does not currently have the money to see the bold vision come to fruition. But it still insists the three crowdfunded arches will be restored anyway.

The Argus:

The restored 30 arches would be “proof of concept” in the first phase of five which, it hopes, would eventually see all 151 arches restored to their former glory.

But the council is not sure which 30 arches the plans will include.

The construction budget for the 30 arches is £2.8 million, which gives the design team about £93,300 per seafront arch on average.

This is compared to 2017 estimate “like for like” construction cost of £30 million for all 151 arches – £198,700 per arch. The design brief says the concept for 30 arches must “restore and repurpose” the Victorian architecture. It must make accessible routes from west to right and from north to south. Pedestrians must be prioritised.

The plan must involve businesses, which could be movable “pods” within the arches, to make the project financially sustainable.

When restoring the terrace, the council envisions a 60-year design life to all the main elements.

A contractor would catalogue each part of the current structure and then label it for repair or disposal. The regenerated deck would have to be able to hold crowds at popular events such as Burning The Clocks and Brighton Marathon.

Along with this, the designers are required to “produce concepts that will inspire new creative local business ventures”.

A council spokesman said: “Work is continuing with the community and others to find ways to fund the gap for the 30 arches and also the remainder of the terrace.

“This project is one of the most challenging in the city to fund and resolve.”

Fury over money set aside for eco-focused design measures

The Argus:

Jax Atkins, Save Madeira Terraces campaign

CAMPAIGNERS have blasted the eco-focus of the proposed restoration.

Half a million pounds of the £2.8 million construction budget must be used

for “sustainability measures” according to the design brief.

That is to fulfill a proposal from Green councillor Clare Rainey, pictured below, which made it a requirement for “innovative renewable technology” to be included in the design.

This is to include “circular economy” measures such as enabling zero waste on site and catching rainwater.

Jax Atkins, from the Save Madeira Terraces Campaign, said: “We are struggling to get the money together to refurbish the terraces so I am so very cross about all this ‘circular economy carbon neutral’ stuff.

“Approximately one fifth of the money spent on the arches is to be finding and incorporating carbon neutral policies?

“The terraces aren’t guinea pigs.

“The council can adopt circular economy in doing up all the empty buildings in their vast portfolio of properties.”

The eco-focus of the design is to fulfill the council’s commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030.

Mrs Atkins added: “I completely disagree with them using this restoration project as a trial for achieving their aim for making the city carbon neutral by 2030.

“We really, really need to crack on and start work down here – the longer the delay, the more it crumbles, time advances and prices go up.

The Argus:

Cllr Rainey, pictured above, responded: “The use of environmentally sustainable solutions

in construction projects is becoming standard practice for the city council.

“The amendment is designed to ensure that this happens from the outset, saving the project time and money in the long-term.”

Police investigation

The Argus:

AN investigation continues to find the people behind a series of raids on

the terrace.

Raiders stole ten tonnes of lead from the structure over


Brighton and Hove City Council, which owns the architecture, said there was no CCTV in place – and Sussex Police have confirmed no CCTV has been handed in to them so far.

The council is installing a temporary cover over the roof of the Madeira Lift to prevent

further deterioration.

But it has no plans to do the same for the raided shelters due to accessibility problems.

The police said: “Anyone who saw anything suspicious or noted suspicious vehicles in the area, particularly if they may have mobile phone or dash-cam footage, can report details online or to call 101, quoting serial 315 of 26/12.”

Police boss Nick May described the act as a “crime against the city”.