A DERELICT seaside site could be given a boost – though its long-term future remains uncertain.

Black Rock in Brighton has been abandoned since its popular swimming pool closed 40 years ago.

Now Brighton and Hove City Council has unveiled the first drawings of its plans for the seafront site in a bid to rejuvenate the “dormant” area by next summer.

It hopes to create a beach boardwalk on Black Rock and renovate the historic Old Reading Room and Temple buildings to be used for cafes or shops.

A children’s play area and a BMX “pump track” could also be built if the council’s plans are approved.

And a new link for cyclists and pedestrians would be created between Brighton Marina and Madeira Drive via Black Rock to improve the entrance into the site.

“The current general condition and atmosphere of the proposal site is poor,” one planning report read.

“The beach area has an isolated appearance which contrasts with the business and traditional seaside atmosphere of the area. There is little on arrival to encourage visitors to dwell in the Black Rock area.”

But the council’s plans are only temporary measures meant to prepare the site for future development. Black Rock’s long-term future is still in doubt after plans to build a conference centre there were shelved in December.

“At present, the council has yet to identify a long-term permanent use for the Black Rock site,” one planning report read.

“The site is allocated in the Brighton and Hove City Plan Part One as being suitable for leisure and recreation use.

“There are currently no plans to build flats on this site.

“And previous proposals to relocate the Brighton Centre to Black Rock were shelved by the council’s policy and resources committee on December 5 to allow a 12-month investigation on whether a city centre site could be found instead.”

If approved, the city council’s plans will aim to “clean up” contaminated and dangerous areas of the site. The risk of digging up unexploded bombs from the First and Second World Wars was “serious”, one report read.

“The consequence of encountering unexploded ordnance is significant and could cause a serious risk to construction workers,” it read.

A sea wall will also be realigned to protect Black Rock from sea level rise as climate change sets in.

“Given the impact of global climate change it is anticipated that sea levels will rise in the coming years,” another report read.

“As a result, in order to future-proof the site and protect the facilities and investment that will be provided at Black Rock, a realigned sea wall is a necessity.”

The city council hopes to start building works this summer. It aims to finish by summer 2021.

A central part of the development will be renovating the listed Old Reading Room and Temple buildings. Neither is currently used, though the latter is used by parkour runners – people who enjoy running and jumping over street furniture.

The city council would aim to let these out as cafes, shops, or restaurants, a plan it says residents back.

“The proposals act as a significant opportunity to conserve and secure the future use and condition of the structures and contribute towards the character and setting,” a report read.

In response to concerns by Kemp Town residents that the new facilities could be vandalised, the city council said it would bank on “extra footfall” deterring antisocial behaviour.

“The council is keen to ensure Black Rock is safe and welcoming for all users,” it said. “The site has current strong associations with antisocial and inappropriate behaviour, particularly on Duke’s Mound within the gardens.

“As more people visit Black Rock, it is envisaged that those intent on causing damage or engaging in unsavoury activity will avoid the area due to the extra footfall at the site and the passive surveillance this will create. Regarding illegal encampments on the site, the council will seek court orders to move on such encampments if they do not leave voluntarily.”

The cash for the project is coming from a £12 million Government grants via the Coast to Capital funding organisation.

It is not yet known when councillors will decide on the council’s plans. City council leader Nancy Platts said the proposals would “breathe new life” into Black Rock when she revealed the plans in November. Once this project is complete, we’ll have the opportunity to create a new future for Black Rock and improve the area for residents and visitors,” she said.