BRIGHTON and Hove could look very different when people begin to re-emerge from months spent at home.

Work on several significant developments in the city has continued, and in some cases even flourished, during the lockdown.

Perhaps the most notable of these is the Valley Gardens project.

Work began on the city centre scheme in September 2018, with the aim of reinventing the green spaces stretching from St Peter’s Church to the Palace Pier.

As traffic levels plummeted during the lockdown, work has come on leaps and bounds and the first two phases of the project (of three) have now almost been completed.

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Phase one was the area around St Peter’s Church while phase two dealt with the Victoria Gardens.

Now only phase three remains – the redevelopment of the area between Old Steine and the Palace Pier roundabout, with plans to replace the roundabout with a T-junction.

The project set out to improve road safety and air quality in the area, as well as enhance public transport, cycling and walking links, access to the seafront and people’s access to open spaces.

But Valley Gardens is not the only development to have been fast-tracked during the coronavirus lockdown.

People taking their daily exercise along Brighton beach will have been treated to a glimpse of the renovated Shelter Hall.

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Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Work has progressed on a number of projects, including Valley Gardens and Shelter Hall, with physical distancing measures in place and regular risk assessments carried out to protect our workforce.

“At Valley Gardens, reduced traffic has meant teams have been able to continue with road and footway resurfacing, tree planting and landscaping.

“The last of the new streetlights have been installed and most of the signal junctions have been completed.

“At the Shelter Hall, work is continuing on the building itself while reduced traffic has meant good progress is being made on the A259/West Street junction, with support from the Churchill Square Shopping Centre.

“I’m pleased we have been able to continue with these vital projects at such a challenging time for our workforce.”

But it is not only the new features in Brighton and Hove which may catch the eye.

There are also some buildings which have been demolished since Boris Johnson ordered everyone to stay at home in March.

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They include the London Road Co-op and Boots buildings, which have been flattened to make way for student flats.

In March 2019, planning permission was granted to developers Curlew Opportunities for a five-story, 1970s style block which would provide 232 flats for students.

As a condition of its planning permission, Curlew was expected to pay “developer’s contributions” totalling £328,000. The total would be made up of £233,000 towards open spaces and recreation, £72,000 towards public art and £23,000 for economic development.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit