The future of plans for a new seafront swimming pool is set to be decided this week.

The Sea Lanes development hopes to build a 50-metre pool in Madeira Drive, Brighton.

A planning application will go before Brighton and Hove City Council's planning committee on Wednesday.

An original application for a 25-metre pool on the site, next to the existing Yellow Wave volleyball courts, was granted five-year temporary planning permission in 2019.

Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront

Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront

A summer pop-up was held at the site that year, with activities such as guided sea swims and open water events hosted from its base in Madeira Drive, Brighton.

Several businesses including the Bison Beer Beach Bar now operate at the site as well.

The success of these ventures persuaded those behind the Sea Lanes development to press on with plans to build a permanent 50-metre National Open Water Swimming Centre at the site.

The updated planning application, to be decided upon on Wednesday, asks to change several features of the original, successful plea for permission.

Sea Lanes

Sea Lanes

These are:

  • Permanent consent for an enlarged swimming pool which would measure 50m bx 12m, as opposed to the five-year temporary planning permission granted to the plans for a 25m x 12m pool.
  • A reduced number of modular buildings at the site, decreasing from 107 to 74. These buildings would be used for changing rooms, commercial units and more.
  • Increased overall floorspace, from 1,372sqm to 1,412sqm

A council report noted that the "proposed commercial units would add vibrancy to the area, help attract visitors and boost the wider economy, as well as creating jobs".

It stated: "Weight is given to the fact that the proposal will provide an outdoor leisure activity which accords with seafront strategies for this area of the seafront.

"...The potential ecological impacts were carefully considered with the approved application and are unchanged here.

"The viability assessment confirms that a ten year period for use of the temporary modular buildings is essential for the developer to recover their project costs.

"The positive public benefits in terms of increased footfall here and wider regeneration benefits have also been highlighted."

The Sea Lanes website says it is hoped the development will be able to open in spring next year.

It states: "The vision is to create the UK’s first national open water swimming centre of excellence.

"As the wider master plan for the area is finalised, Sea Lanes will be taking the first step towards this vision with a development consisting of a heated 50-metre outdoor swimming pool and associated facilities, an endless pool training facility, commercial buildings providing flexible space for local, independent businesses and improved access to the sea.

"At the heart of the scheme is the swimming pool, which will be accessible to all.

Brighton UK 20th April 2020 - Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront has been closed by the city council to traffic between 8am and 8pm for the next three weeks to allow cyclists and pedestrians to exercise in safer conditions during the Coronavirus

Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront 

"The pool will provide much needed swimming facilities in Brighton and will act as a gateway for those looking to gain the confidence to swim in the sea, as well as a training hub for open water swimming events, triathlons, sea safety and lifeguard courses.

"The swimming pool will be supported by small business units suitable for retail, health and fitness, office space as well as a food court with street food kiosks and a seating area."

Sea Lanes say the original, more colourful plans for the site have been toned down to reflect the existing architecture in the area.