A new leisure centre to replace the King Alfred should not be built on green land in Benfield Valley, the council has said.

Angry residents and other campaigners had argued fiercely against the option of putting the new centre on the green space in Hangleton.

They feared the loss of open spaces and wondered what the future would hold for the King Alfred site on Hove seafront.

After a consultation with residents, Brighton and Hove City councillor for sports and recreation Alan Robins has now recommended that any new leisure centre should be developed on the existing site.

Plans for the new facility will go before the new Labour cabinet next week.

Cllr Robins said: “The King Alfred Leisure Centre is still popular and well loved, but it’s near the end of its life, is in constant need of repair and is expensive to run.

“The health and wellbeing needs of our residents is a priority, so it’s really important we listened to what they actually wanted from a new sports centre.

“Having looked at what residents said, alongside cost and viability, we believe a new facility on the existing site will deliver a modern, energy-efficient leisure centre that residents can be proud of for years to come.”

Planners said the site in Benfield Valley, on land south of Sainsbury’s in Hangleton, would “deliver the greatest economic and health and wellbeing benefits” but that legal issues would risk endangering the project.

A development in Hangleton would also force Portslade Cricket Club to find a new home.

The initial costs of the project are estimated to be £2.7 million and the whole thing likely to top £47 million. Work would begin on the seafront site in 2026.

Refurbishment of the current leisure centre is not considered a viable option as any new work would only extend the life of the facility by around ten years.

The facility is not expected to be open before spring 2028 and the current King Alfred would be kept open and operating “for as long as possible”.