It is reported that the Conservative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council has decided to support the Green administration’s proposal for a £36m loan guaranteed by the council to build the i360 (The Argus, February 27).

It’s incredible. The Tories talk about the mess they inherited from Labour but here in Brighton and Hove they’re apparently willing to gamble a £36m loan on a project the private sector has walked away from; a project whose benefits – especially the regeneration benefits – are unquantified; a project which, being dependent largely on attracting thousands of new car-borne visitors to the city (at a time of unprecedented austerity), is unsustainable, and whose appraisal – on the basis of the papers in the public domain – doesn’t even begin to consider risk issues in a serious way.

Moreover, it’s a loan that increases overall public borrowing (because it counts towards the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement) at a time when the Tories continue to claim reducing Government debt is their top priority.

As a city we need sound investment in jobs and our local economy, not speculation on vanity projects the private sector won’t fund. Both Greens and Tories are being utterly irresponsible.

Neil Schofield, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton

Let’s get this straight. A company wishes to put up a 175m-high tower as a commercial venture/ visitor attraction.

Their business plan was clearly so robust that no source of commercial finance could be found. Further, the cost keeps going up – now estimated at more than £46m.

So along comes our council, like a white knight, lending them £36m.

What are the conditions for this loan? What happens in case of default? Is the loan secured?  What interest rate is applicable?  What’s the return to the city? Who would stand to lose money if the project fails to meet its promises?  (I think we know the answer to this one!) Perhaps the council could use this money for bin collections, street cleaning, social care, keeping libraries open, promoting other reasons to visit Brighton.

On a side note, I gather that the 4.75% proposed council tax increase would raise only about £5m. Epic fail in the offing!

Hyder Khalil, Fircroft Close, Brighton

I was shocked to read that the Green Party, along with many Conservatives, are supporting the “Giant Jellyfish” (also known as the i360 project) on the seafront, which is now likely to cost in excess of £46 million.

This project would be like an enormous mortgage which the residents of Brighton and Hove would be expected to pay for many years to come.

The experience of similar projects, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and the Student Games Stadium in Sheffield, shows that the budget for such grandiose schemes can escalate and turn them into a massive drain on resources.

It is all very well for the technos to come up with these designs using computer graphics but in the real world they can be very impractical.

Surely it would be better to have a range of medium-sized, realistic projects to cater for different pastimes to contribute to seafront regeneration.

Once the hype and the spin of the “jellyfish on a tube” has settled down, we might end up with massive holes in our pockets.

If this project does go ahead as planned, there may be a giant sting in the tail for the residents of this city.

Robert Heale, Chatham Place, Brighton