Plans to relocate The Brighton Centre are disjointed and will
lead to major traffic headaches, according an event organiser in the city.
The Brighton Waterfront project includes
proposals for a new conferencing and events venue on the Black Rock site in the
east of the city next, to the Marina.
The £450m masterplan involves the demolition
of the existing conference centre – dubbed Brighton’s ugliest building – to
allow the expansion of Churchill Square Shopping Centre.
and Hove City Council is working with Standard Life Investments and Venue
Ventures to deliver the new centre.
Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said: “I’m really excited about the prospects for
this project and what it can deliver for the people of the city; recent
discussions have firmed up some of the important elements of the project for
the council and we anticipate that a formal agreement can be reached.
With the elections in May, we realise that there may be different individuals
involved but we would strongly recommend the project to our successors and look
forward to its delivery.”
But Simon Benson, a director at the Vivid Event Group in Brighton, said: “A new conference centre could prove to be a good idea with major
benefits for the city, however our main concern is with the location of
Black Rock itself. The site presents major challenges in terms of accommodation
and transportation. It is approximately two miles from the current Brighton
Centre so it would lose benefits from easy access to Brighton’s central train
station. We feel that a lack of joined-up thinking between the council and
planners could create disjointed results for central hotel developments situated
with inadequate transport links in a city identified as the fifth most
congested in the country.”
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