23rd December 2015
Brighton is a city undergoing an enormous transformation, and much of that will begin in 2016. Major development projects that have been stuck in planning for years will finally break ground and others will finalise, ready for 2017.
2016 will be a big year for Brighton. Let's take a look at a few things to watch out for.
Love it or hate it, the i360 is the biggest thing to happen to Brighton since the West Pier burnt down. The 162 metre tall, British Airways sponsored “world's tallest observation tower” is set to open in the summer, ready to lift 200 people a time into the sky for 26 mile views.
Whether it will have the hoped for regenerative effect on the Hove end of the seafront remains to be seen, but if the economic impact study is to be believed, it will bring significant revenue into the city.
Just as big a development for Brighton will be the building of Puget's Lane – a new entrance to the Lanes which will open a path from the Pavilion to the Town Hall, and most excitingly, reveal Puget's Cottage; a listed building that's been out of public view for 140 years that dates back to Brighthelmstone.
Brighton Marina is due to undergo a radical redevelopment, with work to begin next year. Construction will be ongoing for years – a £250 million project for 900 new homes, a new hotel, seven restaurants, a new outdoor event space, and refurbishment of outdoor areas doesn't happen overnight – but the first changes should be visible within 2016.
At the very least, Hotel Seattle is expected to be rebranded and renovated after its sale to the group behind Hotel du Vin and Malmaison.
A major redevelopment for the King Alfred leisure centre has been on the cards for over a decade, but it looks like it will finally begin next year. The contract has been whittled down to two developers, and the council is expected to announce a decision in early 2016 as to who will carry out the development, and exactly what form that will take.
Final approval for two new buildings for Royal Sussex County Hospital was given in October 2015, and construction of the first of these is due to start in January 2016. Both buildings will be on the front half of the hospital and are part of a nine-year redevelopment programme for the outdated hospital.
Work on Saltdean Lido – the only Grade II listed lido in the country – hit a snag in 2015 when it was discovered that either an electricity substation had been mysteriously removed, or it had never been there in the first place. Either way, a new substation is required, which necessitated an extra £70,000 funding, which the council was unable to provide. Fundraising has been ongoing and we expect it to complete, with work recommencing, some time in 2016.
The New Homes for Neighbourhoods scheme – where new social housing is constructed in existing neighbourhoods (as Brighton and Hove lacks both space and redundant council housing) – will see new homes become available in spring/summer 2016. They will be available for rent to council tenants, shared ownership and Help to Buy.
London and the South East have seen property prices steadily increasing over the last couple of years, and we expect this to continue into 2016. Some commentators expect a cooling off in commercial property, in line with normal market cycles, but residential property prices will surely continue to rise, as Brighton and Hove becomes increasingly popular with young professionals and commuters.
Brilliant Brighton is a Business Improvement District (BID) scheme whereby local businesses contribute to projects designed to benefit everyone. Over the last ten years it has paid for Christmas lights, security and a project to dress the city during summertime. The current five year term ends in June, at which point it comes up for renewal. If businesses decide they no longer want to support the scheme, we could lose these valuable measures that improve our city centre.
Finally, the Earthship in Stanmer Park is due to have a refit. The Earthship is an entirely self-sustaining house, with its own water and electricity supplies, designed to demonstrate and inspire more sustainable approaches to housing. Its water system and batteries need updating and upgrading in order to continue, which is due to take place in 2016.
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Mr Witten Lewes Road
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I wish we had used you to sell our property! Nice to meet honest people, who are genuinely interested in helping. Very pleased.
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