Brighton & Hove City Council is taking action to prevent sections of the Madeira Terraces from collapsing and to make the area safe for the public after a survey revealed further major structural defects.
Parts of the Terraces were fenced off earlier this summer, but the situation has become much more serious as elements within bays one to five of the Terraces are now severely corroded leaving them beyond repair and in danger of collapse.
The condition of the Madeira Terraces is one of the biggest issues facing the seafront and piecemeal repairs to the structure are no longer viable. Therefore the council is taking immediate action to ensure the area is safe for tenants and the public.
The work will mean the JAG Gallery, which is located within the terraces, will have to close at this location. The Investigation works have revealed that it is no longer feasible to undertake works to make the gallery safe to use.
Work has begun to structurally support a corroded beam in one of the Terraces but there is still a risk of a progressive collapse. This could affect the access stairs, and the remaining tenants within the Terraces - Studio 284 and Concorde 2.
Although Studio 284 is located within the retaining wall which is not at risk of collapse, it is accessed by a staircase which is reached underneath the Terraces, so this tenant has been also been asked to vacate.
The council is working with the tenants to help find a suitable new location.
Over the next 6-8 weeks, work will also be carried out to stabilise the arches either side of Concorde 2 which will remain open. A structural inspection will also be undertaken of the Concorde 2 building.
To enable large audiences to queue more safely, a Traffic Order has been approved for a temporary road closure adjacent to the venue on Friday and Saturday nights.
The temporary fencing along the length of the Terraces will be replaced with a more permanent anti-climb fence in the autumn/winter following the busy summer season.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The survey into the condition of Madeira Terraces has revealed what we had feared – that the structure is now in danger of collapse and in need of emergency work. The safety of traders and the public remains our highest priority, which is why we have taken the decision to ask two of the businesses to vacate their premises. We understand the concerns of the affected businesses and will be working with them to help find suitable new locations.
“We are also working on practical solutions to rebuild and regenerate the Terraces and secure the long-term future of the seafront as a whole.”