4 March 2015

Developers look to splash out on Brighton seafront

A proposal for a £3million+ year-round leisure facility on Brighton seafront is to be considered at BHCC’s next economic development & culture committee next Thursday, 12 March. 

The scheme, submitted by Brighton based developer Copsemill Properties and partners, SwimTrek and Swimmergy, could transform land at the former Peter Pan site on Madeira Drive in Kemp Town, which has remained derelict for several years. 

The proposal includes a 50m heated open air pool, changing facilities, a café, indoor endless pools, exercise studios, facilities for cycling and running and on-site bike storage.

The centre would serve as a hub for swimming and sports-related businesses with office space and meeting rooms, units for sports-related retailers, including pop-up-shops for special events taking place on Madeira Drive, training rooms, a library and conference facilities.

The swim centre would be the core of the development and provide escorted sea swims, training for lifeguards, open water and leisure swimmers, and education about open water safety for children and parents.

The proposal also includes a plan to facilitate access to the beach and sea for disabled users. 

Funding for the project would be through private investment, at no cost to the council, and the centre would be run on a commercial basis with an emphasis placed on marketing it for UK and international Triathlon events; of which open water swimming is one of its three disciplines.

Brighton’s long-standing reputation as a health resort dates back to the 1730s when British physician Dr Richard Russell proclaimed the therapeutic benefits of bathing in, and drinking its seawater.  The city is also home to England’s oldest sea swimming club, which was founded in 1860.

Chair of BHCC’s Economic Development & Culture Committee, Geoffrey Bowden, said:” As owners of the Peter Pan site we have been marketing it for redevelopment as a leisure facility that would enhance the area and draw in residents and visitors. 

“This development would not only be a centre of excellence for the increasingly popular sport of open water swimming but also appeal to families, fitness enthusiasts and beach visitors.”

Should the committee grant an initial consent, the developers may then seek planning permission following a public consultation. Final agreement for the project would still be required by the council’s Policy & Resources Committee.

Notes for editors

After its appearance at the 2013 London Olympics, open water swimming has seen a 20% annual growth in participation.

The Economic Development and Culture Committee will be held in Committee Room 1, Jubilee Library, from 4pm. The Peter Pan development is agenda item no. 71: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=705&MId=5168

The Developers

Copsemill Properties

Brighton-based property developer specialising in high-quality, creative projects. The company has a portfolio of commercial and residential property and a track record of developments across Sussex. www.copsemill.co.uk

Image attached of the Bondi Icebergs open air swimming pool on Bondi Beach, Australia, courtesy of Copsemill Properties

One of the world’s biggest open water swimming operators, running holidays, events, races and coaching clinics – in Brighton, nationally and overseas. www.swimtrek.com

An open water swimming coaching business providing pool, sea and dry land courses for people of all ages and abilities. www.swimmergy.com