Council chooses Crest Nicholson to redevelop King Alfred site

Crest Nicholson, in partnership with the Starr Trust, have been selected by councillors as the preferred bidders to redevelop Hove’s King Alfred Leisure Centre site.

The decision was made at yesterday’s policy and resources committee meeting (21 January 2016), and is now subject to a 10-day standstill period.

It follows a year-long competitive dialogue between two bidders and specialist council officers, overseen by councillors from all parties, on the King Alfred Project Board. Bouygues were the other contenders.

Subject to further design development, public consultation and planning permission the scheme would include a modern new sports centre costing around £40m, paid for by a development of 560 flats – 20 per cent of them affordable homes. 

Around £8m of council money would go towards the sports centre, paid for by the much-improved financial performance of the new centre, compared to the old existing building.

Facilities in the new centre would meet or exceed all the minimum specifications laid down by the cross-party policy and resources committee in July 2013. These include three swimming pools, providing a balance of provision for fitness swimmers, families and learners. There would be a 25m eight-lane competition pool, a smaller teaching pool, plus a leisure pool. 

Movable floors for changing depths in the competition and teaching pools are features included.

The sports hall would have space for eight badminton courts compared to five in the current centre. 

There will be a 120-station gym, plus 15 spinning bikes. 

Also included are a crèche, gymnastics centre, three-rink indoor bowls, dedicated martial arts dojo, quiet studio, sauna and a café.

Flats would be in four main blocks, the highest of which would be 18 storeys.

Finer details on the plans would be released over coming months. Public consultation will take place as part of the planning process, covering aspects such as size and appearance.