More than 550 people attended public events and more than 2,700 people have given their feedback on proposals through an online survey for the Kingsway to the Sea scheme in West Hove.
Two public drop-in sessions were held in May to see how plans were shaping up for the proposed linear park from the King Alfred leisure centre to Hove Lagoon. The scheme has been awarded £9.5m from the government’s levelling up fund to rejuvenate run-down spaces and create improved outdoor leisure facilities.
Positive feedback on plans proposed
As well as landscaping the area and enhancing green spaces, there are also plans to improve accessibility and the existing sports provision for bowls, tennis and croquet. Plans for new toilets, sand sports, padel tennis and a new pump track, skate park and roller blade area are also being progressed.
Feedback on the scheme was positive, with 86% of survey respondents welcoming the opportunity to make improvements and 86% in favour of the range of facilities proposed. The proposed skatepark attracted a mixture of feedback from residents and emerged as one of the most popular amenities being created.
We are now considering all feedback, including comments which raised concerns, before submitting the proposals to planning at the end of the summer.
Improving facilities for all age groups
Councillor Martin Osborne, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee said: “It was wonderful that so many people attended the events and had the chance to see for themselves how plans are moving forward.
“The aim is to create an integrated park with a range of recreational facilities and improved amenities for people of all ages.
“The demographic of West Hove has changed over recent years and there are many more families and young people in the area.
"We now have an opportunity to rejuvenate and enhance these open spaces and provide something new that caters for our younger age groups.
“I know some people expressed concern about the loss of open ground for dog walking. Dog walking will be welcome across the park and there are dog friendly beach areas nearby”
“The successful bid for this money demonstrates our determination to create brilliant and varied spaces for our residents and visitors to enjoy.
“We are committed to continuing to engage with local groups, and there will be an opportunity for further consultation as part of the planning process.”
Working with the community
Work on the Kingsway to the Sea project began in 2018 when the West Hove Forum approached the council to work on plans to develop the area.
Since then, council officers have been working with the West Hove Seafront Action Group (WHSAG) whose members include local residents and representatives from businesses, clubs and voluntary organisations.
In September 2021, a public consultation was held where residents and users of the West Hove seafront area had the opportunity to give their views on what they would like to see. The feedback from the consultation has informed the overall design of the area to-date.
An update report on the project will go to our Policy and Resources Committee in July.