An update on progress of the Kingsway to the Sea scheme in West Hove will be considered by the Policy & Resources (P&R) Committee on Thursday 7 July.
Leveling Up grant
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.
Residents consulted in as many ways as possible
Plans have been developed using feedback from a Public Consultation in September 2021 and two public drop-in sessions in May this year. More than 3000 people took part in arecent survey with 86 per cent of respondents in favour of the range of facilities proposed.
Information about the project and details of consultations, engagement events and surveys were communicated through a range of different formats, to ensure all members of the community could access them – including those unable to receive digital communications.
The scheme includes:
- Creation of an integrated park with areas of garden for relaxation and leisure alongside active sports facilities, including a pump track, skate park and roller rink.
- Refurbishment of existing tennis courts and introduction of Padel and sand tennis courts.
- Accessible routes (wheelchair accessible) through the full length of the site, linking all park spaces.
- Layering planting and trees to provide shade and shelter, reduce climate change, increase biodiversity and the connection with nature.
- Working with biodiversity experts to achieve an aspirational 20 per cent biodiversity net gain.
- Improving sports facilities and activities throughout the length of the site.
- A new outdoor sports hub building.
- Improved public toilets and changing facilities.
- Improved seating, lighting, and signage.
Extra funding needed
Councillors will be asked to give their consent to apply for planning permission for the scheme. In addition, there is a request for £1m extra funding.
This is because factors beyond our control, including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Brexit, have affected the availability, supply and cost of labour and materials. This means the overall cost will now be £12.99m.
Without the extra funding, key facilities will need to be removed from the project.
The mix of sports proposed was derived from the consultation feedback.
There has now been a late request from the Roller Skating Community for a roller area to be sited on Brighton Seafront instead of within this development.
However the area suggested is not available and Levelling Up funds cannot be transferred.
If the planned facility no longer meets the requirements of the Skating Community, it could be removed from the Kingsway to the Sea project.
Upgraded tennis facilities
The Lawn Tennis Association is fully supportive of the plans for upgraded tennis facilities.
There has been a suggestion from some residents and tennis players that there should be a pause for reflection, further consultation, and design tweaks to the tennis court proposals.
However, funding time constraints mean that if this were to happen, the development of amenities would not be able to take place.
Outdoor gym not asked for
Requests for an outdoor gym did not feature in the community feedback; however, a potential area for this has been identified in consultation with the Friends of the Lagoon, should funds become available in future.
Councillor Martin Osborne, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee said:
“This project will rejuvenate the West Hove seafront, establishing it as a hub for outdoor sport and green space that will benefit the whole community.
“It will bring the facilities up to date, providing activities, quieter areas and opportunities to enjoy nature for people of all ages, including the increased number of families and young people who now live in the area.
“Dog walkers will still be welcome across the park, and the skate park, pump track and roller area will provide a space where young people can engage in positive outdoor leisure activities.
“The design of the development is specifically aimed at reducing the risk of increased anti-social behaviour because of the new facilities.
“Throughout the design process we have had brilliant engagement with stakeholders, and we will continue to engage with the community asdetailed designs are developed.
“It is unfortunate – though unavoidable in the current economic climate - that construction costs have risen.
"However, steps are in place to mitigate the additional borrowing by accessing additional funding and exploring commercial opportunities.
“The Levelling Up funding allows us to provide free facilities that can be cross-subsidised by fee-paying facilities. This means future maintenance can be funded from commercial income generated across the site.
“Kingsway to the Sea will ensure the future vibrancy of West Hove seafront as an area that will benefit the local community, attract visitors and help local businesses.”
Subject to planning approval, a phased construction programme will start in January 2023. Completion of the estimated 57-week construction programme will be in early 2024.