UK surfers fight to save Brighton Marina's wave

January 23, 2009 | Surfing
Brighton Marina

A planning application has been submitted for a 5-story office building that would straddle the eastern wall of the Brighton Marina and require the driving of 186 piles to create a concrete platform to the east of the Marina.

In view of the height above sea level of the pile-supported platform, the visual impact will be similar to that of an eight-story block (the height of Marine Gate flats).

The development would provide 7933 square meters of office space (for 620 employees), 274 square meters of retail space, and nine 3-bed flats.

No affordable housing is apparently proposed, and the flats would appear to be unsuitable for family occupation.

Large numbers of surfers who regularly exercise their exciting sport in the turbulent waters to the east of the Marina believe that the piles could dangerously interfere with currents which make this one of the UK's best places for surfing.

The developers have tried to defuse the opposition by offering a storage area in the new development for surfing equipment.

But what is the point in storing surfing equipment at a location no longer suitable for surfing?

There is no evidence that this is a suitable location for such a substantial office development or that the nine existing car-parking spaces (and the provision of no new ones) would be adequate.

Nor is there any evidence that further retail space is required in the Marina at a time when the economy is sinking into recession.

The development's bulk and proximity to the cliff mean that it would block the excellent cliff view to the west of the Marina currently seen by people walking along the undercliff walk from the east.

For the above reasons as well as those given below, save Brighton is joining local residents associations and Sharkbait (the surfer's group) in objecting to this development.