The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) has warned that the city must be careful to send out the right message to potential private sector partners if the development of the Brighton Centre is to proceed as planned.
The £400m Brighton Centre redevelopment is necessary to allow the city to compete in the international conference business, which could be worth millions to the city and support thousands of jobs, but at least £300m will have to come from private sector developers.
A planning application for the development could cost as much as £10m to prepare and at that price developers will be looking for some comfort that their application stands a good chance of success before they even put pen to paper. The yardstick that they will apply is the record of previous success for major developments and in Brighton & Hove this is a mixed picture.
The Brighton Station Goodsyard site was successful after a long battle (derelict for 20 years) and eventually the Jubilee site (derelict 30 years) was successful but the rejection of the Brighton Marina application, despite a glowing officers report (see earlier stories in Knowledgebase), has turned the attention of developers to the next major application to be determined – the King Alfred development.
Any rejection of the £300m King Alfred plans coming hard on the heels of the rejection of the Brighton Marina (which is likely to cost Brunswick Group something in the region of £1m to appeal) would make developers very nervous and might project an image of a town that is resistant to large scale regeneration.
Developers with millions to spend have the world as their oyster. When deciding where they will spend their money they tend to gravitate towards places where they think they have a good chance of success.
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Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership