Councillors have given the green light to the Marina development by overruling a ban on tall buildings. The Marina Act of 1968, which prohibits any development that extends above the height of the nearby cliff top, was up for dispute at a Council meeting on 2o July.
At a packed Planning Committee meeting Councillors discussed whether the tower should go ahead.
Labour councillor Francis Tonks opposed building tower blocks on the seafront. claiming that some of our worst architecture is there would be a danger of becoming 'Croydon-on-Sea'."
Some members said that 40 years ago the Brighton Corporation, which became the City Council, had promised never to build skyscrapers at the marina. Despite searches by council officers, no record of the promise could be found.
Council leader Simon Burgess said the tower would bring much-needed new homes, 40% of them affordable.
Following the debate 37 councillors voted in favour and 14 against.
Protests where held before the meeting by campaigners who had pinned their hopes on the Brighton Marina Act as a way of preventing the Marina development, and who are now calling for a judicial inquiry into the decision.
Acting on advice from independent legal adviser Mary Macpherson, councillors said planning permission could be granted despite the wording in the act. She said the developer would have a strong case for appealing if permission was refused because of the ban.
The development will provide 200 jobs during construction and over 100 full time jobs after completion and it is anticipated that the public viewing gallery will attract 200,000 visitors a year.
An environmentally sustainable development, the Marina development will have a 100% EcoHomes "Excellent" rating which will place the scheme in the country's top 2%.
The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) supported the planning application (see earlier stories in knowledgebase)
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