City planners have responded positively to the pre-planning application proposals for a temporary ice rink at the King Alfred seafront site in Hove. The council has confirmed that it has no principle objection in planning terms to use the land for this purpose for the three year period proposed by local resident, Simon James.
Earlier this year, Mr James submitted a Pre Application for Planning Advice for a community sporting project, to install a temporary ice rink on the wasteland to the west of the King Alfred complex, above the old ten pin bowling alley. The proposed size of the ice pad is 24m x 48m, which is about two thirds of a full size rink, and which could support activities such as ice hockey, speed skating and Xtreme skating as well as competitive dance and figure ice skating.
The main objective of the project is to establish if there is sufficient demand for this facility on Hove seafront, and to initiate an ice skating industry. A permanent ice rink in Hove would be dependent on whether or not the Brighton International Arena (BIA) is built at the prestigious Black Rock site in Brighton. (see earlier story). However, installing a temporary rink may eventually lead to the development of a permanent state-of-the-art International multisport complex at the site.
Revenue from the temporary ice rink would be used to take this plan forward, with the aim of re-establishing the King Alfred as Hove’s sporting hub, whilst creating a new visitor attraction for the town.
Maddy Carr, Hove's Town Centre Manager said "The council has everyone's interest at heart in their positive response to the enterprising proposals for a temporary ice rink. The plans for more varied sporting facilities are great news for the local community, and the future potential for an International sports complex gives foreign students and other overseas visitors another good reason for choosing Hove as their place to stay".
Due to the size of the floor space that would be created by the temporary ice rink, the application would be considered a ‘major’ planning application by the council requiring full planning permission for the works. It would fall within theplanning use class ‘D’ which is consistent with the other uses on the site.
The main concerns of the city planners lie with the character and appearance of the temporary structures described in the initial design proposals, due to their height (7-8m) and the likelihood of weathering. The final design will also need to be in keeping with the character of the adjacent Old Hove Conservation Area to the north of the site.
To take his plans forward, Mr James will be researching alternative designs for the exterior of the rink, and will need to submit a full planning application, including a site waste management plan to demonstrate sustainable use of energy and water, and a transport assessment to ensure that the locality will support the additional travel journeys made by visitors to the rink.
A full online public survey will be available shortly on the project's website www.kingalfredicerink.co.uk to raise community awareness and encourage public involvement. The King Alfred site planning brief is available on the council website.
Mr James believes that the start up costs for the temporary ice rink will be about £800,000 and that the facility (which could be ready in good time to benefit from the tourism spillover effect of the 2012 Olympics) will be run by a local social enterprise firm.
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Brighton & Hove City Council