In 1968, when the Brighton Marina was proposed, an Act of Parliament was passed to protect the Brighton seafront. This specifically placed a height limit on any sea front development.
Plans by Brunswick Development, plans which have been passed by a Skidrow-on-Sea, with a little help from their friends, plans to build a 40-storey tower block on Brighton Marina, will breach this height limit.
The proposed eyesore will clash with the elegant terraces of Kemptown, ruin views of the seafront, and not surprisingly, has met with strong local opposition.
Inland on the slopes above the marina, Kemptown, or Kemp Town as it was then known, is an elegant estate laid out for Thomas Reed Kemp during the 1820s. The elegant terraces are are comparable with the Nash terraces in Regent's Park in London.
The councillors who approved the decision, were guided in their deliberations by an e-mail they received the day before from the local MP, Des Turner, who, at the behest of the managing director of Brunswick, urged councillors to support the application and waive any height restriction:
'I support the waiving of cliff height provision ... and would urge you to cast your vote in favour ...'
Described by Private Eye as 'being a bit of a thicko where technology is concerned' Des Turner MP included with his e-mail, the request he had received from Brunswick MD to pen a few lines of support because 'they have received many e-mails from the objectors, and I feel it would give them more confidence in a yes vote if they were to hear from the supporters!'
Skidrow-on-Sea duly voted in support of the plans.
Des Turner MP is no stranger to controversy. He was put before the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer, for describing a Skidrow-on-Sea housing official as 'a little fucking useless pen-pusher'.
Skidrow-on-Sea acted in a similar fashion to push through the plans put forward by St Modwen for the redevelopment of the West Pier, which would have destroyed the seafront.
The latest plans for the West Pier are demolition of the remaining structure and erection of the Brighton Eye, i360, a tall slender tower, which will also breach the height restrictions.
£235m Brighton Marina scheme approved, Construction Journal, 7 August 2006
Councillors approve marina scheme, BBC News On-line, 30 June 2006
Duffer Des, Rotten Boroughs, Private Eye, 4-17 August 2006
Marina opponents pin their hopes on 1968 Act, Brighton Business, 12 July 2006
New marina plans under scrutiny, BBC News On-line, 6 April 2006
Keith Parkins, Brighton, August 2006
Keith Parkins, West Pier, July 2006
Regency Society-Brighton Marina