Brighton reaches for the sky in bid to reverse its ‘lost decade’ of neglect

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Brighton reaches for the sky in bid to reverse its ‘lost decade’ of neglect

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Brighton reaches for the sky in bid to reverse its ‘lost decade’ of neglect

Landmark i360 tower may be the catalyst for seafront regeneration – but some fear it could lead to a high-rise Benidorm

The newest structure on Brighton seafront is a tower only four metres in diameter – about the length of a family car. But its impact extends for miles along the coast of Britain’s most popular seaside destination.

The British Airways i360, a viewing tower that stretches up to the clouds, stands right next to the ruins of the West Pier. When an international team of workers downed tools, briefly, for the Christmas break they were ahead of schedule. The tower should be open in June and will transform the seafront.

The i360 will be advertised around the world. It will not only boost tourism, say prominent local residents and business leaders, it will send out a signal that one of Britain’s newest cities is open for business after a “lost decade”. The local council says it is the “catalyst for change for fitting out the seafront for the next 150 years”.

Others are horrified. Some locals say the height of the “doughnut on a hotdog sausage” will give planners more leeway to approve high-rise development that could lead to neighbouring Hove looking like Las Vegas or “being Benidormed”. The Victorian arches along much of the seafront will likely be lost during the wave of 21st-century developments. […]

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