There's so much water under the bridge on the King Alfred site that it's almost impossible to generate excitement and positivity about it these days. But I am excited and after a period of meaningful consultation where your views are heard I want us to throw all our energy into getting it built and enjoy it once it's there.
With a massive sports centre, public spaces, restaurants and cafes, and 600 new homes this is always going to be a big an...d bold project. To some the previous design was too much. A decade later the new plans may not be bold enough for others.
But the truth is we are in the last chance saloon. The only thing I can promise you is that what's there now will be gone in a couple of years and the only question is...will this design be built or will nothing be built?
I loved the previous Ghery design but it's gone now and I'm looking to the future. I'm lucky enough to have been briefed in great detail on the new plans before they were made public. Whereas they are not initially as striking as the previous design I am already beginning to love the concept and can appreciate the ingenuity and loving detail that has gone into it.
Lines of sight have been preserved as you look down approaching streets. New public spaces will be created. It's ten storeys lower than before, yet the sports centre will be world class. Its design is modern and urban with nods to our heritage, marrying Regency-inspired apartment windows with copper-tinged bold frontage to the sports centre. Don't just have a quick look at one picture and pass judgement, this is a complex development and there's so much detail to explore and understand.
The developers, council, and me really want to get this right. Over the summer everyone will be listening carefully to your comments so please look in detail and submit your thoughts. What's on the table now will evolve. I have suggestions that I will be putting forward, such as ensuring there is amazing and plentiful space for year-round dining that fully makes use of our stunning Hove seafront views so that our beachfront area is open to visitors to admire whatever the season.
So be positive. Have a look, then a think, and then look again. And then come up with ways we can improve it. Lets come together as a community and transform today's eyesore into a place we can all live, work, swim and exercise together into the future.
Please let me know what you think. All the best, Peter