Brexit uncertainty could further delay King Alfred development deal

The developer of the King Alfred Leisure Centre site in Hove has said it would sign a long-awaited deal with the council when there is more certainty over Brexit.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 2:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:54 pm
King Alfred exterior

The developer agreement deal was supposed to be formally signed in the summer of 2016 – but after missing multiple deadlines a final deadline of Thursday January 31 was agreed at the policy, resources and growth committee meeting last month.

But in a letter to the council dated January 23, Scott Black, managing director of Crest Nicholson, said although the developer remains ‘willing to proceed with the development and to enter into the agreement... this commitment requires greater clarity on the form and timing of Brexit’.

Mr Black expressed Crests’s commitment to the project, which is set to deliver 560 flats and a new £40 million sports centre.

But he said: “As a business, we have been proceeding on the understanding that there would be an orderly Brexit deal agreed in January, with a view to the UK leaving the EU on 29 March with a known exit strategy in place. This would still create the conditions for the project to proceed and the agreements to be exchanged which we still hope and expect to be able to do within the next few weeks.

“I look forward to meeting the elected members myself shortly to confirm this position and answer any further questions they may have.

“The current deadlock is most unhelpful and does not provide the basis for major investment decisions in the interim. Accordingly, as soon as we have greater certainty over the nature and form of the Brexit arrangement which we all hope and expect will be achieved shortly, and assuming this does give reasonable certainty over the future trading relations with Europe, then we will enter into the development agreement and commit the team and resources required to promote the scheme, develop the design and seek planning in accordance with the conditions and programme.”

The latest on the King Alfred development is set to be discussed by councillors at the policy, resources and growth committee at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (January 24).