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The original scheme

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events. 

a) ORIGINAL SCHEME: Schemes for harbours at Brighton have been proposed since at least the early nineteenth century (see “Port of Brighton”), but the only one to come to fruition is the Brighton Marina . It was conceived by garage proprietor Henry Cohen whose group commissioned a plan from architects Overton and Partners which was put to the council in October 1963. Costing £9 million, the development was to be sited to the west of Duke’s Mound, and was to include 3,000 yacht berths, helicopter and hovercraft stations, flats, hotel, restaurant, shops, clubs, conference hall, swimming-pool, bowling alley, theatre, cinemas, casino and car-parks. The plan was given approval in principle in November 1963, but it aroused much opposition, especially from the residents of Kemp Town .

b) BLACK ROCK and the ROADS BILL: Following numerous complaints about the site, a new location was chosen to the east at Black Rock , and in September 1965 revised £11 million plans were approved provided that no building projected above the cliffs. A public inquiry was held at the Dome the following January, and ministerial approval was given in September 1966. The Brighton Marina Act, authorising the harbour construction and associated works, was given royal assent in April 1968 despite vigourous opposition in Parliament.
In March 1968 the council promoted a Bill for the construction of a large, gyratory access road system, considered vital to the whole project. This provoked a fierce debate as opposition to the marina was still strong, and a town meeting at the Dome on 20 December 1968 rejected the council’s decision; a town poll was then held in January 1969, resulting in a vote of 15,042 for the Bill against 9,022. However, the Bill itself was defeated in Parliament in March 1969. A second town poll in November 1969 resulted in 9,461 votes for and 5,422 against an amended Bill which was eventually passed as the Brighton Corporation Act in July 1970. The road interchange, which involved the demolition of Rifle Butt Road and other houses of the small Black Rock community, was completed in 1976 although not to the original gyratory plan.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

The following resource(s) is quoted as a general source for the information above:

The collection of buildings that stood at Black Rock viewed from the cliff top at Roedean.
From the private collection of Tony Drury

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