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Construction and completion

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.

c) MORE INQUIRIES and CONSTRUCTION: The marina plans were altered again in July 1970 by architect David Hodges of Overton and Partners, and received planning permission in January 1971. Site construction by Taylor Woodrow Ltd commenced in March 1971 with the reclamation of a large area of land below the cliff, and on 1 March 1972 the Marina Company formally signed a 125-year lease with the corporation which had purchased the foreshore from the Crown Estates Commissioners for £50,000.
The proposed ‘city-by-the-sea’ remained a stumbling block, though. The council had given its approval in September 1974, but the Environment Secretary decided that a public inquiry should be held. In May 1975 he gave his approval on condition that the buildings should not now exceed half the cliff height, and that the numbers of houses and flats were reduced. This final ministerial approval brought an end to twelve years of meetings, inquiries and polls to approve the whole marina scheme.

d) HARBOUR COMPLETION: The wall of the inner harbour was finished in June 1975, and on 24 May 1976 the last concrete ‘caisson’ of the massive outer breakwaters was put in position, enclosing seventy-seven acres of sheltered water. The breakwaters are formed by 110 caissons, each 38 feet high, 40 feet in diameter and weighing 600 tons, which were lowered into position by an immense gantry crane; each one was then filled with a further 1,000 tons of concrete. On 2 May 1977 the mayor, Peter Best, formally opened the lock-gates between the inner and outer harbours, and the public were admitted from 25 July 1978. The harbour was completed in January 1979, and the whole £41 million complex was formally opened on 31 May 1979 by Queen Elizabeth II. A jetfoil service to Dieppe commenced in April 1979, but was withdrawn in August 1980.

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.

Brighton Marina
Photo by Tony Mould

Comments about this page

  • I worked on the site, testing concrete for caissons and sea walls and I remember the large crane that also had a canteen onboard.

    By Rob Body (28/12/2020)

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