Brighton Marina Development
The £250 million Brighton Marina Outer Harbour development is a huge project being undertaken to regenerate Brighton Marina. Phase 1 extends the existing West Quay to provide for 195 residential apartments (20 of which are shared ownership), 7 new prime restaurants to complement the existing food offering. The existing West Quay has been extended into the harbour and provides for 350 underground car park spaces built from the seabed.
The total scheme includes 853 residential units that will be spread across 11 buildings that range from six to 40 storeys high, and 496 parking spaces. Phase 1 has just been completed together with a new floating Yacht harbour in the marina, a brand new facility for the RNLI and some additional commercial space. The remaining 9 buildings are sited on a piled platform above the existing Spending Beach.
Within the Marina there will be two new pedestrian and cycle bridges across Black Rock Beach both into the Marina and into the Inner Harbour as well as the creation of new outdoor recreation and amenity areas.
The scheme is designed to the old Coding for Sustainable Homes being Code 3, and the commercial spaces will achieve Ecohomes very good status.
Phase 3 will deliver the affordable housing element of the scheme
The planning application to redevelop the western end of Brighton Marina was submitted in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2006 that permission was granted.
Work started on the project in 2007, however in 2008, work was put on hold in light of the recession. The project re-started in 2013.
“It’s was very frustrating in the early days of planning and getting the scheme through the planning system but it was so rewarding when it came though,” commented Peter Green, Construction Director for West Quay Developments Co. Partnership LLP. “It was frustrating again when the recession came along but now it’s been very exciting and we look forward to creating landmark buildings for Brighton’
Phase One, or F1, began in January 2014 and was completed in July of this year. The main contractor, Midgard Ltd was the main contractor for the works with a construction value of £45m for phase 1. The residential units were pre sold through their sales partners GRE Assets and the retail units are fully let with 6 units operational. These include Casa Brasil, Los Iguanas, Bella italia, MOD Pizza, Five Guys and TGI Friday.
All apartments are built with high-spec interior design and under floor heating to the penthouses, and have the choice of being furnished or unfurnished. Floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light in and the kitchens are fully fitted with integrated appliances. The contemporary bathrooms feature either a spacious walk-in wet room or a luxurious shower over the bath.
Phase Two, which has already begun, is a development of a 40 storey tower and two adjacent six and nine storey blocks which will house 244 units. Within this phase of development there will additional parking.
BAM Nuttall, the main contractor for this stage of the project, is currently building the cofferdam which will allow for construction work to take place below the Marina’s waterline and create space for the builds.
The cofferdam consist of two sheet pile walls with an infill of aggregate which, together with the existing Marina wall behind the casino and the outer Marina wall, will create a contained area where sea water can be removed, creating a dry working area. The sheet piling is scheduled for completion in September this year.
On phase 1 the process was challenging where a similar three sided cofferdam was used (part of the permanent structure). Midgard used waterproof concrete in the basement structures.
Weather and the logistics of the build have been the greatest challenges on the project so far. As the location is very exposed to the elements there have been times when it is too precarious for machinery such as the cranes to be used and the high winds have meant that there have been days where the total work force has been taken off the site.
As all construction work is taking place in a fully operational Marina, the main logistical challenge has revolved around the use of a single access ramp in a functioning retail environment.
Even with multiple challenges the development is running to programme and to budget.
The importance of the development is not lost on those working on the project. “Although the Marina itself is only 60 years old, part of the area had become quite run down over the years, so the build has rejuvenated this area. A lot more people are coming to the Marina and phase 1 alone provides for an additional 300 jobs from the local area,” commented Peter.