Laing O’Rourke’s development arm is preparing to go back into battle with Brighton council to win permission for a £450m marina scheme, despite spending millions on an unsuccessful attempt
The 779-home Brighton Marina, which is being promoted by O’Rourke’s Explore Living division and landowner X-Leisure, was dismissed by communities secretary Eric Pickles in July on a technicality in the section 106 agreement.
The developers are thought to have invested more than £7m in preparing a planning application, and another £1m on legal fees for the planning inspector’s appeal.
Building has been told that the consortium, all of whose parties declined to comment, is planning to put in another application as soon as possible. A source close to the developer said: “They’re definitely going to go back and fight it. And it’s not a case of going back to the drawing board; the intention is to resubmit.”
The seafront development, which includes a 148-home, 28-storey tower, has been controversial in the town, partly because it is situated in the constituency of Mary Mears, the council leader. The original application was turned down in December 2008, six months before local elections, despite being recommended by council officers.
Explore Living is not thought to own any portion of the site, but is to lead the development of the housing. X-Leisure, which is run by former Dome chief executive PY Gerbeau, is to develop the retail and leisure elements.
Tony Mernagh, executive director of the Brighton and Hove Business Forum, which helped Laing O’Rourke fight the appeal, said: “The much-needed affordable housing that this scheme will provide is probably closer to getting planning consent than the objectors think.”