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29 August 2017

Huge piling operation starts for new seafront Shelter Hall

The latest phase of rebuilding Brighton’s historic seafront Shelter Hall gets underway from early September, as contractors start sinking 135 concrete piles, up to 20 metres into the ground. 

These will be capped with a half-metre thick slab of concrete to provide a stable base for the new building.

Around 1450 cubic metres of concrete will be pumped into the site – enough to fill three swimming pools the size of Brighton’s Prince Regent.

Hundreds of cement mixer deliveries will be needed. To accommodate them, a special compound will be created across the layby and prom opposite the Brighton Centre. This will entail a second diversion in the seafront cycle lane to be put in place imminently, shifting it a few metres south into a space shared with pedestrians. An existing diversion to the east will stay.

The same temporary road layout will remain.

Piling and capping work is expected to last until around next February. However the compound and cycle lane diversion are expected to be in place until June 2018 to assist subsequent works.

Access to the beach and all businesses on the lower prom will remain the same.  A temporary pedestrian crossing in front of the Brighton Centre will also stay.

Once groundworks are complete, a reinforced concrete frame will be created. External finishes will mean the new building looking similar to the Victorian structure it replaces.

Two council videos and background about the project can be found via this council web page.

The new building will house a large destination restaurant, a rotunda café, a retail unit and public toilets. It is expected to be fully open in Spring 2019. Revenues will help maintain the seafront in future. The council is also reinforcing the A259 to eliminate the risk of it eventually collapsing. At this location the road is not built on solid ground but carried by a Victorian bridge over the original beach.

Chair of the council’s environment committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said: "This is a big step forward into the next phase of the project. The rebuilding of the Shelter Hall has generated a lot of public interest and during this next stage we will be doing everything to keep disruption to a minimum.  We thank everyone for bearing with us, especially the seafront traders, and promise that it will all be worth it once complete." 

The delivery compound will be see-through, formed of low water-filled barriers and mesh fencing.