From Brighton & Hove News –
Details of how Brighton and Hove City Council plans to restore the Madeira Arches have begun to emerge after council leader Warren Morgan gave residents a sneak preview.
Cllr Morgan posted a page from a report to be discussed by councillors next week on a Facebook page set up to discuss how to repair the Victorian walkways and arches.
It revealed the council has made an application for a £50,000 grant to develop a master plan and investment options, which should be decided next Sunday, and that the Greater Brighton Economic Board agreed to put the terraces in its project funding pipeline.
Posting last night, Cllr Morgan said: “This is an extract from the Major Projects report going to the Economic Development and Culture Committee on the 12th.
“It is the preliminary step of the restoration process and whilst it does not detail our plans, I hope that it shows that a process, however slow, is underway.”
Parts of the terraces have been closed since December 2013 after engineers uncovered serious structural flaws, and after it was discovered the whole structure is compromised, fencing has been erected around it in case of collapse.
The report reads: “Surveying showed that the steel beams embedded in the concrete, supporting the deck of the Terraces, have corroded and the cast iron has come to the end of its useful life.
“Repairs cannot be made and a rebuild is likely to be needed. Engineers recently advised that the entire length of the structure should now be closed. The temporary fencing will be replaced with a more permanent anti-climb fencing in the winter following the busy summer season.”
Another report due to be heard by next Thursday’s economic development and culture committee about Madeira Drive road closures says: “The closure of the Madeira Terraces has not currently resulted in a reduction in proposals for events on Madeira Drive.
“However, the safety fence adjacent to the Terraces has impacted upon the operational requirements of some events. The council is seeking a long term solution to replace the Madeira Terraces which are beyond repair.
“It will be important that this solution enhances Madeira Drive as an events venue and assists with the long term economic sustainability of the 157 area. In the meantime, the council is liaising with tenants of seafront businesses in the area to identify potential improvements in the short term. ”