After research into the local heritage context, the building of a high rope climbing course above the existing Peter Pan’s Adventure Golf site on Madeira Drive, was given consent. Sited on the beach in the East Cliff Conservation Area and adjacent to the grade II listed Banjo Groyne and Madeira Terraces/ Lift, the proposed was viewed to have good heritage context by which it can refer, architecturally and spatially.
The heritage consultancy gained a depth understanding of the history of seaside attractions in Brighton so as to create a precedence for the concept. With regards the contention it would be a tall structure that would ‘dwarf’ other beach level developments and be prominent in views from Madeira Drive and the beach, we showed that in relative terms it would not impede on an appreciation of the local heritage assets. Rather it was designed as a contemporary lightweight frame with a fine structure (in reference to the arches of the terrace) which would act to complement the historic environment.
Although higher than the middle level of the Madeira Terraces we argued that the harm to the setting of the listed buildings and the character of the conservation area was not sufficient to prevent development of a seaside attraction.
The scheme gave an opportunity to create a subtle landmark building with a finesse which addressed both street and sea frontage. The proposals were scaled down to refer to the general height of the listed terrace at 2 storeys and the Marine Parade buildings at 4 – 5 storeys, therefore paying regard to the horizontal nature of the surrounding built environment.
The building would be subordinate to the listed building in terms of scale and situation and be distinguishable through its frontal location and contemporary industrial appearance. We made the case that the new structure would create balance and continue the interest of Madeira Drive as a space with common building heights; this would contrast with the step down to the beach where the proposed new building will form an interesting juxtaposition.