Please Urgently Reconsider the i360 Loan
This petition had 2,358 supporters
We, the undersigned, urgently petition Brighton & Hove City Council to reconsider the plan to loan £36 million (with ultimate responsibility for repayment of this loan falling to Brighton & Hove taxpayers http://ow.ly/NUlx4) to architects Marks Barfield and the West Pier Trust to enable them to build and begin to operate the i360 viewing tower.
The tower has considerable opposition within Brighton & Hove (http://bit.ly/i360NoThanks). It is strikingly out of character with the city (http://bit.ly/i360HighPriceToPay ; http://bit.ly/i360BeautySquandered).
Many similar observation towers have been built in Britain. They have failed to achieve the expected visitor numbers (http://bit.ly/RhylSkytower). Indeed, some are now left permanently closed, without sufficient funds to safely decommission them (http://bit.ly/PoloTower). It is strikingly unclear as to why Marks Barfield cannot obtain a loan to complete this project on the open market, if the projected visitor numbers and income are as secure as is claimed.
We recognise the urgent need for investment and redevelopment in the area around the former West Pier. To this end, we additionally urge Brighton & Hove City Council to negotiate with the West Pier Trust, in order to replace their plans for the i360, and instead put out to tender plans to build a new pier, on the former site of the now ruined West Pier.
£36 million would be sufficient to pay for the bulk this project. Additionally, it seems very hard to conceive that a new pier in Brighton would do anything other than attract huge visitor numbers. If done correctly (whether as a rebuild, or as an appropriate, modern replacement - to be decided during any tender and consultation process), it could also be entirely in line with the spirit and ethos of Brighton & Hove.
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