Plans for £5m spa on Brighton seafront

Plans for £5m spa on Brighton seafront

A £5m spa resort with an outdoor swimming pool could be built on Brighton seafront. The city’s council’s economic development and culture committee in June is expected to agree in principle the development on the former Peter Pan’s Playground site, a few hundred yards east of the Palace Pier.

The Karma Royal Group is proposing the Brighton Bathing Pavilion, having been chosen as preferred bidder for the long-vacant site after an exhaustive tender process.

It would feature five pavilions - an indoor and outdoor children’s club, a year-round spa and health centre, a beach club and restaurant, an outdoor swim and bathing area and a member’s club.

All zones except the member’s club will be open to the general public.  A report to the committee says the proposal would provide a year-round, high-quality, inclusive and family-friendly facility which would compliment existing leisure attractions in the area.

Three hundred jobs would be created and £10m injected into the local economy annually by the scheme.

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Developers say the project is already fully-funded and requires no borrowing.

The Karma Royal Group is internationally renowned, owning and operating award- winning resorts and spas across the world.  The Brighton Bathing Pavilion will be their first venture in the UK, promising a new iconic attraction for local people and tourists.

Architect for the two-storey building is Shoreham-based Liam Russell. It aims to be a zero carbon development generating its own power by various sustainable means in a super-insulated building.

Chair of the committee Cllr Geoffrey Bowden said:  “This would fit with our strategy to bring more life to the seafront east of the Palace Pier.  It could be another asset in making the city a year-round, weather-resistant attraction. 

“It also reconnects us to our history as a spa resort 250 years ago when Dr Richard Russell was advocating sea bathing as a cure-all.”

The scheme was chosen after assessment by a team of council officers and an interview panel including council officials, representatives of VisitBrighton and the council’s property agent for the development, Oakley Commercial. 

If the committee agrees to lease the site, planning permission would then be required.  Subject to this, developers say work could start early next year.  A public consultation exercise would take place during the summer.  The development would also have to be approved by the policy and resources committee in the autumn.