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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
500ft mast planned for pier site
Brighton i360 mast
The designers say the mast will give people a new view of Brighton
The designers of the London Eye have drawn up plans for one of the tallest buildings in Britain on the site of the derelict West Pier in Brighton.

The 20m observation mast, called Brighton i360, rises 150m (492ft) above sea level and has an aerodynamic pod to take 100 visitors at a time to the top.

"We believe it is in the spirit of the West Pier," said Glynn Jones, chairman of the landowner, the West Pier Trust.

Public opinion will be canvassed before a planning application is submitted.

The Victorian Grade I listed pier closed in 1975 and was reduced to a metal skeleton by storm damage and fire in 2003.

Hopes of restoring it faded when the Heritage Lottery Fund withdrew a promised 19m the following year.

'Elegant and slender'

Mr Jones said the observation mast would promote regeneration of the Sussex city's seafront and uphold the heritage of the pier.

It had not been easy to find the right project, he said.

"We believe the answer is Brighton i360 - it is elegant, slender and unobtrusive.

"It is brilliant because it will achieve maximum effect with minimum intervention."

The trust said the mast would be privately funded and would generate money to restore parts of the pier.

Brighton i360 pod
The observation pod can carry up to 100 visitors at a time

Husband and wife designers David Marks and Julia Barfield were the brains behind the London Eye tourist attraction.

"Brighton i360 will gently raise people to a great height," said Mr Marks.

"We believe it will give people a new experience of Brighton, enabling them to see the whole of the city for the first time."

This is the second landmark scheme proposed for Brighton and Hove seafront.

Plans for a futuristic development with four towers, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry for the King Alfred leisure centre site were submitted to the council last year.

The mast would be 6m taller than Portsmouth's Spinnaker tower and 40m higher than the London Eye.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the plans for the i360 on the site of the West Pier



SEE ALSO:
Bold seafront plans gain support
19 Nov 05 |  Southern Counties
Futuristic towers for seaside
24 Jul 03 |  Southern Counties
What now for Brighton's West Pier?
16 Feb 05 |  Southern Counties
Outlook for West Pier looks bleak
29 Jul 04 |  Southern Counties
Vow to restore battered West Pier
24 Jun 04 |  Southern Counties
Derelict pier loses lottery money
28 Jan 04 |  Southern Counties
West Pier destroyed by fire
28 Mar 03 |  England


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