There have been a number of schemes to change the face of the sea front that never left the drawing board.
Corporation Loading Pier.
One plan in 1999 was to build a small scale replica of the White Star Lines Majestic cruise ship on the site of the old Corporation Loading Pier, this would have housed a restaurant and a small hotel. The proposals put forward by Majestic Marine and Leisure collapsed when an agreement on the leease could not be agreed between the developers and the council.
Another scheme was put forward by the Robert Leonard Group (also see below) for a restaurant to be built on the old Corporation Loading Pier, however the plans stalled and the pier was demolished.
The Gasworks Site/Esplanade House
A 22 storey skyscraper was proposed to be built on the site of the derelict Esplanade House. The skyscraper was part of the Robert Leonard Group's plan to bring major new investment to the old gasworks site, and Corporation Loading Pier (see above).
The plans included 168 student rooms with warden accommodation, a futher 199 flats and a 38 bedroom four star hotel named The Ambassador (later called 63 East). The hotel also included 12 luxury apartments and a penthouse apartment on the top floor. Further facilitys planned included restaurant, shops and spa, underground parking and a piazza.
The Kursaal Proposals.
When the Kursaal buildings closed in 1986 the 3.7 acres that remained of the fairground were released for housing. Hey & Croft proposed to build 180 flats in two and five storey blocks. Shortly after the closure the owners went in to voluntary receivership.
The dilapidated buildings were bought seafront arcade owner Peter Kettely, he had plans to build a large skating rink in the ballroom along with a cafe and bar, however the scheme went no further and in early 1987 the Kursaal buildings were sold to the Brent Walker empire.
Brent Walker proposed to build a multi-million pound water theme park designed to be not just the largest in Britain but also one of Europe’s largest. The plans included converting the ballroom into a wave pool with caves, waterfalls, and fountains. There was also a fun pool with water jets and a flume pool with a desert island. Outside the pools a new arcade leading to coffee shops was proposed, the rebuild did not stop there. The old Estuary Room was to become a Victorian Street scene, including a seaside bar shops and a “rocket ride” which was in reality a lift...
The “rocket ride” would take people to the first floor where there would be coconut shies and other side shows. The plans also included a flight simulator including passport control, security checks and even costume hire!
Demolition of a number of the buildings was undertaken and the sprung floor of the ballroom which by that time had lost its spring was torn out much of the fixture and fittings were ripped from the building in preparation for the fitting of the pools.
However work slowed to a crawl and eventually stopped all together, then in 1991 the Brent Walker empire collapsed.
The Kursaal was left a dilapidated wreck just an empty shell was left.
When the Rowallen Group took over the Kursaal on a 199 year lease, many things were proposed including a Bowling Alley, Play for fun casino, Roller Skating Rink, Indoor rides and other facilitys. However in reality whilst a fine restoration was undertaken and the building saved from demolition the promised facilities never appeared. All that opened from the original proposals was a Bar, Arcade and Bowling Alley. The rest of the building remained empty until a proper casino was opened about a decade later.