Council plans legal action against owner of Marlborough House after repairs notice ignored

Posted On 16 Nov 2017 at 3:03 pm

The owner of one of Brighton’s finest Regency homes could face legal action for painting it without permission.

Marlborough House before its latest paint job


Tony Antoniades was given permission to restore the Grade I listed Marlborough House in the Old Steine to its original residential use in 2015, ten years after buying it from the city council which had used it for offices.

However, he was not given permission to paint the outside, which was originally finished with a specialist 18th century stucco, instead being required to use the modern equivalent, an unpainted artificial stone finish.

Earlier this year, the building was painted – and a subsequent listed building consent application refused.

Christmas recycling

He was served with an enforcement notice requiring him to remove the painted covering using a non-abrasive method by November 6 – a date which came and went without any action being taken.

The council’s planning department is now talking to town hall lawyers to agree a plan of action.

The latest development was revealed in a written answer to a question Conservative Councillor Robert Nemeth submitted to today’s tourism, development and culture committee.

Cllr Nemeth asked: “Will the Chairman provide an update on the planning enforcement situation at Marlborough House following the issue of recent enforcement notices, including that which expired on 6th November 2017?”

Chairman Alan Robins’ written reply is: “The enforcement notice expired on Monday, 6 November. A site visit took place on Wednesday, 8 November and officers confirmed that works have not commenced to comply with the listed building enforcement Notice.

“Officers are currently liaising with the legal team to ascertain the action that should now be taken.”

  1. rolivan Reply

    Does that mean the Council could be taken to Court for neglecting many of the Citys Buildings especially Madeira Terraces.Some of the Railings and Lamposts on tge Srafront weren’t painted for 8 years not that long ago?

    • Al Reply

      Couldn’t agree more with this comment.

    • Comrade President for Life Robert Mugabe Reply

      Good point.

      The railings and lamposts along the seafront are in a disgraceful state

      Brighton is starting to look so dirty and unkempt…

  2. ROWLAND Reply

    is the 5-bar gate original or B&Q?
    The specialist 18th century stucco was/is dull = the fresh new paint is OK = better use of officer time, please =

  3. Chris Reply

    I went past this building on the bus today, before I read this, and thought how brilliant the building looks now. Is it impossible to marry new techniques and old buildings? Will this modern paint conserve the building’s exterior?

  4. Withnail Reply

    Just goes to prove councils have nothing better to do

  5. ES Reply

    Yes why waste money taking him to court when it could be spent on the terraces or giving the face of Brighton a good scrub?

  6. Neil England Reply

    I was the man who along with A nother worked for T.A. and were charged with unraveling the construction history and we
    hold the information still and as yet remains unpublished It is the stuff of a story.
    Ok let’s talk about the facade.
    It failed originally as the product, imitating stone Robert Adam used was flawed.
    We cut away the cementatious mess then applied a modern version of this stone render and it did its job The look of it was amazing when completed. It was then as it would have looked when Mr Adam handed it to the owner It shone in the morning light,
    I was so proud. the team of craftsmen had succeded beyond expectations
    Mr A lost interest and did not keep it clean (a simple pressure wash from a cherry picker) He was fully aware of the value of the work and the fact it was enshrined in The Listed building consents
    Ok the problem with what we now see.
    To the modern eye it looks great like a shiny new car, hooray.
    But the lime render could breathe and the application cannot. Now the rot starts within the ancient walls.
    The paint is a German all weather hard coating and almost impossible to remove
    A large bell was rung when i saw what was happening
    No move was made to stop it.
    Ok next. How significant is this house ?
    So very significant that it is upstaged only by the pavilion It’s decline should be the subject of a full investigation.
    Trust this short notice is helpful
    Signed
    Neil

    • Mary McKean Reply

      Your comments are very helpful and insightful Neil.

      The forthcoming issue of the Regency Society Journal is entirely about this building, its fascinating history and its current problems. Members will be receiving their copy free very shortly. Join the Regency Society now (only £20 – go to http://regencysociety.org/joinus/) to make sure of your copy and also for your voice to be heard on conservation issues in our city

      • Valerie Paynter Reply

        Thank you Mary and Neil for your comments here. VERY well said and VERY important for people to read them. Understanding is everything.

        To the naysayers I ask this: do you begin to know how valued our heritage is? How important it is to have the examples of building techniques and designs in situ that can be studied and admired? Do you begin to realise how important retaining as much of it as possible is for attracting tourism? For retaining our unique identity in the world, both as a city and as a country?

  7. M PHILLIPS Reply

    A CHANCE FOR THE COUNCIL TO MAKE SOME MONEY, WITH A FINE, YOUR SEE THEM MOVE QUICK ON THIS,

  8. Derek Mann Reply

    Looks good to me and will keep the elements from effecting the building – lets face it council could spend a bit more time looking at their own responsibilities which they seem to be falling short of judging by the posts here.

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      This IS one of their responsibilities and retaining buildings like this in A-perfect Listed condition is an important part of the heritage that brings tourism.

  9. Chris C Reply

    Bottom line is the owner hasn’t followed the deal he struck when he purchased the landmark from the council , I’ve met the guy and he is incredibly arrogant and doesn’t really care . The council have been asking him to “look after “ the building and he’s left it unoccupied and falling apart , he put up a facade that was not in keeping and spent money doing the wrong paint job , as Neil pointed out in a previous comment , listed buildings have to be taken care of the right way and the council will explain how it is to be done and will discuss suitable alternatives , these listings is what keeps our city beautiful for all .
    He was given permission as part of the deal to turn it into a personal residence and had grand plans to put in an indoor pool .
    He’s basically mocked the council and now faces the consequences .
    I agree there is so much of brighton falling apart and if it takes suing the rich landlords to get the money to restore it then so be it .

    • Philip Reply

      Was the building in a poor way when Mr A purchased it?
      I assume it was or they wouldn’t have agreed what needed to be done and how to do it.
      The Council should therefore of been sorting this building out prior to selling it to ensure it was as it should be.
      If the building is so Historicslly important why did the Council sell it? It seems to me to be a loss of a public asset.

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  11. Daniel Harris Reply

    The council is letting 3 – 5 Percival Terrace (a grade 2 listed building owned by helgor trading limited) get ruined.

    Have they taken enforcement action out on them. Have they heck!

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      Have you ASKED Enforcement to intervene?

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