The owner of a historic building in Hove has been told that he is not allowed to demolish it.
Sirus Taghan has been refused permission to knock down Medina House in King’s Esplanade on Hove seafront.
He was also refused planning permission to put up a ten-storey building in its place.
The proposed tower block would have contained nine flats and a restaurant on the ground floor and first floor.
Members of Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee were told that Medina House was the last surviving part of the Hove baths complex.
A report to the committee acknowledged that it was not a listed building but it was within the Cliftonville Conservation Area.
Mr Taghan, of Globe Homes, a property company based in Morley Street, Brighton, has tried to win planning permission for an even taller tower block in the past.
One was 18 storeys and another 16 storeys high.
He has owned the site since the 1990s and according to objectors “was once a beautiful historical building until a wall was demolished and squatters and caravans were allowed on the site”.
The wall was part of a side building which was demolished – with permission – in July 2000.
Medina House has been empty for the best part of 20 years although the report to councillors said: “Throughout the time in which the building has been vacant there appears to have been no serious attempts to market the building.
“While it is appreciated that the building is in need of repair … there is a concern the building has been allowed to deteriorate into its current condition.”
And it added: “There are no acceptable details for the redevelopment of this site.”
Councillors were also told that the proposed tower block was “excessively out of scale” and overbearing in relation to the modest-sized homes immediately behind it in Sussex Road and Victoria Cottages.
It would cause too much loss of light to the people living there.
And although there are other tall buildings along that stretch of the seafront, they overshadow open areas used for parking.
The council has received dozens of letters of objection but also some in support of the ten-storey proposal.
Supporters of the scheme said that the building would be well matched in height to surrounding buildings and the design was an improvement on the derelict Medina House.
However, Green councillor Amy Kennedy expressed concerns about the proposed design.
The 12-strong committee, made up of Conservatives, Greens and Labour councillors, voted unanimously against allowing Medina House to be demolished and against permitting the proposed tower block to be built.
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