The owner of a scruffy plot of land next to Brighton Station has been ordered to stop using it as an unofficial commercial car park.
Square Bay has been told that the site in Stroudley Road in the New England Quarter must be cleared and landscaped.
Brighton and Hove City Council has served enforcement notices giving Square Bay one month to stop cars parking on the site, which is known as Block J in the masterplan for the area.
Square Bay has until the end of July to
- remove all building materials and general waste
- remove all imported minerals and regrade the land to form an even gradient
- cut back all vegetation so that it is no more than 8in (20cm) above ground level
- remove all cut vegetation
- remove the fencing along the Stroudley Road side of the site
The council said that the action had been taken to improve the appearance of the site which has had a negative impact on neighbouring properties and the surrounding area.
A planning appeal to retain the car park was rejected with the planning inspector Janice Trask saying: “The car park is visible from the nearby apartments. It is surfaced with hardcore, has a poorly constructed corrugated metal structure in the corner and at times is covered in parked cars.
“The scruffy appearance of the site is not commensurate with the recent development in the area.”
Block J is part of the Brighton Station development site. Outline planning permission was granted in 2001 and included a condition requiring landscaping work to be carried out to areas where building was delayed.
Last year the council approved plans for 147 flats, a 94-room hotel and offices on the site, having previously turned down a proposal there for the Beetham Tower, a 42-storey block.
Councillor Phelim MacCafferty, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “The redevelopment of the New England Quarter has enhanced the area around Brighton Station and improved the quality of life for its residents.
“However, the overall development is being spoilt by the scruffy appearance of this site.
“We are disappointed that the owners of the site have ignored the planning conditions and neglected the area.
“Building work being delayed is not an excuse for letting a site fall further into disrepair.
“We hope they will now act swiftly to carry out the necessary landscaping work to improve the appearance until construction finally begins.”