Planning permission to demolish and replace an historic Hove seafront building has been refused.
Globe Homes has been told that it cannot demolish Medina House, in King’s Esplanade, Hove.
The company, chaired by the Brighton architect and property developer Sirus Taghan, wanted to replace the historic bath house with a four-storey block of flats.
The block of eight flats would have also included a basement car park and cycle storage.
The application was turned down yesterday (Wednesday 4 March).
Giving reasons for its decision, Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Medina House is a locally listed heritage asset that contributes positively to the character and appearance of the Cliftonville Conservation Area by virtue of its architectural and historic interest.
“It has not been demonstrated that the building is beyond economic repair, that there are no viable alternative uses for the building or that the proposed redevelopment would preserve the area’s character and produce substantial benefits to outweigh its loss.
“Consequently the demolition of Medina House would result in substantial harm that would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Cliftonville Conservation Area.
“The proposed development, by virtue of its design, including the scale of the front bays, their projection over the footway and palette of materials, represents an excessively dominant form of development out of keeping with its surrounds.
“The proposed development would fail to contribute positively to the character and local distinctiveness of the area.”
Medina House is the subject of a petition by Save Hove, urging the council to compulsorily purchase the property.
Save Hove said: “In the dying days of Hove Borough Council, late Victorian Medina House (1894) was sold to Sirus Taghan.
“Some 16 or so years on, and many failed planning applications later, the last salt water bathhouse standing has also suffered two unexplained fires on its top floor.
“The second of these fires occurred on the evening of (Saturday) 20 December 2014 and was extinguished without the roof being breached or damaged.”
The petition is due to be presented to the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday 19 March.