Historic Brighton building to make way for six-storey office block

A 1930s building in central Brighton can be demolished after councillors approved plans to replace it with a six-storey office block.

There was concern about the loss of the neo-classical facade of the existing building in Middle Street, in the heart of Brighton’s Old Town Conservation Area.

Kruton, the London developer, applied for permission to demolish the four-storey building that has been home to the Brighton Media Centre, music venue Sticky Mike’s and Slam Star Karaoke.

And at a “virtual” meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 22 April), councillors voted nine to one in favour of the scheme.

Conservative councillor Carol Theobald was concerned about loss of the old frontage. She said: “This is quite a unique building and I would not like to see us lose another building like this in the city.

“They should repair the building, make it taller, redo it at the back. But I don’t want it lost to the city.”

In its application, Kruton stated the front is beyond repair making renovation “unviable”.

Fellow Conservative Joe Miller said that he understood Councillor Theobald’s concerns as he also wished the front could stay in the same way that the London Road Co-Op façade stayed with a new building behind the old.

But he backed the new building and praised the design.

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh said that the committee had rejected an application for an extra storey on a building in The Lanes in March.

She said: “I’m voting in favour of this development but I am somewhat bemused at the inconsistency of other members of the Planning Committee.

“Just last month, five of them voted against an extra floor being added to a  building just to the north, on conservation grounds, but now they support a completely new and modern building.”

The Planning Committee voted nine to one in favour of the plans.

  1. SIMON LAW Reply

    Have you seen the replacement? Ugly, alienating. Has somebody’s palm been greased? What is the system that allows these clowns to decide what our environment looks like so others can trouser a quick quid? How long before we cannot tell if we’re in Sussex, Seattle or Shanghai?

    • Lenton Reply

      Did you just compare Seattle and Shanghai to the shabby dump of Brighton? I think you’ll be just fine Simon.
      A lot of Btown needs pulling down and modernising. As an ex resident of 14 years I have to say that people do oddly love some awful buildings and architecture in the city. It wears its ugly design and run down squalor on its sleeve… Anything to paper over its horrendous homeless issues and disgusting cleanliness of drifting rubbish and dog mess hey?

  2. Helen Thomas Reply

    How very sad that Brighton will lose yet another unique building to be replaced by a characterless modern one. This city is gradually losing its own special identity & becoming indistinguishable from any other.

  3. Darren L Reply

    The thing is Lenton you ain’t from Brighton you weren’t born here, same as these councillors knocking down our Brighton. You don’t have a connection to Brighton like those of us who have long family history in the town. Save our old buildings.

  4. Modernist Reply

    With Plenty of office spaces in the town remaining unoccupied, this is a wrong move, especially after coronavirus lockdown when people have worked from home!

  5. Anissa Reply

    This is unbelievable! There’s nothing wrong with the facade, why would you believe it when a developer who just wants to make money says it’s not repairable?! It’s in between two other older buildings, wish they would knock down the ugly modern ones. What does it mean that it’s a conservation area, if they can do this? And it’s not as if we need more office space right now.

    • Benji Reply

      Just NOT true, there is plenty wrong with the facade as the detailed independent structural survey (with plenty of photos of many problems) in the planning application CLEARLY points out on many many pages!

      The fundamental problem is the corrosion of the building’s steel frame causing significant damage to the facade (made up of reconstituted stone panels).

      Just because it looks ok, doesn’t mean it is, because it isn’t!

      Go read it, document is titled “STRUCTURAL SURVEY” dated 3rd December 2019.

      https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q1Y15ZDMGUA00

  6. Tracey Potter Reply

    Why keep demolishing these beautiful historic buildings??? Not replaceable, it give history and value to the historic town, think hard, think again.

    • Benji Reply

      It’s a structurally failing, leaking, corrosion riddled steel framed building that’s why, with a failing concrete render and reconstituted stone pnael facade, with many inherent problems, and just NOT historic, it’s only 85 years old!

      It was built c. 1935 not the 1700’s.

  7. W Kerr Reply

    Live in a conservation area and apply to put a parking space in front of your house or a flat roof on the back. Not a chance for a regular ratepayer, but big companies seem to be able to do just as they like. Why does the planning committee just roll over? Even if the facade is not repairable why six stories? Hardly in keeping with the surrounding buildings. I agree it does stink of corruption.

  8. Charles Devus Reply

    What a surprise. Greed uber ales.Tory palms greased in good old Brighton style. Another fine old building of character potentially torn down and replaced by a soulless cube.

    Something must be done.

  9. Bertie Reply

    I wont be voting Green ever again after the way Caroline Lucas has treated this city. Rubbish everywhere, iconic buildings being thrown to the side and ignored homeless people everywhere 🙁 more like a Tory member than Green

  10. symond lawes Reply

    no mention of the fact brighton is losing yet another live venue. yes its also a shame to lose a pretty facade, but lets be very honest, what long term positive is an office block going to bring to the brighton laines. Brighton is world famous for its enetertainment industry. i run a small seafront festival in june Every year, called the great skinhead reunion, i bring 500-700 people to broghton for 3-4 days every year. to the local economy are £300.000 bands perform from brazil, usa all over europe, japan and many other places. attendees from across the planet, the videos shared to 100.000’s every year, bringing people to the city throughout making £1000’s more for hotels, cafes, restuarants, clothes and record shops… so please tell me who is going to get on a plane from argentina to look at an office block?

  11. Meryl Johnson Reply

    Ah the site of the old Cinematheque…now there’s a piece of Brighton history. PS so glad Lenton and his ‘shabby dump’ whinging is no longer in town (glad he still feels the need to keep up with local news though).

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