Owner of Montreal Arms given a year to restore green tiles

Posted On 21 Apr 2022 at 12:02 pm

Charlie Southall handing out leaflets as his friends begin to hack tiles off the Montreal Arms

The millionaire owner of a Brighton pub who hacked large chunks of its distinctive green tiles off has been told to replace them.

Charlie Southall handed out leaflets as workers took drills to the historic tiles cladding the Montreal Arms in Albion Street last month.

Brighton and Hove City Council issued a temporary stop notice the same day – and today, it has issued a new stop notice, and an enforcement notice requiring the reinstatement of the tiles within a year of it coming into force on 24 May.

A council spokesperson said: “Under current legislation, a temporary notice can only last for 28 days and we are not then allowed to serve another temporary stop notice. Council officers therefore had to consider whether further, longer-term action should be taken.

“Officers have liaised with colleagues in our legal department and considered information provided by the owner. This included concerns regarding the building’s lintels.

“In the light of this, we served an enforcement notice together with the stop notice on the removal of the tiles today. This includes an exception of permitting tiles to be removed to allow for repairs to the lintels.

“It has been made clear in the notices that this exception is for the minimum number of tiles that can be removed for the purposes of repair to the lintels. The enforcement notice requires these tiles to be reinstated.

“The enforcement notice also requires the reinstatement of glazed ceramic tiles to all elevations where they have been removed or damaged as a consequence of the unauthorised works. The timescale for compliance is one year after the notice takes effect.”

The notice requires:

I. Cease the removal of the glazed ceramic tiles from the façade of the building on the Land, except the minimum amount required to be removed to repair the lintels
II. Reinstate glazed ceramic tiles to all elevations where tiles have been removed or damaged as a consequence of the unauthorised works set out in paragraph 3.
III. Reinstate the glazed ceramic tiles removed to repair the lintels.
IV. The new tiles being reinstated shall match the colours and finish of the existing tiles on each area of the elevation so that the four horizontal bands of colouring are replicated, as shown on the photographs attached at Annex 2.
V. All moulded details to the fascia and window cills being reinstated shall be replicated in material, colour and finish and reinstated.
VI. The lettering to the fascia being reinstated shall be replicated in font, size, colour, material and finish, where removed or damaged as a consequence of the unauthorised works.

Mr Southall is free to lodge an appeal with the planning inspectorate. If he does not do this, or his appeal is dismissed, and he does not comply with the notice, he could be taken to court.

The removal of the tiles came days after Mr Southall announced he was pulling a fundraiser for £85,000 to convert the pub into a temporary refuge for Ukrainian women and children.

The plans were well received by the neighbourhood when first announced, but questions were subsequently raised about how much Mr Southall set to personally benefit from the plans – and why he needed money to renovate the building.

The stop notice is now displayed on the pub, but the enforcement notice appears to have been removed.

The Montreal Arms is a locally listed building. This means it has been identified as a heritage asset that is important to the local area and its people.

The Montreal Arms is not a statutory listed building and therefore the council cannot use legislation that relates to works to a listed building. This means that there is no control over internal alterations to the building.

  1. Harry Magee Reply

    Well I think the are called green faize tiles with lead properties, they reflect different colours from different angles and are made of lead dyes, each one will be hand made, some of the difficult corner ones will work out at a £1,000 each ! This job is going to cost the minimum of £90,000…oddly almost the same he was trying to crowdfund. ! I wish him no luck !

    • Ben Doyle Reply

      Lol yet BHCC must be laughing still working from home and for what they had every opportunity to find a larger building to aid social distancing not a chance yet Brighton & Hove has gone back to work and they had to use covid as an excuse to stll WFH and still calls and emails don’t get responded to

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    He is a man without dignity.

  3. Public Reply

    Appeal pending

  4. Harry Magee Reply

    Waste of time and Legal costs appealing, it was disgusting and will cost a lot to achieve nothing, and then still not going to get planning….and I imagine anyone dealing with chap is going to want money up front as I believe according to various different sources he has form.

  5. John T Reply

    Good luck !
    I don’t think short cutting planning process is going to work in his favour and making fool of himself in process destroying classic facade people the brewery spent fortune, time & effort designing building 100+ years ago.

  6. Martha Gunn Reply

    Four different colours of tiles but they were in SEVEN distinct bands. This depredation must be repaired properly and the original glorious detail restored. I am at a loss to understand how anyone could have committed this act of vandalism?

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Well put, the detail is vital.

  7. Mike Beasley Reply

    Interesting that the Hanover Greens fixate over this, but don’t give a hoot about Madeira Drive terraces

  8. Gareth Hall Reply

    Wait for the next bankruptcy declaration

  9. Jay S Reply

    this needs local residents to get it listed as an acv if not already done.

  10. BAHTAG3 Reply

    Linking to the useful comments above from Gareth Hall & Jay S there’s
    another thing:

    Campaigners, + councillors, need to urgently ensure that our City Council immediately registers a Restriction with HM Land Registry, which will prevent the property becoming registered as being transferred to any other entitity (not even to a liquidator?, without the specific written consent of BHCC.

    The expectation being that the current owner will fail to satisfactorily complete the re-instatement now required by law, and thus our Council will need to implement the works, and to pay upfront for them.

    Given the ludicrously high prices which our Council pays ìto contractors those works are likely to cost nearer £250k, rather than the £90k helpfully indicated above, which is likely to mean our Council needing to seize and to auction the property to be able to recover the costs!

    However campaigners also need to spend £3 online with HM Land Registry, to buy a full copy of the Title Register for the premises.

    That’s likely to show there’s a substantial mortgage owing, which might, or might not, take priority over whatevet monies our Council might need to recover?

    If so then BHCC could negotiate to have that lender issue a bank guarantee on favour of BHCC, and/or the public body which BHCC is can obtain from HM Land Registry details of all other properties controlled by the same person, and can take legal action to freeze those assets.

    Diligent action will be needed – we have a Council that’lost’ over £3m of parking-meter money (dur to officer apathy under a duff contract), and who let a light aircraft (the most documented artifact ever made?) already grounded by council bailiffs (for non-payment of airport fees at Shoreham) fly away ‘to be demonstrated to a buyer’, only to then ‘disappear without trace’!

    Plus ça change …

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