An exclusive members club is planning to install wrought iron gates to stop members of the public entering in a move which residents fear will spoil sea views.
Soho House’s Brighton venue was granted permission to rework its section of the Aquarium Terraces in 2016 – but with a planning condition which stated a sea view between two new rooftop buildings would not be blocked.
The view was blocked for several years after hoardings were put up in 2017, and stayed up for months after the venue was opened, only coming down in September last year.
Now, the venue has applied for new planning permission for a 2m high decorative fence and gate between the buildings.
The application describes it as: “2m high, decorative metal fence and entrance gate. Low level planting, that does not obstruct views.”
The 2016 condition read: “A visual gap of 10 metres shall be permanently maintained between the two permitted built structures on the upper tier level (units 6 to 8) as shown on drawing no.12076/MBA/101 Rev P1 dated 10/11/15. The gap to remain permanently free of any visual obstruction.”
The application, submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council, has attracted several comments from residents, all of whose details have been redacted on the planning portal.
One says: “This is going back on a earlier promise by Soho House to give a small bit of the view back to Brighton, to allow people who cant afford a large club fee to still have a view of the pier from the lefthand side.
“Surely this view once gone, it will be gone forever and will set a precedence to other companies who might want to build something, that Brighton council is perfectly happy to stop the general public having any views of Brighton.”
Another says: “There is no way that the proposed fence respects the condition. Soho House Private Members Club takes a lot and gives little back to the people of Brighton and
It also says Soho House has built several structures on the roof it did not have permission for, including a steel flue pipe and about a dozen vents.
A resident of the Van Allen building opposite Soho House on Marine Parade who bought their flat after permission was granted but before it was built said: “I would not have bought my apartment if I had known that they would be allowed to flout the planning permission and get away with it.
“I was expecting a building with a shingle roof and a clear roof line with an unobstructed gap between the two buildings so I would have a lovely sea view from my apartment. Now I have to put up with a chimney blowing out thick black smoke 24/7 and to add salt to the wound they are now proposing taking away my view of the sea.”
A spokeswoman for Soho House said: “Most of our members live locally and working in partnership with the community is important to us.
“The proposed installation of the ornate slim metal profile gates and railing will preserve the sea view from Marine Parade.”
Brighton and Hove City Council, which owns the freehold of the site, confirmed that it would need to give permission for any external alterations to the site.