The owners of three listed hotels which painted themselves in striking dark colours are being ordered to repaint them in the old, neutral colours.
Brighton Black Hotel at number 17 Charlotte Street, which has been painted black, will now have to be repainted pale blue, as will the navy blue Brighton Surf Guest House at number 16.
And Paskins Town House, which is in number 18 and 19, will have to revert from aubergine to cream.
Brighton and Hove City Council served enforcement notices on the owners of the three hotels in Charlotte Street, Kemp Town, this month. They now have until October next year to comply, unless any appeals are lodged.
Phil Willmann from Paskins Town House, said the council had first talked to them about the paint as he and his daughter had been dealing with a family bereavement, as well as the upheaval of Covid, Brexit and soaring energy costs.
And he questioned why other listed buildings which have been painted in colourful shades, including one in the same street, were not being served similar orders.
He said: “Suddenly we have been threatened once again with financial ruin and prison for the crime of responsible conservation of a property which needs expensive maintenance.
“Other properties in the local area are not always well maintained but the council choses to ignore this.
The current owner operators of Paskins have consistently acted to preserve, maintain and conserve this property for the good of their guests, as local employers and for the greater good.”
He said the hotel was intending to appeal the order.
Jeremy Mann, the owner of Brighton Surf Guest House, said: “If it was some horrible colour or something, I would understand.
“If all the buildings were painted the same colour, it would be a bit boring.”
The notices have been served because repainting listed buildings in significantly different colours requires planning permission. All four buildings are Grade II listed.
The orders require the owners to: “Repaint the listed building to restore the principal elevation to the colour existing immediately prior to the