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Court battle to restore art deco building

Embassy Court is the slice of wedding cake seafront still to be iced, a court heard.

The latest round in a long-running legal fight to restore the crumbling block of flats on the Brighton-Hove border started at Brighton County Court yesterday.

Residents living in the block, in King's Road, hope the court case will mean the end of years of legal wrangling, which has prevented the listed art deco building from being repaired.

The complex case, which is due to last at least a week, is related to claims and counter-claims involving residents and investors in the building.

The lessees, who own the freehold and formed a company called Bluestorm, have applied for a ruling ordering Portvale Holdings, which owns nine of the 72 flats, to pay its service charges.

A counter-claim has been issued by Chris Camillin, solicitor for Portvale Holdings, who also owns 15 flats, against Bluestorm. He wants the court to make a specific performance order, which would force the freeholder to restore the 12-storey building.

Jonathan Small, representing Bluestorm, told the court: "Embassy Court is one piece of the wedding cake seafront that remains to be iced."

He said Bluestorm believed it had no choice but to carry on with the legal action in order to restore the building to its former glory, estimated at costing £4.5million.

The hearing continues.

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