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Planning brief for historic Hove baths 'will cause delay'
A developer has said a council move to shape his seafront redevelopment project of historic baths will delay it further.
Brighton and Hove City Council is calling on residents to suggest how the redevelopment of Medina House in Kings Esplanade, Hove, should look.
Developer Sirus Taghan said he was due to submit new plans for the site he has owned for 14 years but will now have to wait until the planning brief is finalised.
Conservationists welcomed the move as “a step in the right direction” but argued for tighter requirements on the building’s height and urged for greater emphasis to be placed on the historic significance of the site.
Council officers have drawn up a draft planning brief for the site which calls on any future development proposal to “not overpower” neighbouring properties and to retain the original Arabic influenced tiling on a neighbouring property.
A failure by developers to follow the conditions of a planning brief could see their plans rejected although it has no formal legal powers.
Mr Taghan said new plans for the site, which had cost him £1 million in architects’ fees since 1999, would involve an eight storey property which would be “dwarfed” by neighbouring buildings.
He added: “It’s unusual for a council to order a planning brief for a smaller project, usually it’s for something large like King Alfred.
“We were ready to submit the application but were told by the council not to until we get this brief.”
Valerie Paynter, of Save Hove, said: “What the planning brief will do is limited because it doesn’t have statutory force but it does have to be taken into consideration and Mr Taghan can’t ignore it.”
Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of the council’s economic development and culture committee said: “Medina House has a fascinating history and is well loved by many residents.
“I look forward to seeing the draft proposals which I hope will pave the way for potential developers to draw up a scheme that will see the building and surrounding area preserved for future generations.”
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