THE multi-millionaire owner of one of Brighton’s most prized buildings is being warned he faces legal action after covering the Grade I listed property with a giant advert.

Brighton and Hove City Council is investigating whether the giant British Airways hoarding now covering Marlborough House in the Old Steine breaches planning rules.

Owner Tony Antoniades said he had been given the go ahead from council heritage officers for the advert which would help pay for restoration work on the 250-year-old building.

Heritage experts claim it is the latest example of the owner’s “complete disregard” for planning laws having already called for council action earlier this year when the building’s facade was painted.

A planning application for the advert was only received by the council on May 18 and has yet to be determined.

Mr Antoniades has owned the property for more than 15 years during which time it has remained vacant and has seen period features lost because of fire, theft or have been removed according to Regency Town House honorary secretary Nick Tyson.

He said: “This is a typical example of his disregard for the planning process.

“[Mr Antoniades] is incapable of understanding the significance of the building and the strategies needed to look after it.

“Enforcement action is not sufficient.

“The local authority does not have the resources to get into a game of Russian roulette over any awarding of costs and so it gives him carte blanche to do what he wants.”

Regency Society chairman Roger Hinton said: “It is a very significant building and it has been mistreated over the years.

“It is frustrating when planning is applied for retrospectively but this is so blatant and to such an important building, serious action has to be taken.

“It shows a complete disregard for planning laws.

“We would like to see its owner behaving properly. It is not for us to say who should own this building but whoever it is should be treating it properly.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “The painting of the building was carried out without the necessary Listed Building Consent.

“It is being investigated and the owner faces possible action.

“The advertisement on the scaffolding has also been installed without the necessary advertisement consent, though there is an application awaiting registration.”

Greg King, of large format advertising experts Infinity Outdoors, said: “It has been fully approved. Under SPD7, it allows for an advertisement on a building as long as work is going ahead.

“I’m sure people would rather have something that is covering the structure.

“Anything that raises money to look after this building has got to be a good thing.”


MARLBOROUGH House owner Tony Antoniades hopes the former home of MPs and dukes can become a high-end restaurant or private members’ club.

The wealthy businessman has commissioned property agents Knights Frank and Graves Jenkins to find a new tenant for the 250-year-old building.

Plans for The Ivy restaurant have faltered because of a dispute with a neighbouring landowner while a proposed mansion for a Chinese millionaire floundered with Brexit.

Mr Antoniades said he bought the building as HQ for his IT firm Eurolink but the company didn’t grow as expected.

He said: “Ideally I want to see people streaming in and out of the building, I would want to see it as a commercial building. Its position is not ideal for a single home, it’s too much of a goldfish bowl, but we might consider planning for a number of units.”

Critics of his ownership claim Mr Antoniades who has scuppered numerous plans to restore the property.

Nick Tyson of the Regency Town House said: “Over the years business and individuals have made proposals for a business headquarters, a club, a hotel, and every time he sends them away because they won’t meet his asking price.

“Either they are all wrong or he is wrong and he won’t be able to get the market value he thinks he can.”

Mr Antoniades responded: “I have had 15 different approaches since I bought it and I have said yes to everything but then it comes to planning and they say you can’t move that piece of wood even if it’s only 50 years old.”

Mr Tyson said: “The building is in great jeopardy. The risk of another West Pier is immense if someone were to break into it and either accidentally or deliberately start a fire.”

Mr Antoniades said the building was in better condition than when he took it on, adding: “I am not the best man to preserve Marlborough House, I’m just a good custodian waiting for someone to realise their dream.”