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£3 million plan for bath house site
3:00pm Tuesday 8th May 2012 in News
A developer says he is preparing to unveil his latest multi-million plans for a Victorian bath house.
Sirus Taghan says he hopes to submit plans for a seven-storey residential block to Brighton and Hove City Council at the site of Medina House in King’s Esplanade, Hove.
Developers want to begin work on the £3million plans, drawn up in conjunction with property firm Savills, by the end of the year if permission is granted.
The news comes in the same week as the council agreed to extend an enforcement notice to clean up the former Turkish bath house site until the end of the month.
In September last year, the property’s owners Anis and Sirus Taghan, who bought the property in 1997, were given six months to repair windows, rendering and doors at the property and this deadline has been extended to June 1.
Compulsory purchase Conservation campaigners are calling on the council to take control of the property through a compulsory purchase order in order to preserve the building.
Concerns have also been raised about a number of van dwellers and caravans camped out at the site for months while neighbours say only minor repairs have been carried out at the site since the enforcement notice was issued.
Three applications to build flats at the site, which first opened as baths in 1894, have previously been rejected.
Valerie Paynter of Save Hove said: “This is the last bath house standing in Brighton and Hove to my knowledge. The council seeks to avoid prosecuting Taghan and is bending over backward to accommodate the man vandalising this part of Hove seafront.
“The time has come for Save Hove to demand that Medina House be saved for the city with a compulsory purchase order.”
Mr Taghan said: “It will be slightly smaller than the previous applications.
“We have been talking to the council about what they want from the plans.”
He added that original tiles from the bathhouse on a wall in the courtyard would be maintained and unaffected by the development.
A council spokesman said they would not hesitate to take legal action if their current approach was not successful. He said: “The owner had requested an extension as he was awaiting the outcome of a planning appeal which has now been dismissed.
“Our planning enforcement policy favours compliance over punishment and we have had a number of successes with this approach including the former nursing home Lawnscroft in Kingsway, Hove.”