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£1m Brighton property disappears
10:30am Wednesday 8th August 2012 in News
It was intended as a modest extension to a family home in one of the most expensive streets in Sussex.
But, three years after planning approval for the scheme was granted, the original £1 million property has gone. All that is left is bare chalk, broken bricks and an unspoilt view of the sea.
But today The Argus can reveal that the owner of the house in Roedean Crescent, Brighton, plans to rebuild the building from scratch so it will look exactly the same to those passing by.
It comes as Brighton and Hove City Council said it was investigating owner Henry Pell for carrying out the demolition without planning permission. The local authority said the only thing that was approved was a two-storey side and rear extension with a detached garage.
But a worker at the site yesterday, who did not want to be named, said once construction started, the rest of the property was found to be unsafe.
He said: “The front of the house was completely unsalvageable But, once we have got the foundations sorted, we’ll start building and the front of the house will look exactly the same. The only difference will be inside the house and a third floor will be created in the roof space.”
Mr Pell was not available to comment last night as he was on holiday with his family abroad.
A neighbour said: “You would have thought with all that work going on that we would have been affected by the dust. But it has been really quiet. We haven’t heard a thing.”
The Argus understands similar materials are being used in the rebuild as the original six-bedroom home.
However, council officials said work will only be able to start once a revised planning application is approved.
Christopher Hawtree, the chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “It’s important to apply for permission before starting work as there is no guarantee that subsequent plans for the site will be approved.
“This particular area has imposing, individually designed family homes with interesting architectural features, and is part of the Roedean estate, which dates back to the 1930s.”
According to online estate valuers Zoopla, the property is valued at about £1 million.
The council is not able to fine the owners as the property is not listed or in a conservation area. However, it can issue a written warning.
According to public planning papers, the designated architect is McMillan Architects of Queen Square, Brighton.
Proposals were first submitted three years ago and approved in 2010 with alterations agreed as late as March this year.
A revised application, which will include details about restoring the demolished house, is expected to be submitted to the local authority in the coming weeks.