HUNDREDS of residents are opposed to plans to replace Sussex’s ugliest building with what they have termed a “mega-block”.

More than 800 signatures have been collected in opposition to plans to level Anston House in Preston Road, Brighton, and build three towers of up to 15-storeys high.

Opponents to the scheme, led by Dyke Road Drive Residents Association, claim the new scheme is a return to the “tower blocks of the 1960s and 70s”.

The association say the scheme will be one of the biggest single-site developments in Brighton’s history and would overshadow Preston Park and its rotunda and rose garden attractions.

The petition criticises the lack of affordable flats, the absence of homes dedicated to key workers in the city and the “poor space standards” of many of the flats.

The petition concludes by saying: “This development is not worth changing our city so fundamentally for if the developers are offering us so little in return.

“Please reject this development and look instead for a more positive building that Brighton can be proud of on this important site. Brighton deserves better.”

Developers First Base want to build 229 homes on the site of the nine-storey eyesore which has remained derelict since 1988 with ground-floor co-worker start-up spaces for up to 280 entrepreneurs.

It is estimated the scheme, designed by leading architects Conran+Partners, would bring an additional £6 million to the city in local spend from new residents and businesses.

Eeva Paasiaro, development manager at First Base, said: “Over the past year we have listened to residents, businesses and local stakeholders and we are grateful for the support received.

“People have welcomed our plans for private and affordable homes, shared our passion for high quality design and architecture, appreciated that the buildings are planned to minimise impact on Preston Park and neighbouring properties and worked with us to develop proposals which will support businesses in Brighton with much needed workspace.

“We look forward to continuing to hear from residents and businesses over the coming months.”

A decision on the plans is expected in October with residents encouraged to submit their comments on the scheme to the city council before Wednesday’s deadline.

To sign the petition, go to