“OVERBEARING” plans to demolish three houses and build a block of flats on the seafront have been refused.

Councillors voted seven to three against the application for the corner of Kingsway and Braemore Road in Hove.

The proposed 37 flats were in an eight-storey block, stepping down to five storeys.

Brighton and Hove City Council planning committee rejected the scheme because the building was in front of the neighbouring houses and would be overbearing and overlook them.

Amy Urpi, whose home backs on to the site, said just six metres separated her property from the five storeys at the back of the planned building. Light would be lost from her family’s main living space, even though the report described the side window as the kitchen.

She said: “My children play in the garden every day throughout the year.

“Building these flats will affect the health of my two small children as they will be playing next to a car park.”

The home of neighbour Wayne Coley, immediately to the west of the proposed flats, is attached to the house that was planned for demolition.

The flats would have been forward of his home, meaning seven floors of residents able to look into his house – which would have been in full shadow for half the day.

Mr Coley told councillors he had no information about how the back of his home would be left “hanging in the air”.

The committee was told this was not a planning consideration.

After the decision, he said he was “ecstatic”, adding: “I’m just happy they have taken note of the building line. We’re not against it being developed but only developed without stepping in front of the building line.

“Now I would like evidence of how they are going to rebuild part of my house.”

Wish ward councillors Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer Dunn spoke against the application.

Cllr Nemeth was unhappy with the design and expressed concern about the small distances between the development and existing houses.

He also raised the issue of the lost gardens from the three family homes that would result in loss of wildlife habitat.

He said: “There could be living walls, bee bricks and swift boxes. Instead we get two car parks and token trees.”

Cllr Peltzer Dunn reminded the committee planning officers had described the development as “overbearing” in the report.

Agenda Homes chief executive Jamie Barrett told councillors his company had carried out extensive pre-application work, consulting with neighbours since starting the planning process in 2017.