PLANS to turn a language school into a guest house with ten bedrooms have been thrown out.

The owner, Avante Ltd, denied the property in Holland Road, Hove, was intended to be a party house.

But councillors were told the planning permission would apply to the property not the owner so if the place was sold or leased – with permission to be used as “visitor accommodation” – it could end up becoming a party house.

Council officers had backed the proposed change of use, despite neighbours’ fears it would host stag and hen parties.

Avante’s director Robert Webb, 73, is also a director of Stagfleet, a “management consultancy” best known for buying the Brighton gay club Revenge in 2004.

One objector, David Shaw, who lives next to the old Sprachcaffe language school, had no faith in the promise of a noise management plan.

He said it would need to be policed but there would be no staff on site to do so and short-stay visitors with no stake in the community would be less likely to follow the rules.

Mr Shaw said: “Planning policy can help bring about changes for the better – or the worse. This change of use would be for the worse. It can be so – but it doesn’t have to be so. Please exercise your judgment.

“Party houses don’t make good neighbours so they have to be in the right place – and this is not the right place and will lead to foreseeable problems.”

The Argus: Hannah Clare spoke out about neighbours' concernsHannah Clare spoke out about neighbours' concerns

Green councillor Hannah Clare, who represents Brunswick and Adelaide ward, which includes Holland Road, said neighbours and community groups were worried, not least because noise from the gardens in the area tended to echo.

She said noise and disturbance at weekends was unlikely to be followed up until a Monday when it would be too late for those who had had their weekend ruined.

She said: “Residents have concerns that a noise management plan might not be adequate – and so do I. It won’t be enforced and won’t be enforceable.”

The transport options were woefully inadequate, she said. People would come by car but the property was next to a busy junction.

Alex Legendre, who runs the Igigi shop in Western Road, Hove, spoke for Avante, which has been based in Brighton and Hove for about 20 years.

She said: “We work very hard to restore old buildings. The project that we want to work on in Holland Road is not a party house. It’s about creating a beautiful venue for family gatherings and weddings.

“None of our properties have ever been party houses (but) no one even came to us and asked. People have let their imaginations run wild.”

The committee refused the application on the grounds of increased noise and disturbance and the detrimental effect on the amenity.