A former police box is to be transformed into Brighton's smallest house.

The tiny building at the corner of Stanford Avenue and Ditchling Road, Fiveways, Brighton, was once a shelter for police to make a cup of tea and spend a penny.

But after more than 50 years serving the area bobbies, the building was sold for £92,000 in 2004 and was again auctioned in May last year.

The owner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, wants the 18 square metres of space to become a home for his student son.

A new kitchen and a separate bathroom will be installed as well as new windows.

Agents Lewis and Co Planning argue that the change of use from police box to house will improve the appearance of the area as the building is currently derelict.

The plot of land will also include a garden plus car and cycle parking space.

Luke Carter, of Lewis and Co Planning, said this will become the city's smallest detached house if the plans get the go-ahead.

He said: "If we do not get planning permission it will remain a derelict building - it will not transform into a flower garden on its own.

"It will be a perfectly reasonable size space for somebody and has got a garden, cycle parking space and car park space.

"We want to bring the building back into use, although it seems that the council's conservation team want to see it demolished.

"A lot of residents have written in to support the plan because people want to see it back in use."

The building is worth in excess of £100,000 and in 2004 another police box was sold in Margery Road, Hove, just off Old Shoreham Road, for £71,000.

The businessman who bought the box intended to use it for storage, office facilities and development.

The box was released by East Sussex County Council on the instructions of Sussex Police Authority in 2004.

Police records show it was built about 55 years ago and used as a base for beat officers. It has running water, phone lines and electricity.

Average house prices in Brighton and Hove have risen steeply in recent years to £276,895 in December and buyers have been forced to look at more unusual sites, such as garages, for new homes.

The planning application is likely to be dealt with on January 23.

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