NEIGHBOURS are able to have their say on whether or not a developer should be required to replace vintage green tiles removed from a locally listed pub.

It comes after Charlie Southall abandoned plans to renovate the Montreal Arms in Brighton so Ukrainian refugees could be housed there when neighbours questioned his motives.

Instead, workers began removing the green tiles from the pub in Albion Hill, as Mr Southall handed out a leaflet claiming they were beyond repair.

Brighton and Hove City Council issued a stop notice, but not before large sections of the tiles had been destroyed.

The council issued an enforcement notice giving Mr Southall a year to reinstate the distinctive green tiles.

In April, his company, Dragonfly Architectural Services Ltd, and its planning agent Connor McCarron lodged an appeal against the notice.

This is now live on the planning inspectorate’s website - and interested parties have until Wednesday, August 3, to comment.

This gives the local community the chance to have their say in an official capacity.

The appeal, which effectively pauses the enforcement notice, will be heard via written representations.

The Argus: Workers hacking tiles off the Montreal Arms in Brighton Workers hacking tiles off the Montreal Arms in Brighton

Following the removal of the tiles, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas labelled Mr Southall’s actions as “terrible” and “utter vandalism”.

“This absolutely cannot go unchallenged,” she said.

Mr Southall previously said he had bought the pub “on a whim” before launching an £85,000 crowdfunder to do it up and allow Ukrainian women and children to live there for three years.

These plans would have involved a change of use from pub to residential, which the council will now only grant after a venue has been advertised as a pub for at least two years at a fair market rent with no interest.

A change of use to residential use would significantly increase the value of the building.

Hanover resident Ruth Boyd said if the aim was to convert the pub into housing for refugees, there was no need to remove the tiles.

“The fact that he’s chosen to attack the antique tiles – the most visible and arguably the most contentious part of the building – feels like a petty and bitter attack on the community,” she said.

“He doesn’t have planning permission or apparently the funds to do the necessary work for his ‘philanthropic project’ inside the building.

“Instead, he wastes time and money hacking away at the perfectly serviceable exterior of the property, knowing it would upset and offend those of us who want the Montreal to be able to continue as a public house.”

The previous owners, The Stonegate group, applied to remove the tiles last year. The application was withdrawn in October 2021 after objections.

A leaflet Mr Southall handed out to people asking why workers are removing the tiles stated: “The new property owner has exactly the same permitted development rights as any other property owner in the area, and it is entirely lawful for external features to be altered or removed.

“This is a privately owned property. Please respect the legal rights of the current property owner.”