A developer who has come under fire for planning to build flats next to a historic music venue believes both can “coexist”.

Developer Tim Clapham, director of at least two property companies in the city, wants to build six flats next to Alphabet in Dyke Road, Brighton.

The venue is in a Grade II-listed building and has hosted music since the 1960s but fears closure if plans are approved at Norwood House next door.

Alphabet owner Will Howell told The Argus that noise complaints from future tenants could force his live music venue to close.

The Argus: Alphabet pictured to the right and Norwood House directly next to it in Dyke RoadAlphabet pictured to the right and Norwood House directly next to it in Dyke Road (Image: Google Earth)

Mr Clapham, director of Clapham Properties, said he believes the venue and homes can both exist next to each other.

The 52-year-old said he would consider a deed of easement to help legally protect the venue from noise complaints in the future. He also said he was in favour of venues being "safeguarded" in the city centre.

He said: “The position of both Norwood House and the nightclub is on a busy main road and in close proximity to the Churchill Square shopping centre. People choosing to live in a city centre are not deterred by the mix of retail and leisure on their doorstep, they are more likely to be actively seeking a thriving neighbourhood.

The Argus: Tim Clapham at an event at the Brighton Metropole in August 2010Tim Clapham at an event at the Brighton Metropole in August 2010 (Image: Sam Stephenson/Argus archive)

“The flats we’ve proposed will not be for sale, they will be available for rent along with commercial space on the lower floors. We envisage our tenants would be people who want to live and work in the centre of Brighton and appreciate all that our vibrant city hub has to offer.

“Brighton and Hove has a chronic shortage of homes and it’s sad when people jump on a bandwagon to complain without understanding the facts of new schemes.”

The planning application for Norwood House, 9 Dyke Road, has already received more than 100 objections.

It comes after uproar at plans for an office block and holiday lets next door to the Prince Albert music pub in Trafalgar Street.

Councillors had concerns about the proposed four-storey block being overbearing and said the pub should be protected due to its popularity.

The Argus: A gig by Islandman at the venue in November 2023A gig by Islandman at the venue in November 2023 (Image: The Argus)

Will Howell, venue owner, said: “It is my responsibility to the historical building and its continued operation that drives my objection.

“Our licence, our different service areas, our ties within the Brighton music and education community, and how we provide a service, are all imperative to making this live music venue continue. 

“All these individual parts are under threat from the proposed development, in order to compete we need different revenue streams to complement our trade, so we can operate with no harm down the line.”

A noise assessment in the application claims that if specialist acoustic products were used on the floors, walls and ceilings of each room in the planned flats, noise from the venue would “not pose a constraint” on the proposed development.

The Argus: Alphabet with Norwood House pictured in the background next doorAlphabet with Norwood House pictured in the background next door (Image: The Argus)

Objections fear that despite this, the plan for flats should still be seen as an “existential risk to the venue”.

One person said: “It will inevitably lead the council, one day, to have to deal with new residents' complaints about noise. Noise that should be there as it is an excellent grassroots music venue - an asset to the city.”

Tim Clapham is also behind plans to turn a crime-ridden former hostel into 36 flats in Kinsgway, Hove, with one of his other companies St Catherine's Ltd.

The consultation runs until February 5 and can be found on Brighton and Hove City Council's planning portal.