A millionaire property developer who ripped historic green tiles off his pub has submitted two plans to replace them and change the use of the building.

Charlie Southall, owner of the Montreal Arms in Brighton, was ordered to repair or replace the tiles which were hacked away by workers in March 2022.

The act, which came after Mr Southall abandoned a crowdfunder to renovate the pub to house Ukrainian refugees, caused uproar across the city and was described as “utter vandalism” by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.

Brighton and Hove City Council issued an enforcement notice following the incident, requiring the tiles to be replaced by July this year.

One new plan submitted by Mr Southall would see the existing green tiles laser scanned and replicated by specialists at Craven Dunnill and put back on the bottom of the building.

Another, submitted at the same time, says the tiles would be put on the first floor of the building and the lower part of the building, where the green tiles originally were, would be replaced by a dark green render.

The Argus: The Montreal Arms in BrightonThe Montreal Arms in Brighton (Image: The Argus/Andrew Gardner)

Both planning applications ask permission for the “part demolition of the building and erection of ground floor and first floor extensions, the replacement of windows and doors, revised fenestration, facade alterations, roof alterations including raising the roof ridge height and all associated works”.

Plans for the tiles to be placed on the first floor state: “The facade will be adapted to pay homage to the building’s heritage, whilst ensuring longevity.” 

“This will involve repositioning the green tiles to higher levels, safeguarding them against street-level wear and tear, as observed in the previous facade.

“We acknowledge the council issued enforcement notice, which calls for the reinstatement of glazed ceramic tiles to the facade of the building.

“We confirm our intention to comply with the enforcement notice and hope that planning officers will take into consideration a newly designed tiled facade using replica tiles which are the same size, shape, colour and finish as the originals.”

Planning documents said a "patch repair" would result in “very few” original tiles remaining and could lead to the neglect of further structural repairs.

“Additionally, the outcome of such a patch repair would be unsightly,” documents said.

“Despite our efforts to source replica tiles, disparities in glaze and finish due to age differences would be inevitable.”

The building is said to be in a state of “serious disrepair”, is falling apart and there is a threat of falling debris.

The scope of work required to repair the building would include the “complete overhaul of the building's external envelope”.

“Every component of the building’s fabric is marred by deterioration and necessitates substantial upgrading or replacement,” planning documents state.

“An overt threat of falling debris due to corrosion and expansive forces in structural elements.

“A bathroom on the first floor is on the brink of collapse.”

Developers say the ground floor unit offers “versatility” that would be suitable for a cafe, bakery, or potential re-establishment as a public house.

But they said due to the pub’s “lack of success” a different use would be “more viable”.

“The layout of the site, diminished trade and trade potential, abundance of local competition and, perhaps more importantly, the vast increase in operating costs would, in our opinion, suggest that an alternative use for the site would be more viable in the future,” documents said.

“While this application designates the first floor as a residential dwelling, it could alternatively serve as a co-working space, leveraging the private rear entrance to offer secure 24/7 access.

“We are of the opinion that this utilization would not only enhance the building's functionality but also contribute positively to the community.”