Conservationists say a city council should consider demolishing Sixties eyesores instead of finding new sites for tall buildings.

The Brighton Society is asking members to comment on Brighton and Hove City Council's draft policy on tall buildings.

This recommends eight possible areas but emphasises they would have to pass a stringent checklist before they could be built.

Brighton Society secretary Selma Montford said it was possible tall buildings could be allowed at Shoreham harbour and at the marina provided they were not higher than the cliffs.

The King Alfred site could be suitable for a single block and only the hospital site was suitable in Eastern Road.

In the London Road area, only land west of Preston Park was possible.

The society says there is no case for tall buildings near Brighton station, St Bartholomew's Church or in the North Laine area.

Mrs Montford said: "The opportunity should be taken to identify tall buildings for demolition when the chance arises.

"The city should learn from the damage which has been inflicted on the townscape by most of the existing tall buildings and should not believe that surrounding them with clusters of more tall buildings will lessen the damage.

"Their detrimental effect could well be increased."

Tall buildings should not be built on the floors of valleys or built as a focus for parks and open spaces.

Mrs Montford said: "These do not achieve higher densities than other forms of development. There are other means of achieving this.

"It has been claimed cities around the world are all developing tall buildings.

"This only applies to very large cities and not those the size of Brighton and Hove. Historic cities certainly do not want tall buildings."

Comments should be delivered to the council by December 19 and the strategy will be firmed early next year.

Thursday December 11, 2003