The developer behind a proposed 42-storey tower block unanimously thrown out by councillors is attempting to overturn the decision.

The Beetham Organisation, which wants to build a high-rise luxury hotel on the Brighton station site, has launched an appeal against Brighton and Hove City Council's rejection of its planning application.

It has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which will carry out a public inquiry and make its own ruling on whether the building should be allowed.

People living in the North Laine area adjacent to the site have vowed to fight the appeal and residents are being urged to write to the inspectorate with objections to the scheme.

The plans, which include a four-star luxury hotel, a conference centre, gym, restaurant, caf and 146 flats, were thrown out at a council planning committee meeting last April.

Councillors said the tower, which would be visible for miles and would be the tallest building in Sussex, would stick out like a sore thumb and the design was bland and boring.

Planning officers gave 20 reasons for refusing the application, saying the building would be intrusive, overbearing and harmful to its surroundings.

They said Beetham had failed to demonstrate that adequate sustainability and efficiency measures would be put into place, that the building would not block out sunlight or that necessary infrastructure would be put into place.

Before the public inquiry, interested parties can make submissions to the Planning Inspectorate.

Beetham confirmed that an appeal had been made but did not wish to comment.

Barry Leigh, planning representative of the North Laine Community Association, of Kensington Place, Brighton, said: "We did expect this as a company like Beetham does not go away after spending a lot of money on the proposals.

"We need as many people as possible to write in opposing the tower."

No date has been set for the inquiry but any submissions have to be made by December 20.

The Planning Inspectorate recommends submissions are made in the following format:

Name and address
Quote the Beetham Organisation Ltd, Brighton Station Site Block J, Application no. BH2005/00136/FP, Appeal reference no. APP/Q1445/A/05/1190617
Statement "I am against the appeal" or "I support the appeal"

Reasons for opposing or supporting the appeal and the plans
Send three copies of any submissions to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 4/04 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005