INITIAL plans for a new eight-storey apartment block overlooking Hove Lawns have been damned with faint praise.

A sketch of the new building, planned for Kingsway between Braemore and Berriedale roads, was shared on Twitter on Wednesday night by ward councillor Robert Nemeth.

One respondent wrote: “Not showing much sympathy to its surroundings, or in contrast making a bold statement. Just bad.”

The plans come from Chichester-based Agenda Homes, and follow the acquisition of the easternmost three of the six small houses on the block.

Cllr Nemeth said: “Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn and I are encouraged so far by the developer’s willingness to be open with neighbours and their representatives over what is proposed.

“We are happy too that we aren’t starting from a silly position where something highly unsuitable is being proposed that stands no chance of getting through.

“However, I am currently underwhelmed by the design and will not be adding my support unless huge steps are made on several issues including materials and detailing.

“Those living behind will need to have their say and I hope that the developer is willing to compromise in that regard. Hove seafront should be attracting buildings of great quality, not identikit boxes that could go anywhere.”

The sketch shows a boxy eight-storey building, partially covered with white render, with balconies at the eastern and western edges.

Reaction online was mixed.

The official account for the city’s Green Party tweeted: “It is a modest effort, well suited to a dull suburban environment. Did they know it was for Brighton or by the sea?”

Graeme Davis replied: “Broadly positive. In keeping with area. As a resident living a few yards away I would like to see this happen.”

And the account for the Brighton Property Blog tweeted: “To be fair more ambitious proposals for seafront sites have been met with fierce objection, can you blame developers for playing it safe?”

But several others disapproved, calling it “lumpish” or a “carbuncle”.

Jamie Barratt, of Agenda Homes, said: “We are in the first stages of developing a design which will complement the surrounding properties, be considerate to neighbours and the local community, and combine high quality materials with excellent architectural detail.

“Having met with the planning department, local stakeholder groups, and residents, the architects are excited to be taking on board their comments to further hone our development proposal.”