12 September 2013

Residents shape future for historic bath house on Hove seafront

City residents have helped to shape a new planning guide which aims to preserve historic Medina House on Hove seafront.

Earlier this summer, Brighton & Hove City Council asked residents for their views on the future of Medina House as part of a public consultation. Their comments have now been incorporated in a final planning brief which aims to help guide any future development plans for Medina House and the adjacent land.

Members of the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee will be asked to approve the planning brief at a meeting on September 19.

Medina House is the last remaining building from the Medina Baths era, and is now a locally listed building on the local list of heritage assets.

Over the years, a number of planning applications have been refused or withdrawn - the two most recently refused applications sought the demolition of the building.

Following council intervention, some repair work has been carried out to Medina House, but the building is still in a state of disrepair.

To help guide any future development plans for Medina House and the adjacent land, officers from Brighton & Hove City Council prepared a draft planning brief and launched a public consultation.

Businesses, local residents and other interested parties, groups and societies were invited to comment on the council’s plans.

The results showed a high level of support with 76% of respondents either in favour of the overall direction of the Medina House Planning Brief and/or in support of the council’s proposals to retain and refurbish Medina House.

English Heritage also welcomed the planning brief which supports the retention and reuse of Medina House with a development similar in height built on the adjoining land.

In addition, the brief encourages the restoration of features such as the original Arabic influenced tiling on the southern end of the adjoining Victorian terrace of cottages. The brief encourages development proposals that promote sustainable transport such as cycling and says that car-free housing can be considered on the site.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee said: “Medina House has a fascinating history and is well loved by the local community.

“I am pleased that residents have taken the opportunity to add their comments through the public consultation and have assisted our officers in producing a final planning brief that aims to preserve the building and surrounding area for future generations.”

Although the proposed brief does not have the status of a statutory planning document it will be a material planning consideration in the determination of any planning application for the Medina House site.