Pilbrow & Partners has won permission to build a new home for author Polly Samson and her husband, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, within a former Turkish Baths in Hove, Sussex
Brighton & Hove councillors narrowly voted to allow the 15-room house, despite the existing building, Medina House, being in a conservation area on the seafront. Commitee chairwoman Julie Cattell delivered the casting vote after the committee was spilt.
Medina House was built in 1894 for the Hove Bath and Laundry Company, designed by architect PB Chambers. Empty for the last 20 years, the site has had a long and chequered history with designs by a slew of architects – including schemes by Lomax Cassidy & Edwards, John McAslan & Partners and Camillin Denny – either withdrawn or refused (pictured bottom).
In 2006, developer Deltastar faced accusations of copyright infringement from Danish giant 3XN after it released images of a concept scheme it claimed to have drawn up in-house.
Planning officers recommended approval of Pilbrow & Partners’ scheme, arguing that misgivings about the scale and materials of the proposals did not outweigh the benefits.
In a report to councillors, they said: ‘The dilapidation of Medina House is a factor that cannot be ignored in considering the future for this building.
‘From the documents submitted it is evident that the likelihood of the existing building being restored to its former condition or a development comprising the retention the existing façade, is now considered remote by the councils’ heritage officer.
‘Further deterioration would reduce the positive contribution the building makes to the conservation area.’
Speaking to the planning committee, Pilbrow & Partners partner Keb Garavito Bruhn said: ‘We would like to take an alternative approach to many of those that have been proposed in the past to salvage some of the character and spirit of the building that remains on the site as well as to retain and incorporate the tiles which were an important remnant within what was the pool enclosure of the bath house.’
He also said that the building was higher than its predecessor to ensure privacy as well as protecting against flood risk.
The officers report also said that a number of windows in neighbouring properties would not receive the amount of sunlight recommended by the Building Research Establishment.
Previous proposals for median house