The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Sheer class Emma Weymouth, Marchiones­s of Bath, 37, attends the amfAR Gala in Cannes during the film festival. Soho House at war in Brighton over beachfront fence

- By Riya Makwana

Residents accuse members club of ‘taking the mickey’ over art deco gates they say would block sea view

BRIGHTON residents have urged councillor­s to oppose plans for Soho House to build a 6ft (two-metre) fence over fears their sea views will be blocked.

The private members’ club has applied for permission to erect an art deco “boundary treatment”, including a wrought-iron fence with an elaborate decorative entrance, along the city’s sea front.

Soho House says that the installati­on will provide its guests, who pay an annual fee of £2,750 for access to its clubs, with privacy as well as adding another entrance to the building.

But neighbours have opposed the club’s plans, which would also add tall plants, deep planters and large shrubberie­s to the fence to provide more cover. Residents are concerned that the new boundary would block their sea views and bring more traffic to the road in front of the building as a result.

Others complained it would lower property prices in the area.

In a complaint written to Brighton and Hove council, a local said: “This proposed two-metre fence would remove a sea view totally and devalue our property with immediate effect.”

Another wrote: “We look to you as our planning department to consider the council tax paying residents and not simply railroad us by bending to pressure from lucrative companies such as Soho House.”

“Soho House Private Members Club takes a lot and gives little back to the people of Brighton and Hove,” a third concerned neighbour added.

One resident accused Soho House of “taking the p--s”, adding: “They already have their private sea-view terrace and I struggle to see why they should remove any access to a view for the general population of Brighton just because they can? It is absolutely not acceptable.

“Was this the plan all along? To abide by some planning regulation­s and then slowly achieve their original rebutted design plan along the softly, softly, monkey-catcher methodolog­y by incrementa­lly sliding back to their original plan with no ramificati­ons.”

A spokesman for Soho House said: “Most of our members live locally and working in partnershi­p with the community is important to us. The proposed installati­on of the ornate slim metal profile gates and railing will preserve the sea view from Marine Parade.”

Soho House, which runs 41 clubs around the world, was granted permission to build on the Grade II listed site on Marine Parade in 2016, but with a planning condition which stated a sea view between two new rooftop buildings must be preserved.Brighton and Hove council declined to comment.

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