The Tolerated Destruction & Squalor of Historic Medina House
2 May 2012…..This historic 1890’s saltwater bathhouse was sold to Sirus Taghan by Hove Borough Council just as Hove was being merged with Brighton back in about 1998. He bought it for some £300,00, got permission for some low-rise redevelopment and then attempted over ensuing years to gain consent for a tall building. Every new attempt has failed.
Some 14 years after the sale of this historic bath house – its original ticket wicket still there, and wood-panelled extensively, it is in a squalidly vandalised state. Sadly, it is also the last surviving saltwater bathhouse in the area.
The picture above shows you the demolished baths area (demolished by Sirus Taghan), its vandalised Royal Doulton tiling remnants mostly stripped out. BHCC has been slow to take on board the need to act but eventually slapped an enforcement notice on it at the end of 2011. One month later it inexplicably granted Taghan an extension until 1st June 2012 to unbrick windows and make good in a host of other ways.
Amy Smith wrote a wonderful academic paper on this building and its Royal Doulton tiling within the context of its exotic Victorian bathhouse tradition. This is the last bathhouse standing in Brighton and Hove to my knowledge. You will also find four terrifically useful articles here on Amy’s website too, the last written in November 2011 when the Enforcement order was made.
BHCC seeks to avoid prosecuting Taghan and is bending over backward to accommodate the man vandalising this part of Hove seafront. The time has come for saveHOVE to demand that Medina House be saved for the city with a compulsory purchase order.
Please email Geoffrey.Bowden@brighton-hove.gov.uk to ask that BHCC save this building for restoration and re-use or even to do up and sell on. But to compulsory purchase it with no further delay.