Medina House: Arson investigation and calls for compulsory purchase

An arson investigation was launched after fire caused significant damage to Medina House.

Medina1An arson investigation was launched after fire caused significant damage to Medina House, an historic former Turkish baths in King's Esplanade, Hove.

Five fire engines were called to the fire - the second in less than two years - at 5.40pm on Saturday (December 20). The swift response to the late-afternoon emergency meant the fire was extinguished before the building was destroyed.

Campaigners have since launched a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to issue a compulsory purchase order to safeguard the Victorian landmark.

Medina House was built in 1894 as a women's Turkish bath; a neighbouring building that used to house a swimming pool has been demolished.

MedinaDrawingAccording to campaigners, the building - in the Cliftonville Conservation Area - was bought 16 years ago for £300,000 by Sirus Taghan from what was Hove Borough Council.

Land Registry records, however, show it changed hands for £150,000 as recently as 2012, when it was bought by Ardeshir Taghan, 59, and Mohammed Jafari, a 58-year-old Iranian businessman.

A planning application was submitted on November 19 by Sirus Taghan, of Globe Homes, to demolish the bullding and build a three- and four-stroey block of eight two-bedroom flats.