Derelict former car showroom site in Lewes Road, Brighton, May 2023Derelict former car showroom site in Lewes Road, Brighton, May 2023


Co-owner of abandoned ex-car showroom was fined over death at another derelict site – report

  • Derelict former dealership site in Brighton has been labelled dangerous
  • Owners have been urged by council to take action over it to make it safe
  • Co-owner was jointly fined over death of man at another derelict site

Time 11:38 am, April 18, 2024

The co-owner of a derelict and arson-hit former car showroom site condemned as dangerous was previously fined after someone died at another of his disused locations, it has been revealed.

The ex-dealership site in Lewes Road, Brighton, is jointly owned by John Blankson, and according to Brighton and Hove News, the 69-year-old, his firm and a co-director were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2010 for the tragic accident at a building site of theirs just over a mile away.

Blankson, his company PIB (UK) and co-director Steven Moore were fined £15,000 after 24-year-old Edward Dean got on to the building site in Seven Dials, tumbled into a basement courtyard over an edge that was unprotected and died.

The ex-showroom site, which is understood to have been formerly occupied by Scotts Garage, is also owned by 63-year-old Mark Buckle and 66-year-old Emmanuel Blankson.

Brighton and Hove News reported that the local council said this month that after the Lewes Road site suffered three fires and a teenager was said to have fallen through the roof of an empty building, it was seeking action from the owners to ensure the site was properly secured.

The council also urged people to report to the HSE anyone they saw loitering or playing there.

Brighton and Hove News quoted Tiffany Williams, co-owner of the neighbouring Kicks Martial Arts Centre in Lewes Road, as saying: ‘We are regularly aware of people wandering in and out of the back exit.

‘A couple of weeks ago, I told two young teenage boys who were around the back of the site to get out, and waited until they’d left.

‘They were messing around and one had fallen through the roof so his friend was waiting for him to climb out. Both were OK but I told them how unsafe it was and to not go in there again.’

Permission to build flats there was given to Blankson in 2020 but it expired in 2023 after work never got under way.

A request for comment failed to elicit a response.

Pictured at top via Google Street View is the derelict ex-showroom site in Brighton

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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