Members of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee said the futuristic flat-roofed, curved glass design was entirely out of character with the rest of the Goring area.
“I love the design and would love to live in it,” said committee vice-chairman Vicky Vaughan.
“But if I was a neighbour, it would stick out like a sore thumb and although it is an improvement on what is there already, I don’t think this is the best solution.”
The property, situated close to Goring Gap, lies on the corner of Marine Drive and Arlington Avenue, facing the seafront.
In 2008, permission had been granted for a block of eight flats, but the latest application was a change of direction, inviting members to consider plans for amended extensions and alterations.
Ten objections from residents and conservation groups were received, plus additional representations from ward councillors Mark Nolan and Mary Lermitte.
Mr Nolan said: “This proposal is ill-considered and would be striking in how haphazard it would look.
“If it went ahead, it would have been completely at odds with the spirit of what was intended for the Goring Hall estate.”
Councillor Michael Cloake added he thought it was an ‘amazing’ building but it ‘wasn’t very Goring’, urging the committee to take into account the residents who would be forced to live with the design.
Agent Neil McKeon told the committee the building would not be demolished but altered, ‘revitalising’ the building.
He said: “This application is driven by the need to house a large family and the applicant’s elderly parents.
“It is revitalising a building no longer fit for purpose.”
Officers pointed to other developments, including Roffey’s Vista Mare, in West Parade, as an example of the precedent set across the town.
Councillor Edward Crouch said: “It is a really attractive building and there are a number of precedents. I strongly believe it will improve the area.”
The committee voted against the application by a majority of six to two.
Summing up the objections, Mr Cloake said: “We should be brave and make a stand. I have real reservations about putting through something this contemporary in Goring.
“We have to take into account the residents.”