Shoreham Beach Boxpark café opening date is delayed

Plans to build a cafe on the site of a dilapidated toilet block at Shoreham’s Beach Green have been delayed.

An artist's impression of how the Beach Box Café could look

The Boxpark scheme is now expected to open in spring or summer next year, rather than this summer as originally envisaged.

Councillor Joss Loader said there had been no ‘proactive communication’ from Boxpark to explain the delays – despite her requesting a statement from the developers.

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She said: “It is deeply regrettable that Boxpark appear to be failing to honour their pledge to continue the dialogue with our community.

“On the basis that beach residents will be their main customer base, I would invite Boxpark to reopen that dialogue and keep local people in the loop.”

Planning permission for the scheme, which will consist of a split level café-restaurant with a roof terrace, public toilets and community space for up to 90 people, was approved in October, despite almost 300 objections.

Matthew McMillan, head of development at Boxpark, said that, since then, the team had been working hard on moving the plans forward.

“Due to a lengthier than anticipated planning process, we have had to delay the opening of the scheme until spring/summer 2021,” he said.

“We have been in dialogue with the council and local councillors through this process.

“We recognise the value of investing in local communities and we’re confident that our plans will transform this site into a vibrant landmark destination.”

Adur District Council entered into a preferred development agreement with Boxpark in 2017.

A 125-year lease for the land has been signed and, once operational, the operators will pay an annual ground rent of £10,000.

Resident Michael Chandler, of River Close, raised concerns about the lease agreement – which he said was ‘excessively long’ and ‘far too cheap’.

Ms Loader said she understood residents’ concerns but said: “However, they will have to provide public toilets if and when this gets off the ground and the cost of the build is believed to be high.”

Adur District Council did not respond to a request for a comment.