Campaigners ‘staggered’ by objections to development

A ‘STAGGERING’ number of objections to an 11-storey development on Worthing seafront have been submitted to Worthing Borough Council.

Campaigners want Roffey Homes to revaluate its proposal la1500016-3

In total, 757 letters and emails of objection have been submitted, compared to just 61 in support of the Roffey Homes development, which is on the corner of Grand Avenue and West Parade.

The future of the development, which consists of a block of 36 flats staggered over three to 11 stories in height, will be decided at a council planning meeting in Worthing Town Hall on Wednesday, April 1.

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Phil Abbott, of Regis Court, West Parade, Worthing, has co-ordinated the Protect Worthing Seafront campaign calling for the developer to reevaluate its proposal.

He said: “We are absolutely staggered by the response and the reaction from the public.

“We hope the development is rejected at the meeting and the developer comes back with a scheme that’s much more sympathetic to Worthing.

“People are saying there’s a danger it’s (Worthing) becoming a Roffey town.”

The campaign group was launched in early February and consists mainly of representatives from Grand Avenue, Regis Court, Marine Point and Dolphin Lodge. It had an initial target of 200 written objections.

Reasons for objecting to the development include its height and design, the density of the proposal, building forward of the building line along West Parade and Grand Avenue, loss of privacy, light and view, and access and parking.

According to Mr Abbott, the number of objections is ‘one of, if not, the largest number ever recorded by Worthing council’.

James Appleton, head of growth at Worthing Borough Council, said: “There has been a high number of responses to this application and this reflects how deeply the Worthing community cares about the future of the built environment.

“While many people we speak to accept the need for more homes, they are understandably concerned to ensure that any development is carried out with the appropriate degree of sensitivity.

“This is a position echoed by the council – our role is to plan for a vibrant future whilst respecting our heritage and those things which make our communities special places to live, work and invest.”

The campaign group counts MP for Worthing West Sir Peter Bottomley as a supporter.

Sir Peter said it was not for him to decide what is built on the site, but added that his preference would be a replacement building on the site of the corner building that does not break the current building line and that does not exceed the height of buildings to the east of Grand Avenue.

“Let us hope the proposals on our seafront are dealt with fairly,” said Sir Peter.

“I add that previous buildings by these developers have been to a high standard and a reasonable scale – Aquarena and Grand Avenue proposals are different?”

The public consultation has now closed.

There will be speakers both for and against the development at the planning committee meeting on April 1, before a final decision is made.