Developers had hoped to demolish the former Wheatsheaf pub in Richmond Road to make way for a three-storey block with eight flats and commercial space on the ground floor.
But Worthing’s planning committee rejected the scheme last night on grounds which included overdevelopment, the harmful impact it would have on a conservation area and the lack of outdoor space and privacy for residents.
Paul Russell, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of the developer, said the scheme provided an ‘interesting building’ which would add ‘vitality’ to the area.
He said the recommendation of refusal was ‘frustrating’, adding: “We thought we addressed the issues raised. This is a brownfield, sustainable site.”
However councillor Edward Crouch said of the proposed building: “I can’t work out which is the front and which is the back.
“It’s so incongruous to the area as to beggar belief.
“The principle of development on this site is accepted and welcomed, but this is not welcome at all.”
He added: “Worthing welcomes sensible development.
“Developers should take away this sentiment – if you do business in Worthing, we want high quality and affordable housing.”
Councillor Hazel Thorpe said her first reaction to the scheme was ‘ouch’.
However she said: “I quite like this design, but not here. It’s quite wacky and modern, I can see it having a place.”
She added: “I’m rather sad the Wheatsheaf itself is about to disappear.”
Councillor Jim Deen said the area was an entertainment hub which could benefit from having a pub.
“I think it’s quite a compelling argument that can be made for the retention of that facility,” he said.