New builds '˜eroding personality of area'

RESIDENTS have called for a characterisation study to save Shoreham Beach as new builds are not in '˜keeping with the historic heritage' of the area.

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GV of Shoreham Beach Primary School on Shingle Road, Shoreham Beach.
S38284H13-ShorehamBeachPrimary GV of Shoreham Beach Primary School on Shingle Road, Shoreham Beach.

There is a fear that the Bungalow Town is being threatened by over-development and the influx of new ‘concrete boxes’ which are ‘eroding the personality of the Beach’.

Shoreham Beach Residents Association is now supporting calls for a study to help protect the peninsula.

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Joss Loader, chairman of SBRA, said: “We don’t oppose development as a principle, there are some people who want Shoreham Beach to stay as the Bungalow Town which is a nice idea but not a practical one. Houses are coming to the end of their life and so we are realistic.

“We want sympathetic development and the needs of neighbours to be factored in.

“New houses will be built but we want them to have an attractive design and have neighbours’ privacy protected.

Joss added: “There is also the issue with the impact of the infrastructure. The queues for parents going to and from Shoreham Beach Primary School are very long and congestion is a real problem.

“Also, primary school places are at a premium and so children have to travel into town which causes more travel problems. If you live in Shoreham Beach you want your child to go to school locally and have friends locally.”

SBRA has made it clear they don’t want a blanket ban but retrospective planning applications should not be allowed.

Maggie Taylor, 56, of The Meadway, Shoreham, has created a petition urging residents to sign and save the area and is creating a characterisation study to present to the planning committee.

Mrs Taylor said: “I understand the desire and need for development of Shoreham Beach as there is a housing shortage and it is, as we all know, a very nice place to live. However, these new houses are not affordable to first-time buyers, nor in keeping with the historic heritage of the Beach. Residents’ lives are affected by loss of privacy and light, caused by overbearing and domineering concrete boxes with little thought to design or character.

“We need a characterisation study to provide understanding of the structure and neighbourhood of the Beach to be included in the planning committees policy forum.”

SBRA has written to the district council’s head of planning to outline their concerns.

Patrick O’Donoghue, of Kings Crescent, Shoreham Beach, said: “I wanted to live on the Beach because it offers a charm (and quirkiness) like nowhere else I have ever lived, and this is in part because of the existing local architecture. It is a concern to see these monstrous developments over two storeys springing up with no thought for existing residents. The developments are eroding the personality of the Beach and destroying privacy for residents as our gardens become overlooked and the skyline is diminished. I do hope that a proper study is set up before it is too late.”