Boost for West End looks promising

A NEW boost to plans for a brighter, booming Worthing being realised during the next decade came this week with the unveiling of detailed plans for the transformation of the seafront Beach Hotel.

This 20million development represents an enormous vote of fiscal confidence in the borough's future '“ helped, no doubt, by the burgeoning "staycation" culture of people preferring more UK-holidaying to those increasingly-expensive European breaks and the growing hassle of airport security.

This hotel development, the first such project in Worthing for more than a century, is a welcome step in the balanced development of Worthing's central seafront.

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There is plenty going on at the Splash Point end, with work on the new leisure area in full swing, and steady progress being made on the Aquarena's replacement pool.

But there has not, until now, been much prominence given to the "West End" of Worthing.

The hotel complex development includes 49 luxury apartments for permanent residence, and the influx of new, moneyed residents and visitors should mean a significant cash boost to this area and encourage new businesses to set up shop there.

We don't, however, want to see the unique, quieter ambiance of this area trashed in the same way that the 1960s planners destroyed a characterful section of old Worthing north of Ann Street to make way for the Guildbourne Centre and the multi-storey car park.

We are told by the developers that this new project will enhance Brunswick Road and Thorn Road, and the promenade area in front of the hotel.

These days, we have the advantage of past experience in judging what constitutes "enhancement", but the aspiration is to be commended and we look forward to seeing what promising ideas are revealed.

Many people will, no doubt, complain about the building of yet more apartments to complement the the improved hotel complex.

It's a fact of life, however, that "stand-alone" hotels are not economically viable in Worthing any more '“ proved by the demise of the old Warnes, Eardley and other seafront hotels over the past 40 or so years.


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