Worthing's Aquarena plan wholly '˜unsuitable'

Regarding the proposed Roffey development on the former Aquarena site, I cannot imagine how anyone can see that this proposed tall block of flats in this position is in any way suitable, appropriate or in harmony with the surrounding environment.

While the appearance of the building in itself is in questionable taste, in this position it is totally incongruous. It will stand out like a sore thumb being the only high building of its nature in the vicinity, particularly being so close to the sea front.

The two contrasting styles of the proposed building and the now existing Splash Point are totally contradictory and discordant in size, colour and design. The new building would dwarf and diminish the new ‘iconic’ Splash Point. In fact from the artist’s impressions, the new ‘iconic’ Splash point looks like a brown garden shed attached to the new development.

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Many will be wondering what on earth is going on for such a building in this location to even be proposed and argued for in such meaningless artistic terms.

I can only assume that there is more going on behind this proposal than meets the public eye, and there are issues the council prefers not to be aired.

The fact is that the old Aquarena site was originally valued at £12 million. The sale of the site was essential to offset the extravagant £22 million cost required to build the new Splash Point. It became evident that the old Aquarena had been overvalued and was further devalued when the last recession bit. However, there was a further problem when it was revealed that the council’s own planning policies did not allow for a building of more than four stories on this site. This threatened to further reduce the value and prejudged negotiations on the sale of the site. One wonders how important these considerations are? Is there an attempt to set aside good planning and good taste in order to cover up a momentous miscalculation and to balance the books?

David Chapman

Wiston Avenue


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