Decision due on renovation plans for Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion

A decision on refurbishment plans for the Southern Pavilion on Worthing Pier is set to be made next week.

Alex Hole, owner of the Perch cafe on Lancing seafront, is planning a number of change to the iconic Art Deco building.

Refurbishments include extending the kitchen, moving the bars to locations more suited to a restaurant environment, a new corridor for the toilets and adding booths to balconies.

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As well as a number of internal alterations, new kitchen extracts, an illumination fascia sign and flags are proposed.

Worthing Pier and the Southern Pavilion

Applications for the changes are due to be discussed by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (October 21).

While council planning officers are in favour of moves to bring the Southern Pavilion back into use they have raised some concerns.

Their report describes how internally the building can ‘quite clearly be improved’ as there have been later additions including an ‘unnecessary’ partition at the southern end.

The existing ground floor layout was designed with a symmetrical layout with the main enclosed area at the northern end of the building.

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To turn the venue into more of a restaurant facility a much larger kitchen is required, as well as extra toilets and other back of house facilities.

This would affect the original symmetrical layout and while the proposal may provide for the necessary larger kitchen, the alterations affect the form and character of the building which were designed to maximise views through the pavilion.

Officers are ‘not satisfied that a more sympathetic layout could not be found’ and discussions are ongoing.

There are also concerns about the extraction equipment due to its proposed size.

Discussions on this are also ongoing.

Officers concluded: “Your officers accept that there may need to be some compromise to ensure the successful re-purposing of the building to ensure its long term viability.

“In principle, the applications represent an exciting opportunity to secure the reuse of the Southern Pavilion with the consequent beneficial impact it will have on the pier for future visitors to the town.

“Nonetheless, further justification and a more sympathetic approach is required to ensure that the character of the listed building and the setting of the conservation area is preserved and any adverse impacts can be outweighed by the overall planning benefits of the proposals.”