New Worthing industrial units on former office car park approved

Five industrial buildings will be built on the car park of the former EDF offices, in Worthing, yards from where the office itself is being converted into 78 flats.

The former EDF Energy offices with the car park to the rear (Photo from Google Maps Street View)

The application for the site in Southdownview Road was approved unanimously by the borough council’s planning committee.

EDF relocated to Hove in 2016 and the council was notified in February 2019 that the office building would be used for flats.

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Planning law – known as permitted development rights – says the owners did not need full planning permission to do so.

The entire site is owned by the same applicant and the five new buildings will provide space for 22 light industrial units, along with parking for 97 cars.

Members of the committee fully supported the plans.

Chairman Paul High (Con, Heene) said: “I think this is great. This is using up an unused bit of land in an industrial estate.

“It is going to create jobs, it is going to create more economy for Worthing. I applaud it.”

Helen Silman (Lab, Heene) raised some concerns about the noise and air quality around the industrial site and how it would affect people who lived in the new flats.

Officers assured the meeting that they had worked with the applicant on the issue of noise and added that only using the site for light industrial purposes would not cause any harm to nearby homes.

Paul Baker (Con, Broadwater) said: “Additional housing means we need additional jobs.

“During this unprecedented time, there’s been a big movement to small businesses and to manufacturing becoming the core business of this country again.

“Small businesses like this are the ones that are stepping up to the plate, being flexible, adaptable, producing PPE, getting us through the crisis time.

“I am totally in support of the small industrial units, with flexibility for the businesses that are in them that will actually go a long way to rebuilding not only the economy of Worthing – and providing jobs for the people of Worthing – but for rebuilding the economy of the country.”

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