Transport plan '˜vital' to future of harbour

PEOPLE in Shoreham and Southwick will soon get the chance to have their say on the future of Shoreham Harbour.

S02714H12 New bus links and a new access road could ease congestion on the A259
S02714H12 New bus links and a new access road could ease congestion on the A259

Adur Council’s planning committee gave broad support on Monday to the draft Joint Area Action Plan for the regeneration of Shoreham Harbour.

The next day, the Adur cabinet approved the document for a ten-week period of public consultation, from February 17 to April 25.

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James Appleton, executive head of planning, said much of the Western Harbour Arm development brief had come forward into the Joint Area Action Plan, a wider area which extended into Brighton.

Brighton and Hove City Council approved the draft plan, which covers the period up to 2031, in principle last week.

Mr Appleton said the focus was on residential-led development, while looking at introducing new employment, with some retail and office use.

He pointed out the height of buildings had been an issue in the past, so four to six storeys was the criteria set down. Any developers wanting to go beyond that would need design justification.

Transport was a major consideration, including a strategy to run a new access road parallel to a new cycle path. ‘Soft’ measures were planned, to encourage people to use the new path to access the railway station and bus routes.

Mr Appleton said a new transport strategy was emerging from West Sussex County Council, suggests improvements at pinch points, such as Norfolk Bridge, and links between the A259 and A27, improving access as developments went forward.

Planning committee chairman Brian Boggis said: “A key element of this is going to be the transport report. Nothing will work unless we have the correct transport connections.”

He specifically requested a presentation on the transport strategy for committee members as a proviso to their agreement.

Flooding was also mentioned, with Sussex Yacht Club highlighted by Mr Boggis as a weak point in the flood defence wall.

Mr Appleton said the Morrisons development in Brighton Road, Shoreham, would be the start of flood defence works at the western end of the Western Harbour Arm.

“Tidal surges over the last three months have highlighted that the yacht club is a weak point and there were ongoing discussions on how to deal with that,” he added.

Cllr Ben Stride said he liked the riverside walk and cycle way, but raised concerns the hopes for a ‘more harmonious’ development would be diluted over the years because of so many different developers.

“It will be a piecemeal development but it needs some overaching view,” he added. “It will take 30 years to get done.”

Mr Appleton said the streetscape guidance would help, so it might not be all the same, but would be from the same palette.

The intention was to follow hard on the heels of the Adur Local Plan in order to provide a ‘robust’ framework for future developments, he added.

Cllr David Donaldson said: “All the feedback I am getting from my residents in Eastbrook is ‘get on with it’, particularly the cycle path.”

Cllr Emma Evans suggested it was an opportunity to look at improving on existing bus routes, for example in Fishersgate, where residents had lost route 57. Improved connections from north to south were also needed.

Mr Appleton said they were looking at creating an access down from the A259 to the river front and back up again, with the hope buses would serve the new developments.