Teville Gate plans approved – plans to breathe new life into long-derelict site

Councillors have approved a bid to make temporary use of the derelict Teville Gate site in Worthing.

Plans include a Padel racquetsport court, space for local businesses, a performance venue for 600 to 800 people, a skate park and community gardens.

The site has been boarded up and empty for years after several planned developments failed to come to fruition.

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    The council acknowledged the future onward sale and development of the site could take at least three years and wanted to make use of it in the meantime.

    It received bids for temporary uses and its preferred partner is specialist brownfield site regeneration company QED Sustainable Urban Developments.

    QED previously worked with Adur & Worthing Councils to deliver the popular Level 1 venue at the Grafton multi-storey car park in Worthing.

    Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes (Con, Offington) welcomed the plans, saying: “I suspect I’m not the only person in Worthing who would say ‘hallelujah’ to reading this report. My goodness, we’ve waited long enough to see it.

    “Of course there will be plans for proper redevelopment in due course, but it’s quite right that the site should be used for this interim time.”

    Worthing council leader Kevin Jenkins (Con, Gaisford) also welcomed the plans.

    “This council has taken control of the Teville Gate site,” he said. “It is now about that delivery and the ‘meanwhile’ use.

    “That area, wel-created, will become a destination in itself, and that in itself will generate greater interest in that site.”

    Mr Jenkins said he ‘really looks forward’ to working with ‘two very strong partners with proven track records’ – both QED in the short term and London & Continental Railways (LCR Developments), which will assist with longer-term redevelopment.

    Temporary use is expected to create about 100 full-time jobs and could be ready as early as spring, 2022, pending planning and licensing permissions.

    Works costing up to £300,000 will be carried out in preparation and will be funded with money left over from the purchase of the site – which came in about £670,000 under budget.

    This would cover reinstatement of a footpath linking the town to Worthing railway station, utilities, replacement hoardings and more.

    Councillor Helen Silman (Lab, Heene) wanted assurances that the site would be sustainable and questioned the £300,000 works.

    Officers said temporary buildings could be reused rather than demolished, adding that sustainability would be considered before planning permission is granted.

    Mr Jenkins said: “I think it would be unwise not to spend up to that £300,000 if needed – £100,000 a year to open that site up, to create that footway between our train station and into our town centre, to provide the creative industries there, the sports, and the other leisure.”