Montague Gardens in Montague Place, Worthing

Work to transform Montague Place into a vibrant green space for everyone to enjoy is due to start in autumn 2024.

Final designs for the new green space, to be called Montague Gardens, have been agreed after input from residents, access groups, businesses and community groups.

The project forms part of the public realm regeneration programme within the current Worthing Growth Deal - a partnership between Adur & Worthing Councils and West Sussex County Council.

Initial redevelopment work at Montague Place began in early 2022, with temporary surfacing to make the space car-free as well as new seating areas and sustainable planting. Since then it has become a popular space for residents and visitors to rest as well as enjoy outdoor performances as part of the Worthing Festival.

Work on the new green space, which is subject to full agreement and further engagement with partners, is due to start in autumn 2024 and will be completed in phases over a 15 to 18-month period.

Video: Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper - The future of Worthing's Montague Place

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (5) - March 2024

What will it look like?

The design brings together a range of aspirations heard from our conversations with the community, including sustainability, accessibility, shelter from the sun and wind and better access to the seafront.

Image: Montague Gardens in Montague Place, Worthing - what will it look like (click the image below for a larger copy that you can zoom into)

Montague Gardens in Montague Place, Worthing - what will it look like

Image: Montague Place - Artist recording of the responses from the online and in-person consultations with residents, businesses and community groups - word cloud showing what is in the surrounding area (click the image below for a larger copy that you can zoom into)

Artist recording of the responses from the consultations with residents, businesses & community groups (word cloud)

With this in mind, we have created a design inspired by the seaside gardens that existed when Montague Place was first built in the early 19th Century. The emphasis is on increasing biodiversity with a green space that links the seafront to the nearby Liverpool Gardens. Improvements will be made to the large expanse of wall in the north eastern corner of the space with the addition of an entertainment space and green wall. There is also provision for outdoor dining and a play area for children that takes inspiration from sea kelp restoration in Sussex.

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (2) - March 2024

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Montague Place frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q. What will be new for Montague Gardens?

The plans include 30 new trees, sustainable planting, new seating, smart new hard standing, a kiosk, a sundeck/stage, a WORTHING sign, a green wall, a bespoke play area and features to reduce the effect of the wind.

Q. When will the work start?

Autumn 2024.

Q. Why Montague Gardens?

Montague Gardens is the third of a series of projects managed under the Worthing Growth Deal, working in partnership with West Sussex County Council. The first was Portland Road and the second, which is currently under construction, is Railway Approach. Montague Gardens is the permanent scheme that follows the temporary works to Montague Place in 2022.

Q. Why has the space been identified for improvement?

The vision is to connect the town centre to the seafront to allow people to move more freely between the two and to provide visitors with a clear pathway. Montague Gardens will provide this link.

Q. How long will the work take to complete?

We expect the work to take approximately 15 to 18 months.

Q. How has the council come up with this design?

The council began engaging with members of the public in summer 2022 through the Big Listen, asking people what they wanted to see in Worthing. There was a strong desire for more green, sustainable spaces and increased biodiversity. We then engaged with access groups, local businesses and other community groups in a series of walkabouts and a 'world café' event in January 2023. You can find more information on the result of this engagement and the resulting concept design proposal below:

We then held a public consultation on the initial concept design which ran for four weeks, from 7th June to 5th July 2023. This consultation had 112 responses with many being strongly in favour of green areas and the concept of the seafront garden.

Q. Who is managing the project?

We are managing the project and will oversee the work and manage the budget. The design of the space and project management of the construction work is led by Project Centre, which will work closely with us to appoint contractors and schedule the works.

Q. What times will the building contractors be working?

Monday to Fridays 8am to 6pm, Saturdays 8am to 1pm. We anticipate that work will be taking place most days, but there may be some periods when no work is taking place. Timings will be confirmed when the contractors are appointed.

Q. What access will there be for deliveries during and after the build?

The loading bays at the south end of Montague Place will remain open until the new loading bays are installed on Marine Parade and are ready for use.

Q. How will the restaurants and shops in Montague Gardens be affected during the construction period?

The build will take place in phases to ensure pedestrian access and safety at all times. Customers to local businesses will have access at all times and works to the ground areas directly outside business thresholds will be completed out of business hours. All possible efforts will be made to cause as little disruption to local businesses as possible. The phased construction will take place at times to cause as little disturbance as possible.

Q. What will happen to the Wednesday market during the build period?

There may be the need to move the location of some market stalls while works are undertaken at the north of Montague Gardens where it meets Montague Street. The regular flower/plant stall will also be provided with space to trade but may need to move around to accommodate the phased construction. Worthing Business Improvement District, which operates the market, is fully aware of the scheme.

Q. Will there still be room for outdoor tables and chairs?

Yes, restaurants and cafés will be able to apply for a pavement licence to use the areas directly adjacent to their shop fronts and the allocated seating areas designed into the new scheme.

Q. Will there be future access or parking to Montague Gardens by vehicles?

No, the only vehicles permitted into Montague Gardens will be emergency vehicles. Any other vehicle will face traffic enforcement penalties.

Q. Why is the crossing point in Marine Parade moving from outside Marks & Spencer?

The crossing point is moving to the south end of Montague Gardens to provide flat access from the pedestrian thoroughfare, across Marine Parade to the promenade. A new ramp is also planned to allow improved access onto the promenade.

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (6) - March 2024

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (4) - March 2024

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (3) - March 2024

Final plans revealed for new green space in Montague Place, Worthing (1) - March 2024

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Page last updated: 12 June 2024

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