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Plans to create dozens of homes on Worthing seafront have received the green light from councillors

Released: Thursday, 23 March 2017

Roffey Homes is behind the scheme to create 29 flats on the corner of Grand Avenue and West Parade.

It is second time that the developer has brought the scheme to Worthing Borough Council's Planning Committee which rejected the previous application in April 2015, a decision which was upheld after a public inquiry.

After listening to concerns over the height and massing of the building and the impact it would have on a neighbouring property, Roffey came back with a revised scheme.

Making the decision last night (22nd March 2017), Councillors making the decision praised the applicant for taking on board the comments of the Inspector.

The Chairman of the Committee Cllr Kevin Jenkins commented that,

“After a long debate, the Committee agreed the Officers' recommendation to approve on the basis that the revised proposal had addressed the principal concerns of the previous Planning Inspector. The revised scheme substantially reduced the height and mass of the overall development, and reduces the impact on the dwelling to the north of the site. Whilst some concerns remained regarding building line and design, overall the scheme was deemed now to be acceptable.”

The L-shaped complex will range in size from three to eight storeys in height - that is a reduction from 11 storeys in the initial proposal.

The plans will also include 40 parking spaces - up from 34 put forward originally.

Papers issued before the meeting showed that five people supported the new proposal while 44 objected, with most believing the new building should not be 'stepped forward' beyond the existing seafront building line.

However, council planning officers recommended the proposal be approved claiming the proposal “would not be dominant, bulky, unduly tall or over assertive”.

They added:

“The stepping forward serves a legitimate townscape aim in relation to West Parade. It is not out of character.”

Planners did note however that the lack of affordable housing at the site was “regrettable”.

In response, Cllr Jenkins said:

“The applicant had demonstrated to the Council and its independent consultants that the scheme was not viable if the Council insisted on any affordable housing in addition to the Community Infrastructure Levy.”

“This is not an unusual situation, particularly where schemes include basement car parking, in view of the high construction costs.”

An Independent Viability Consultant further explained that a review of CIL had been commissioned by the Government. Following a review of CIL, the Independent Review Panel has recommended a new system should be introduced by 2020 with a lower charge on all new properties built, and greater flexibility for Councils to secure contributions for infrastructure improvements and affordable housing.

See also: Worthing Planning Committee - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

(PR17-029)

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