Worthing has a great future says development chief
Released: Thursday, 14 February 2019
The chief executive of a blue-chip government-backed development company says Worthing is ideally placed to attract new investors and young families.
David Joy, CEO of London and Continental Railways (LCR), says the borough has a great future with an economic strategy which will bring new residents, industry and traders right into the town centre.
In an interview in the latest edition of BuildingAW magazine (Feb 2019) David said:
“Worthing is very well placed to make the most of the opportunities that exist in the town. Its position on the south coast with the great benefit of the sea and the Downs behind is a real asset."
LCR has joined forces with Worthing Borough Council to bring forward plans for nearly 200 homes, commercial space and two extra cinema screens for the Connaught Theatre at Union Place.
The Council stepped in to buy the site, next to the Worthing Theatres complex, last year after becoming frustrated by the failure of other owners to bring forward schemes.
A decision to enter into an agreement with LCR was made last April which saw the current small open-air car park in High Street sold to the company and allowed it to enter a 'land-pooling agreement' with the Council.
Through that agreement LCR is paying for works in drawing up proposals and securing planning permission, while the Council retains majority ownership of the site.
LCR is an entirely publicly-owned development company with an impressive record of delivering world-class regeneration projects which include High Speed 1, St Pancras International, King's Cross, the International Quarter London in Stratford and Mayfield in Manchester. It is wholly owned by the Department for Transport.
David praised the Major Projects team at the Council for helping to bring LCR on board. He added:
“This is a Council that wants to get the best for its residents. It recognises that in order to do that it needs to change and adapt to the new pressures from economic challenges, disruptive approaches and a changing population.”
Despite fears that Union Place, the site of Worthing's former police station, would remain derelict for years David is confident of progress. He said:
“This will be an exciting new piece of the town centre based on a mix of uses, creating and supporting the existing cultural and commercial activities of Worthing town centre.”
“We are aiming to bring together a development that would not have taken place if left purely to the private sector, a development that happens as soon as possible with a range of uses that complement the existing town centre.”
Photo: An artist's impression of potential plans for Worthing's Union Place
Photo: LCR's David Joy (centre), with Martin Randall, Director for the Economy (left) and Alex Bailey, Chief Executive (right), of Adur & Worthing Councils
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