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Approval for much-needed properties to support homeless families in Worthing

Released: Friday, 23 August 2019

Much needed affordable housing is being created as a former pub in Worthing is converted into properties supporting those at risk of homelessness.

Worthing Borough Council bought The Downview in Tarring Road last year to turn it into 17 flats to provide accommodation for some of the most vulnerable people and families in the area.

Planning permission had previously been granted to convert the premises into nine flats and ground floor commercial unit, with four houses built on the car park.

At a meeting on Wednesday evening (21st August 2019) Worthing Borough Council's Planning Committee approved the proposal to take the development one stage further, replacing the previously proposed houses with eight additional flats.

Once the renovations are complete the new properties are expected to save the Council £90,000 a year in temporary and emergency accommodation costs, currently spent mainly on B&Bs outside of the area.

Councillor Dr Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Customer Services, said:

“This Council is committed to doing whatever we can to provide shelter for those who need affordable and suitable accommodation.”

“The Downview pub is a rare opportunity to gain a location within our town. Once the conversion is complete, we will be able to help more families, providing them with a safe, secure place to call home.”

“We will be supporting them to find more permanent accommodation, while saving the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds a year in emergency accommodation costs.”

The decision to maximise housing availability on The Downview pub site by increasing the amount of flats was taken as the Council looks to reduce the amount spent on emergency accommodation.

Planning permission was granted in June 2018 to convert the building into nine apartments while retaining part of the ground floor for commercial use. The most recent papers presented to Committee said the revised application would meet demand for one and two bed accommodation. The approval now includes creating eight flats, with one and two-bedroom sizes on land to the south of the pub.

Councillor Paul High, Chairman of the Worthing Planning Committee, said:

“When the Committee was looking at this proposal, we concluded the benefits far outweighed the challenges.”

“It was agreed increasing the amounts of flats at this site would be a positive development for Worthing as a whole, reducing the amount the Council spend on emergency accommodation, supporting those at risk of homelessness, and providing much needed emergency accommodation for local people and families.”

Photo: The Downview pub in Tarring Road, Worthing

PR19-006 - The Downview pub in Tarring Road, Worthing

(PR19-125)

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