Public Realm

What is the public realm?

The public realm is made up of streets and spaces that can be freely accessed by the public. It encompasses streets, parks, squares, pedestrian and cycle routes as a network of interconnected spaces. Good quality public realm is essential in creating environments that people want to live and work in.

Working with partners, a number of projects have been delivered that have positively contributed to the development of the area, including:

  • Queensway and Queensway Parade (Lancing)
  • East Street (Shoreham)
  • Ferry Road Beach Gateway (Shoreham-by-Sea)

Other projects have focused on public realm improvements that reinforce the image and identity of different areas of the District and Borough. One example is the installation of a village sign in Broadwater. This sign marked the centre of Broadwater and celebrated the historical culture of the local area. Tanya Milne, a student at Northbrook College, created the design which was then hand-crafted by Kyle Swann, a local Sussex blacksmith, and erected on the grass verge outside Cricketers Parade.

The work of the Councils, working with partners (such as West Sussex County Council), aims to provide a coordinated approach to the design of public realm in our town centres.

Overview of the projects that are planned in Worthing

Public Realm Improvements Package: identifying a series of public realm improvements to Worthing town centre over the next 5 to 10 years that will “support town centre regeneration and deliver growth.” Working in direct partnership with West Sussex County Council (the Adur & Worthing Growth Programme), information and updates include:

  • PDF FileWorthing Public Realm Options Appraisal Study (22,219KB)
  • Note: this is an 80-page document, most pages are A4, but some are A2 or A1. The PDF will load on screen fitted to your screen width based on the widest page, this means page 1 may appear as a 'thumbnail' so you will have to zoom into the document to read it.

Live Projects

See also:

Montague Place, Worthing:

A temporary scheme has now been completed which pedestrianised the southern section of Montague Place. This scheme is the start of providing an exciting opportunity to create a central 'heartbeat' for the town centre and truly connect the seafront with the retail offer. The scheme includes the introduction of greater pedestrian space, new planting and improved lighting.

The works were carried out by Landbuild Ltd and completed in Summer 2022. The scheme was funded by the government under Welcome Back Funding:

The Council is now starting to consult on the permanent work to Montague Place and has been working with community organisations and other groups to develop concepts for designs which will then be available for the public to have their views:

For any enquiries please contact:

Photo: Montague Place, looking north

Montague Place, looking north

Photo: Montague Place, view looking west along Montague Street

Montague Place, view looking west along Montague Street (from Montague Place)

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Portland Road, Worthing:

This significant new regeneration scheme will transform Worthing's Portland Road into a vibrant and inclusive place. The plans highlight key features which will make the street an exciting destination where pedestrians are the priority.

PR21-024 - Artists impression of the new look Portland Road in Worthing (2)

This scheme is funded by West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital LEP.

Landbuild Ltd will be the main contractor for the scheme. Works commenced in April 2021: Landbuild website

Further information is available via the scheme FAQs:

For any other enquiries please contact:

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Railway Approach, Worthing:

This scheme will redefine Railway Approach to deliver a significantly improved arrival point to the town by making a positive first impression to those visiting the town, as well as improving the experience for commuters and others who regularly use Worthing railway station. Improvements being considered include greater pedestrian spaces, green landscaping and greater opportunities for active travel.

Consultation was undertaken on this scheme in 2021/22 with the detailed designs complete in late 2022. This scheme is currently being reviewed in the context of other developments.

Railway Approach - Artist's impressions looking east and west

Railway Approach - Artists Impression looking east

Railway Approach - Artists Impression looking west

This scheme is funded by West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital LEP.

For all enquiries please contact West Sussex County Council.

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Southwick Square


Adur District Council is re-designing and updating the popular Southwick Square seating and park area by the east parade.

This scheme will dramatically improve the look and feel of this much loved pedestrian area. Situated in front of the east parade the tired public realm will see a significant upgrade in design featuring local materials, new planting and the removal of the steps and walls to the north, offering a clearer view to the shops and bars behind.

In addition the new scheme will feature sustainable pedestrian lighting and a large open space suitable for events, performances, seasonal concessions and markets, not to mention the Southwick Christmas tree!

Improved accessibility, community safety and sustainability lie at the heart of Adur's newest public realm upgrade.

For more details of the proposals see the design proposal images and FAQs below.

You can let us know your thoughts, comments and questions by emailing:

What will it look like?

Proposed design: Southwick Square, looking west (artist's impression):

Southwick Square, looking west (artist impression)

Existing: Southwick Square, looking west:

Southwick Square, looking west


Proposed design: Southwick Square, looking north east (artist's impression):

Southwick Square, looking north east (artist impression)

Existing: Southwick Square, looking north east:

Southwick Square, looking north east


Proposed design: Southwick Square (artist's impression):

Southwick Square (artist impression)

Existing: Southwick Square:

Southwick Square


Proposed design: Southwick Square, plan (artist's impression):

Southwick Square, plan (artist impression)


Southwick Square FAQs - frequently asked questions

What can the new Square be used for?

The new square will feature a larger open space suitable for multiple uses such as performances, markets, a cafe 'spill-out' area and improved seating for visitors to Southwick to rest and enjoy the new planting and refreshed landscaping.

How much will the new Square cost, and how is it funded?

The cost of the scheme is estimated to be between £550,000 - £600,000.

85% of the project is being funded through the Adur Growth Deal (West Sussex County Council).

15% is being funded by Adur District Council.

Both funding streams are ring fenced for capital works only.

Who is managing the project?

The scheme is being designed and managed by Project Centre Ltd in partnership with Adur District Council as client managers. A contractor will be appointed to deliver the construction works.

When will the construction start, and how long will it take to build?

It is anticipated that the work on site will start in early 2023 and last approximately 20 weeks.

What are the design features of the new scheme?

The proposed scheme will provide an open, step free, accessible and flexible space within the heart of Southwick. The design has been guided by both visual and pedestrian desire lines, improving the aesthetic and accessibility of the space while activating the parade frontage.

The materials being proposed have a close dialogue and architectural context, respecting the local heritage and identity of Southwick, eg flint walls.

Other design elements include:

  • New pedestrian lighting
  • New street furniture
  • Hard and soft landscaping
  • Children's planting pathways
  • Retention of the existing plaque and installation of a new one to celebrate the new scheme and perhaps the Coronation of King Charles III

How will the new scheme be accessible?

The scheme promotes active travel and in particular moving through the created space with better accessibility, allowing a more comfortable experience for visitors. This will be achieved by removal of walls, steps and level changes that cause accessibility difficulties currently.

In what way is the scheme sustainable?

The scheme has been developed with sustainability as a key design feature:

  • Local design team employed to reduce travel
  • Locally based contractors will be invited to tender for the works to reduce travel
  • Reuse of existing paving materials
  • Increase in total areas of permeable land (ie soft landscaping) to reduce surface water run off
  • Surface Water management to irrigate new soft landscaping elements
  • Low maintenance and drought tolerant native planting scheme across the site to enhance biodiversity and air quality
  • New low energy LED lighting
  • New materials will be sourced locally and made from recycled material whenever possible (all from certified sources)
  • Paving and brick materials removed from site will be recycled for future use

Will the pine trees be included in the new design?

Yes, the existing pine trees will be reassessed by the Council's arborists and along with some ginkgo and birches, the pines will be retained within the proposed design. The scheme will also include new trees and shrubs.

Will the Christmas tree be included in the new scheme?

Absolutely! A new tree pit will be incorporated into the design as a seasonal feature in a north/central position within the open space.

How will the scheme prevent anti-social behaviour such as skate boarding?

During the detailed design street furniture and walls will be designed with anti-skating detailing to prevent this use. The new space is significantly opened out and features clear sight lines, designed with community safety at its core.

What is wrong with the Square now?

The existing environment (a combination of older styles) is tired and prevents direct access from the parade to the Square. The pedestrian lighting is not sustainable and requires upgrading. The space and planting is now dated and cluttered, preventing flexibility of use for events or markets.

Who will benefit from the scheme?

We believe that the local community, businesses and visitors to Southwick Square will all benefit from the new scheme. Creating a more inviting space will benefit the local economy through increased footfall, longer dwell-time and reduce anti-social behaviour. New green infrastructure will improve both biodiversity and air quality.

Who will be building the scheme?

The works will be tendered in accordance with Adur District Council's procurement policy and Council standing orders. Local civil engineering companies will be invited to submit a tender. Following tender evaluation, it is hoped the contract will be awarded in early 2023.

Will the construction cause disruption?

Disruption during the construction will be kept to a minimum. Access to the parade and all businesses/shops will be maintained throughout the construction period.

Working hours will be restricted to:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 8am to 1pm (if required)
  • Sunday & Bank Holidays: No works on site

Working outside these hours will only be permitted by prior agreement with the Council.

Will access through the archways be maintained throughout construction?

Yes, access through the archways leading to the surface car park, at either end of the parade, will be maintained at all times during the construction.

Will emergency vehicle access to the parade frontage be suspended during construction?

No, emergency access to the parade will be maintained at all times during the construction.

How can I comment on the new design or find out more?

Please email your thoughts, comments and questions on the new design to:

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Reference documents

A number of guidance documents have been produced to support the development of our 'spaces' - these are highlighted below:

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Page last updated: 07 March 2023

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