Ambitious plans may create 5,000 new jobs

Surf's Up! Alex Bailey arrived at the meeting with a surfboard and Hawaiiin shirt in relation to the report. Pictured centre with council leaders Neil Parkin and Paul Yallop SUS-140312-084415001
Surf's Up! Alex Bailey arrived at the meeting with a surfboard and Hawaiiin shirt in relation to the report. Pictured centre with council leaders Neil Parkin and Paul Yallop SUS-140312-084415001
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A ‘COMMITMENT’ to regenerate 15 key sites across Adur and Worthing could create 5,000 jobs and 136,000 square metres of business space.

The Surf’s Up report, released by Adur and Worthing councils, sets out a series of ambitious plans for the next two years.

From setting time scales for progressing schemes at Worthing’s Teville Gate and the Adur Civic Centre, to investigating ultrafast broadband, the report recognises ‘now is the time for ambition’.

Chief executive Alex Bailey, in writing the report, said: “The term commitment is deliberately used to denote a serious statement of our intent that we the councils make to residents, businesses and the communities of Adur and Worthing.”

He added: “The pace is fast, for which we make no apology as the opportunities that present themselves to us will not be around for ever. Our communities deserve no less than a considered and ‘full on’ programme of activity to deliver them.”

The report sets out a series of commitments, with a timeline for their delivery.

In Worthing, it is hoped developers will submit planning applications for Teville Gate and Union Place by the second half of 2015, while the Grafton Road car park could be marketed for redevelopment in January.

The council wants to agree relocation options with Stagecoach by March, in order to develop the Marine Parade base by 2017.

Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop said: “They are challenging commitments but that is what we need. Worthing has been waiting a long time for them.

“We have backed Alex Bailey in his vision and restructuring and we will be backing him in delivering them and I am sure he will be keen to been seen to do so.”

In Adur, the report sets out a pledge to secure private development of the civic centre by March, agree and sign off a land deal for Shoreham Airport by July and relocate key businesses at Shoreham Harbour to free up regeneration sites, with relocations completed by December 2018.

Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin said: “Some of the targets may be ambitious but they are things we have been trying to do for some time.

“We have had about 30 developers interested in the civic centre and some of them are quite big players, from what I’ve heard.

“We are always ambitious in Adur and Worthing and that’s why we hired Alex.”

Joint initiatives include a hope of building 7,000 homes in the next 10 years, generating up to £10million additional council tax.

A new approach to tourism, complete with a new seafront strategy, setting up a business group for the area’s top firms to provide a voice and stimulate debate and setting up new IT and telephony systems are also on the agenda.

The report, which follows on from the earlier Catching the Wave plan, was endorsed by the Joint Strategic Committee on Tuesday night, with six monthly reports to be sent to councillors on its progress.

Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, Mr Bailey arrived at the meeting with a surf board and handed out board wax to the councillors in a light-hearted moment at the Adur Civic Centre.