THE councillor for regeneration in Worthing has expressed his delight as the final obstacle to securing the Teville Gate development is believed to have been secured.
Bryan Turner revealed council planners had received communication from secretary of state Eric Pickles’ office indicating there would be no need for a costly public enquiry into the hugely-significant £150m scheme – which would have set it back by at least another year and would dramatically have increased its building costs.
Earlier this month, work on the site began as a soil testing company moved in to conduct operations near the site of the former tax offices.
Mr Turner said: “The secretary of state approval came through the other day, so Hanson Capital Management can now get the construction in place. There is nothing else to stand in the way of the development.”
He added: “I am looking forward to the regeneration of the site, particularly the 1,000 jobs that it will create. From looking at the latest figures for those aged between 16-24 there are 545 young people out of work so it will go a long way towards helping them,” explained the councillor who said there had been some confusion over whether the application had needed to be referred to the secretary of state at all.
However, according to a spokesperson for the secretary of state, the Teville Gate application was “technically still being considered” and was not in a position to comment further.
The coalition government’s new planning policy now presumes in favour of development in order to kick-start the ailing construction industry.
The Herald approached Hanson Capital Management for comment on the development, which has now amended its original plans for a 100 bedroom hotel on the site to a total of just under 80. There will be 229 flats, a nine screen cinema, Sainsbury’s food store, plus conference and restaurant facilities on the site.
The company said it was unable to comment until it had formally received written confirmation from the secretary of state.