DEVELOPERS behind the Teville Gate regeneration scheme have renewed their commitment to the delivering the site – despite being unable to confirm a date for its commencement.
Hanson Capital Management, which gained planning permission for the hugely-significant project last November, had stated it would begin work in the second half of 2012, with the prospect of 1000 jobs being created.
But a slowdown in the construction industry, which has seen an unexpected double-dip recession this year, is believed to have impacted on the £150m scheme’s time-table for development.
Known as the The Worthing Gateway scheme, its key elements include more than 200 flats, 100 bedroom hotel conference facilities and a multiplex cinema, which has been confirmed as the Vue chain of venues.
Hanson’s proposals have won wide-approval from residents during consultation last year, though the Worthing Society remained concerned over the twin tower design of apartments which form its core design.
As a result of the project, the town would be set for a £2m windfall from developers towards community enhancement ventures. This would include half a million pounds on badly-needed upgrades to the street-scene around the central train station.
Worthing Borough Council first recommended the scheme for approval in September 2011, with plans then being referred to Eric Pickles’ office for local government for a decision. The department did not consider a public enquiry necessary.
Initial site testing works were carried out earlier this year, with an original projected completion date of December 2014.
However, the fate of the final existing retailers on the site, Comet and Bed King is still unknown. Earlier this summer the bedding store held a closing down sale, but the firm is continuing to trade and refused to comment on any relocation.
A spokesperson for Comet confirmed the required notice period of three months had not yet been served on the site. However, the company could not comment on any future plans for alternate stores the area.
John Desmond, managing director of Hanson Capital Management said: “Hanson Capital Management is firmly committed to delivering Worthing Gateway. It is a large and complex development and the project team is currently undertaking a significant amount of additional work to refine the details of the scheme to enable work to commence. We look forward to announcing more details of the timetable for delivery in the near future”