Civic centre car park sale in progress

The civic centre car park
The civic centre car park

PLANS to sell part of the Worthing civic centre car park have taken a step forward.

At the Worthing Borough Council planning committee meeting on April 25, planning officers presented the committee with the draft development brief for the proposed part-disposal of the car park in Stoke Abbott Road. Proposals to sell the site were first introduced in December last year.

The site, which is currently set out for 54 car parking spaces, could be used to build a new housing development or a medical centre with flats above, it was heard.

Planning officer James Appleton also reiterated at the meeting that in selling the car park land, the council would gain capital to fund the construction of the new pool.

He said: “The land we would lose in this agreement would not be a huge loss to the council, because we are making steps towards greener travel. We are hoping more people will be travelling to the Town Hall by pool car or public transport.”

When the Herald asked the council how much the land was likely to be sold for, the spokesperson could not provide a response.

At the meeting, councillor Hazel Thorpe said if the site were to be developed into houses, affordable housing would also need to be included.

She said: “These days, I don’t know how young people are meant to get on the property ladder. Affordable houses need to be included in the plans.”

The car park is currently used for cheaper parking on the weekend for shoppers, however town centre manager Sharon Clarke said she believed it would not affect attracting shoppers to the town.

“We currently run at 50 per cent capacity on weekends, so we can afford to lose part,” she said. “Anything the council can do to make money is a good thing. A new housing development would mean more people using the services our local businesses would have to offer, and a new medical centre would be a great addition to the town.”