An application to convert the groundsman’s shed at Lancing Manor into a ‘high end’ coffee shop has been recommended for approval.
The application will come before Adur Planning Committee at a meeting at the Shoreham Centre in Pond Road, at 7pm on Monday (June, 26).
Applicant Steve Gardner proposes to convert the larger building into a coffee shop, which would be open ‘from dusk until dawn’, and an area for selling fresh farm produce.
Plans to convert the smaller stable building into a toilet block were dropped in May.
The application has been further amended to include an area of land to the south of the building, which could be used as a seating area.
Overall, 211 objections have been received by the council in contrast with 113 letters of support.
An additional petition objecting to the plan has amassed 137 signatures from residents in the immediate area.
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has objected to what he called an ‘ill-advised’ and ‘unwelcome development so close to a quiet and narrow residential street’.
He said ‘proper consultation’ with local residents had not taken place and said: “I think this has been handled very badly and local residents are rightly feeling excluded and ignored.”
He suggested it would be more appropriate to better promote the exisiting cafe at the Lancing Leisure Centre nearby.
Case officer Peter Barnett notes in his report to the committee that the ‘overriding objection’ from residents relates to traffic and parking.
However, he said the coffee shop and farm shop would be ‘relatively small’ and the majority of users would be people already visiting the park, rather than those making a specific vehicle trip to use it.
Parking demand was not predicted to cause ‘an unacceptable increase in demand on surrounding roads’, he said.
Letters in support of the application claimed the facilities would be ‘a welcome and much needed addition’ to the popular park and that the sympathetic conversion of the flint buildings would ‘preserve the area but with a use that will benefit the whole community’.
Daniel Ross, parks and open spaces manager at Adur District Council, agreed that it would provide ‘a useful public facility’.
Mr Barnett concluded his report with a recommendation for approval and said: “It is considered that the proposed facility will be of benefit to park users and will be a positive addition to Manor Park without detracting from the wider area or harming the amenities of nearby residents.”