WATER sports activities could soon be on offer at Worthing seafront.
An application has been submitted to convert the existing kiosk on The Esplanade east of Splashpoint to provide water sports equipment, sales and tuition.
The building, which is owned by Worthing Borough Council and has been vacant for a number of years, is finished externally in coursed flint.
Members of the council’s planning committee voted unanimously last week to approve the application, on the grounds that it would not visually affect the area and it would result in a leisure activity that would encourage visitors to the town.
Head of planning James Appleton said: “This is something that will tie in with the aspirations of the master plan, to create an active beachfront.
“The application also includes a proposed decked area.
“One of the issues that has been raised is the cycle path. The increased footfall generated in this area, particularly as a result of the success of the children’s play area and the good summer, has prompted concerns about the safety issues.
“The seafront is a resource that we make use of but it is about managing the cycle and pedestrian movements in a more effective way, though we do not feel that is a reason to resist the proposal or the decked area.”
Councillor Christine Brown said: “I am delighted to see this coming but if we are going to make this a designated area for families and for swimming then I would prefer that there was a dismount area for cyclists there.”
Councillor Carol Molineaux said: “I do not think the decking area is necessary but I think we have to say that cyclists need to get off there as they can build up so much speed in that area.
“I cannot wait to see this happen and I hope it succeeds because it will be a wonderful thing for this town.”
Councillor Hazel Thorpe expressed a desire to see the cycle lane changed into a shared access area.
She said: “I think it makes sense to do that here and cyclists can do up to 20mph speeds.
“Some even boast that they can do a lot more than that so it could be just a question of some different signage there.
“I would like to see the area developed but I would like it done sympathetically so that the building is enhances as opposed to just making money.
“In a few years I hope that there will be even more facilities down there and I would also like to see people with disabilities being able to have access to water sports in that area.”