Former pub to be converted despite residents’ objections

SUS-160607-085115001
SUS-160607-085115001

A former pub site will be converted into nine dwellings despite pleas from residents blighted by parking problems for the plans to be rejected.

Around 90 people objected to the conversion of the Elms, in Broadwater Street East, fearing the proposal would exacerbate illegal parking and increase pressure on space shortages.

Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee approved the application last week, after West Sussex County Council’s highways department raised no objection.

“It would create an impossible situation for residents,” borough councillor for Broadwater Paul Baker said.

“If this is not a severe situation, what is? At the end of the day, how do we define severe?”

The plans would see the pub converted into five flats, with four three-bedroom terraced homes to the rear of the site.

According to the council’s report, many residents preferred proposals to turn the pub into a nursery, as had also been mooted.

A total of nine car parking spaces would be provided – one short of the county council’s usual requirements for a development of its size.

Agent Simon Bareham said more spaces had initially been offered but were removed on the advice of the county council because of accessibility issues.

Councillors therefore had to consider whether the shortage of one space would create a ‘severe’ impact on surrounding roads.

Councillor Diane Guest said ward councillors should lobby the county council to improve enforcement and increase the number of spaces available on street.

But the committee felt more investigation was needed on parking and authorised officers to talk to the applicant to see if more spaces could be provided.

Councillor Edward Crouch said: ““These are really difficult because there is clearly a parking problem.

“Adding more people with cars is only going to make that situation more difficult but is it adding severely?”

Councillor Vicky Vaughan suggested losing one of the houses to create more parking.

The plans were approved by five votes to three.