IAN HART: Redevelopment offers opportunity for a landmark building

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

The ‘hot potato’ that is the Aquarena redevelopment by Roffey Homes reaches another stage next week, with another hearing of the planning committee for the revised proposals.

I have to say, I cannot remember a more contentious issue in the town which has polarised opinions.

Thankfully, we live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their specific view.

I’ve clearly got my opinion, it might upset some, but ultimately I, like everybody, want what’s best for the town.

If you look into the local planning policy it rightly states that the site of the old pool is on one of the gateways into the town.

Is this not an excellent opportunity to provide a landmark building?

Something that can almost act as catalyst for other regeneration in and around the town, showing everyone that Worthing actually does have some ambition for the future?

In their defence, and I know as I checked this, after they were refused the original application Roffey appointed top-level international architects, who not only believed that the site was unique but agreed with the local planning policy that the site could take some height, albeit reduced from the original plans to 15 storeys.

In short, Worthing needs this development. Having looked at the revised proposals I would seriously question if any objectors had other agendas rather than just the future of the old swimming pool.

As always, it’s down to the planning committee to decide, but I am sure its members, like the overwhelming majority of us, want what’s best for the town.

Refuse it again, and could we end up with another long-term, Teville Gate-like eyesore, and a generation of local residents asking ‘what if...’?

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