Proposed tower on Aquarena site is ‘still too tall’

The protest on the steps of the old building

The protest on the steps of the old building

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Demonstrators protested against revised plans for the derelict Aquarena site which they say ‘do not go far enough’ in addressing concerns about the building’s height.

Mr Malone said there was a ‘reasonable turnout’ at the demonstration, which was held from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, adding that a petition against the plans, which will be sent to the council’s case officer, gained 120 signatures.

According to Mr Malone, Ben Cheal of Roffey Homes had done ‘some really excellent work in Worthing in previous years’.

“But this time he has gone out on a limb and taken a different direction, which is a shame,” he added.

Sue Belton, chairman of the Worthing Society, said the ‘incongruous’ tower would negatively affect the area’s heritage environment.

She added that while the society did not want to ‘mothball’ the town, the tower was ‘out of context and character with the rest of the town’ and ‘not for us.’

She urged anyone who feels strongly about the issue to send the council a written objection before the closing date on Friday, January 6.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, also joined the demonstration.

He said: “While the new plans are much better at ground level and more welcoming for public use, opening up this part of the East Beach imaginatively and sympathetically, the tower remains too high.

“Such a dense and high development continues to be completely out of keeping with this part of Worthing and would set a bad precedent for over-development of the beach frontage.”

Ben Cheal, managing director at Roffey Homes, said the building would be a ‘catalyst for regeneration on the eastern gateway into Worthing’ and ‘a positive statement about our town’s future.’

He said: “We’ve seen a lot of positive support from people in Worthing for our fresh proposals, which will be a significant £45million investment in an area that’s been in need of regeneration for far too long.

“The plans would create a new garden square, extensive public space and a seafront pavilion café, plus commercial space and public parking for Splashpoint.

“Reflecting feedback, the carefully located tallest element is six storeys less than the previous proposal, and is part of providing much-needed new homes for the town that also includes affordable homes on-site.”

The Worthing Society will hold another demonstration on Saturday at Montague Place from 10am to midday.

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