Residents react to latest Aquarena plans

Latest plans to redevelop Worthing's Aquarena, designed by architect Allies and Morrison SUS-160208-111527001
Latest plans to redevelop Worthing's Aquarena, designed by architect Allies and Morrison SUS-160208-111527001

Scores of residents turned out to view the latest plans for Worthing’s Aquarena yesterday (Tuesday, August 3).

Roffey Homes exhibited designs, including a 15-storey tower block, as part of its proposals for the former swimming pool site, in Brighton Road.

Latest plans to redevelop Worthing's Aquarena, designed by architect Allies and Morrison SUS-160208-111543001

Latest plans to redevelop Worthing's Aquarena, designed by architect Allies and Morrison SUS-160208-111543001

The developer appointed architects Allies and Morrison to design a fresh scheme after Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee rejected 21-storey tower plans last year.

Roffey estimated more than 200 residents attended the Chatsworth Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, to have their say on Tuesday.

And following the Herald’s report of the story – and seeking the views of those who went along – reaction appears have been mixed.

Anna Chant, of New Parade, part of the Save Our Seafront group, said: “It is still too high. They say it will avoid being an overbearing and dominant presence but how can they say that?”

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153829001

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153829001

Resident Gill Tucker added: “It looks like it has been dropped from outer space. It’s totally incongruous.”

Others, like Elise Mason, liked the design but she worried there would not be enough public and private car parking spaces.

Worthing Society chairman Susan Belton, who attended the event with other society members, was open-minded about the designs.

She said: “We reserve judgment until we have had a full committee meeting to discuss all the aspects of the design, particularly as it would affect the setting of the Farncombe Road conservation area and the listed Beach House.”

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153804001

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153804001

Writing on the Herald’s Facebook page, Melanie Peters said: “Any changes made to the town have to be positive if we want more people living here and visiting here.”

Heidi Martin, meanwhile, argued the designs were an ‘ugly mess’, fearing the tower would block sunlight and overshadow nearby buildings.

In a statement, Roffey managing director Ben Cheal said: “I’d like to thank everybody who came along. We’re really pleased that so many people are keen to contribute their views to what is a vital regeneration scheme for Worthing.

“Like so many of the people we’ve spoken to, we want this opportunity to make a major contribution to the town. We’re working hard to make sure we create something that is both ‘of Worthing’ and is a confident statement about its prosperous future.

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153817001

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153817001

“We will be taking people’s views on board before we submit our finalised planning application in September.”

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153752001

Latest plans for the Aquarena SUS-160308-153752001