Will building up solve the housing puzzle?

Previous designs for the Aquarena
Previous designs for the Aquarena

LAND SHORTAGES may lead to a need for conversations about the suitability of high- rise developments.

Worthing last month dismissed plans for a 21-storey seafront tower block.

WH 230514 Adur and Worthing local elections count. Edward Crouch. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140524-004242001

WH 230514 Adur and Worthing local elections count. Edward Crouch. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140524-004242001

But while the Roffey Homes plans were rejected this time, councillors agree the subject is likely to rear its head in future.

Worthing Borough Council planning committee chairman Kevin Jenkins said: “Do we need to go up, can we go up and where should we go up? We have got to listen to the community about where high-rise may be suitable and what high-rise looks like for Worthing.”

Adur has yet to see applications on the scale of the Aquarena site but Pat Beresford, cabinet member for regeneration at Adur District Council, is open to the possibility. “I don’t think we live in times where we can turn our face against quite tall developments,” he said.

With less than 40 key sites earmarked for development in Adur and Worthing – which include sites like Teville Gate and Shoreham Harbour’s western arm – house building opportunities are limited.

Mr Beresford said Adur ‘didn’t have the luxury of Arun’ which he claimed had ‘a lot of potential sites’.

But Arun District Council cabinet member for planning and infrastructure Ricky Bower argued much of the land was either in the South Downs National Park or at high risk of flooding.

The suitability of some of Arun’s current site allocations have come under heavy scrutiny at Arun, with the Villages Action Group employing a barrister to pick apart the plan.

Mr Bower said: “I think there is a possibility that some of the more highly urban areas may have to start thinking about high-rise buildings of some sort. That may have to come.”

Under the local plan process, authorities have a ‘duty to cooperate’. This means authorities must actively work together to address shortfalls. This may see OANs rise where it is deemed authorities can accommodate others’ needs.

Worthing planning committee member Edward Crouch has called for a more regional approach to be taken.

He said: “It is facile to say that the housing issue is only the responsibility of the town where the person currently lives, as they may well be invested in their work town and want to live there.

“Essentially, we need to put the politics aside, drop the nimbyism and have some respect for the next generation of families and the next workforce and ensure we are all working in their collective best interests, rather than small town, small-minded approaches in isolation.”

Mr Crouch added taller developments in the ‘right places’ may be justified.

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