A COMMUNITY church says it will appeal against a proposed rejection of its multi-use plan for an East Worthing warehouse.
Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee will on Wednesday (March 28) be recommended to refuse a proposal by the Jubilee Community Church to change the use of the disused Dominion Way warehouse into a community centre and place of worship.
Members will be asked to reject the proposal because it “entails the unjustified loss of sound and viable business premises on a protected industrial estate to the detriment of the local economy and spatial strategy”, contrary to council planning policies.
When told of the recommendation, church leader Colin Nichols said: “The local community will suffer because the council are just hoping someone will come along to fill all the empty business premises in that area.
“There is a desperate need for the Big Business idea, involving voluntary groups and social workers, and we are doing exactly what is being asked for.
“We are doing our best for the employment in the area, but at the moment, these buildings are sitting empty. We will appeal if the council rejects our plan.”
A supporting statement with the planning application said there had been discussions over using the town centre Assembly Hall as a possible base for the venture.
The statement continues: “In its current state, it will not meet the church’s need for meeting, nor will it serve the community in the way that Jubilee has envisioned...
“It would be a massive undertaking for the church, particularly when the building is currently losing some £400,000 per year... although as the work of the church expands in the future, it is not out of the question.
“The council’s recent decisions to keep the Assembly Hall ‘in house’, in the face of some very strong contenders willing to take it on, suggests that the council are not willing to take radical decisions on this building.”