PLANS to turn a dosser-plagued eyesore beach shelter into a trendy cafe-restaurant have been scuppered – by a sewer!
Worthing Borough Council has been forced back to the drawing board after Southern Water warned about the waste pipe under the promenade.
Bryan Turner, revealed the water company could demolish the new restaurant to do sewer repairs, and not have to pay the owners a penny in compensation.
He said the clause was uncovered only when the prospective developer did a land search.
The setback was a major blow to the council, which has regularly fenced off the shelter to stop violent and abusive street drunks gathering there, mainly during the summer when the promenade was packed with families.
Mr Turner said: “There is a sewer running down the prom, and they (Southern Water) don’t want any building within about 4m of it.
“If they had to do repairs in that area they have the right to knock down the shelter without any compensation.
He added: “I don’t think the original scheme is feasible any more and we have taken the decision to re-market it.”
He hoped a smaller eatery could still be constructed on the site.
A Southern Water spokesman said: “Access to sewers is required at all times as we may need to carry out repairs or remove blockages.
Because of its size, depth and the high levels of flows it carries, the sewer under the promenade is deemed a ‘critical sewer’ by the company.
“Building over or near to critical sewers is not allowed under any circumstances, as we made clear when we met with the developer in February of last year.
“Southern Water was not consulted as part of the planning application which took place prior to the meeting.”