Having read Chris Hare’s book Historic Worthing, I can understand why the Worthing Society would be nervous about new developments on any land owned by the council.
(Think of the decision to pull down much of our historic architecture to make way for the Guildbourne Centre).
However, is their recent objection to the planning application of the eastern flank of Montague Place as reported in last week’s Herald really in the town’s best interests?
This “public realm” which they are eager to protect is in reality a blank wall (the side of the old Woolworths), and a few bike racks.
Developing that side of Montague Place would significantly enhance the area as a whole, completing the balance of Montague Place and connecting the seafront with Montague Street wonderfully.
I sat outside one of the cafés on the west side this summer (in the shade), and looked across at the vista of this brick wall bathed in full sun wondering why that side hadn’t been put to better use.
The Worthing Society suggest that any renovations should be “cosmetic”, and funded by the public.
Perhaps they can suggest what they consider to be cosmetic, how the council would pay for it, and how it would benefit Worthing?
I’d like to think Worthing is gradually making up for the planning mistakes of the 1960s with thoughtful designs such as the award-winning Eardley and the Splashpoint promenade.
We’ve benefited from the vibrant development at the Broadwater Northbrook campus, and a redevelopment to the unoccupied Lloyds building in Durrington is currently under review to ensure it is attractive and provides regeneration to the area.
(Particularly with Worthing College moving).
Worthing has the potential to become an attractive place to live and work going forward, and to continue attracting interest and investment from further afield.
We have the new swimming pool to look forward to, new playgrounds installed, and my fingers are crossed the Teville Gate development will still go ahead.
It is interesting to note how many of the proposed developments in Brighton and Hove have been scuppered over the last few years, partly through objection as well as finance, leaving eyesores intact.
(The King Alfred is just one example).
About the only development that succeeded was the renovation of their bandstand!
I realise these are only my views and there may be many other factors involved.
But we might now have the opportunity to provide an alternative to Brighton and Hove by being progressive yet responsible with our planning decisions, before interest wanes with willing investors to our town.
Evelyn Road, Worthing