‘Twin-tower’ denial

IN his letter in last week’s Herald, Richard Cooper-Knight implies the Worthing Society’s reservations about the twin towers residential blocks proposed at Teville Gate somehow contributed to the delay in redeveloping the site.

In 2007, consent was given to an application which included the tower blocks, but it was the developer who decided not to proceed.

The current new application now includes the site of Teville Gate House in Railway Approach and is for a very high density mixed-use development with a quantum of business, retail, leisure, hotel and residential use and retains the twin towers.

Following the deliberations of the Highways Authority and the council’s strong desire to regenerate this area, the application has received consent.

This is the third planning consent in a decade and the decision to proceed will rest entirely with the scheme’s economic viability and funding.

The society does have reservations about the residential towers, based on observation of tall buildings in other coastal towns.

They lose their allure and impoverish the street scene at ground level.

The tall blocks in Brighton do the city no favours.

Visitors do not go to gaze up at the high-rise flats.

The society’s main concern will always be the town’s heritage but we support new build where appropriate.

We probably surprised many Worthing inhabitants by giving full support, from concept to finish, to the replacement Lemo building in North Street, and more recently for the proposed contemporary extension to the Burlington Hotel.

Generally, developers in the private sector are not aspirational in their architecture, preferring to hide behind a melange of Deco or other pastiche. A design is only as good as the client will allow.

We welcomed the WBC Space Standard Supplementary Planning Document, which we hope will address the inadequacy of living space afforded by many conversions and dwellings over recent years.

UK standards are amongst the lowest in the world! Meanwhile, the society is among the many who are campaigning for changes in the government’s draft National Policy Planning Framework.

We would welcome Mr Cooper-Knight renewing his membership and support of the Worthing Society to help our contribution to Worthing’s civic pride.

David Sumner

chairman

The Worthing Society