Councillors consider Roffey's beachfront apartments proposal

A developer whose seafront flats plans were dismissed by the Government last year following objections from hundreds of residents learned the fate of their latest scheme last night.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 5:12 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:11 am
Latest plans for land on the corner of Grand Avenue and West Parade, right SUS-170321-120207001

Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee met to determine plans by Roffey Homes for land on the corner of Grand Avenue and West Parade last night, after the Herald went to press.

Council officers had recommended the scheme, for 29 flats at a maximum of eight storeys, for approval.

The latest scheme followed the council’s rejection of previous plans, which peaked at 11 storeys, in April 2015. Roffey’s appeal was dismissed by a government inspector a year later.

Commenting on the new designs, officer Peter Devonport wrote: “Much remains the same in concept but the new scheme has taken on board a key lesson of that refusal by substantially reducing the height and downscaling the massing of the proposed new block.

“It is now broadly commensurate with the height of the adjacent buildings, less bulky and/or adequately separated to provide suitable
attenuation. It is not a landmark building.”

The application led to the formation of the Protect Worthing Seafront campaign group.

While welcoming many of the tweaks to the designs, the group argued more changes were necessary for the project to be acceptable.

“While we welcome a number of the modifications made to the design since the appeal was rejected in May unfortunately we cannot wholeheartedly support the new application,” they wrote.

The group suggested Roffey could fund the changes it proposed – to reduce the ‘impact’ on neighbouring residents – through the savings made on a lack of affordable housing.

Figures submitted to the council – and tested by independent valuers –stated Roffey was unable to contribute the expected funds for affordable housing as its profit margin was below the accepted 20 per cent at 12.34 per cent.

Off-site contributions of £824,850, reduced to £590,000 by applying a ‘vacant land credit’ discount, would normally have been requested.