Decision day for 21-storey Aquarena plans

PLANS for a controversial 21-storey tower block on Worthing seafront will be determined by councillors tonight (Tuesday, September 22).

Roffey Homes’ vision to deliver 147 homes at the Aquarena site, in Brighton Road, will be discussed by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee at Worthing Assembly Hall, in Stoke Abbott Road from 6.30pm.

Previous designs for the Aquarena

Previous designs for the Aquarena

The latest plans, which were resubmitted with tweaks to the design, received nearly 700 objections and 91 letters of support.

In an official report to the committee, council officers wrote: “The applicant’s agent refers to the building as world class and clearly time would tell if this was to be the case.

“The revised design certainly is a far more convincing form and the finishes and materials are essential to deliver the quality that the site (and its height) demands.”

The plans started as a conceptual polystyrene model at a public exhibition in June, 2014.

An original scale and mass model of the Aquarena site initial plans

An original scale and mass model of the Aquarena site initial plans

Representatives from Roffey Homes were subjected to a barrage of questioning from residents, who were strongly against the tower block.

Residents have since regularly held demonstrations outside the site and have launched petitions against the plans.

Herald readers were first given a glimpse of the specific designs four months later but the original concept was changed in July this year, three months after a hearing to decide the original application was cancelled.

Instead, the planning application was resubmitted and will be decided tonight.

The first images revealed for the plans for the old Aquarena site

The first images revealed for the plans for the old Aquarena site

In a last-minute twist last Wednesday, former council leader Paul Yallop expressed his ‘regret’ over his part in picking Roffey as the council’s preferred developer.

Officers have recommended the designs for approval – but councillors are free to make their own decision based on the planning merits.

See the above video for an update by councillor Edward Crouch, one of the planning committee members.

Visit his Facebook page for more information:

WH 261014 Residents protest outside Aquarena site in Brighton Road against new Roffey development.  L to R Jean Allison, Clive Beaven and Shirley Corderoy. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141026-212456001

WH 261014 Residents protest outside Aquarena site in Brighton Road against new Roffey development. L to R Jean Allison, Clive Beaven and Shirley Corderoy. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141026-212456001

See the Worthing Herald website after the meeting for a full report.