AN application to change use of beach chalets in Worthing to create an artist’s hub has been deferred for further investigation.
Members of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee refused the application submitted by Stefan Sykes, owner of Coast Cafe who has combined forces with the council to bring about this project.
But after a conversation with the council’s lawyer, it was agreed that the matter would be deferred while more explanation was sought.
Angry chalet renters, who have collected a petition of 2,600 signatures against the proposal, say they have now been left in a state of confusion.
Three of them spoke against the objection during the meeting. Sue Sanders said: “The artists cannot survive on sales of work in this location and the studios are now becoming retail outlets where artists buy in other items to supplement their income… garage sale springs to mind.
“Chalets are not fit for purpose as studios. Internally they are too small and poorly ventilated.
“Use of hazardous chemicals and spray paints is not practised inside but on the forecourt below the chalets, exposing the public to harmful toxins.
“Chalets are cold,damp and unworkable in winter and are generally closed, not the artists hub we are being sold.”
“There is no provision for disabled access to the studios other than a temporary ramp stored at Coast café. This solution is discriminatory and an embarrassment to the users concerned.
“The existing five studios already lower the tone of the area and are in visual conflict with the sensitive developments of each end of Splashpoint.”
Mr Sykes said that more artist studios would make for an attractive area for businesses and tourists alike.
Councillor Bryan Turner added: “I believe the chalets are not used adequately now and this application will bring the chalets into use all through the year. There is no better use of the coastline.”
Councillor Michael Cloake said: “There is considerable objection to this application and this is clearly not in the best interests of the local community.
“I would find it very difficult to support this as it currently stands.”