More towers likely to follow if Aquarena '˜skyscraper' goes ahead
In my view is that we are approaching a critical point in the development of Worthing.
The proposal to build a 15-story skyscraper on the Aquarena site with a level of density comparable to that seen in many cities of the Far East will test the assertion from James Appleton, Head of Planning, that “ the only way is up”.
Worthing is a seaside town characterised by the sea to the south and the Downs to the north.
Its architectural heritage is largely Victorian/Edwardian and is predominantly low to medium rise. It is pleasing to note that recent developments on and around the seafront have respected our history and the town is changing for the better.
However, if the planning application for this beachside tower is passed, it is likely to set a precedent for more high-rise blocks to be built along our seafront and elsewhere as Mr Appleton envisages.
After all, the Aquarena site is right on the shoreline, opposite the Farncombe Road Conservation Area and adjacent to Beach House, a Grade 2* listed building and New Parade, a row of Victorian terraced houses.
If this is deemed a suitable “high rise” location more will probably follow. Perhaps there is an alternative approach. Densities of 75 to 100 houses per hectare are achievable with three to five storeys and plenty of open space. The “only way is up” is simply wrong and out of date.
The urban task force report of 1999 shows how densities of 75 dwellings per hectare can be obtained with 2/3 storey terrace houses and 4-storey flats. London terraces give densities of 100 or more.
There is so much low-rise density housing in Worthing and land being approved for development that there is immense scope for increasing density with medium height rather than tower blocks.
If nothing else I hope my letter will trigger a wider debate, which thus far appears to be lacking.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.worthingherald.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Worthing.news
3) Follow us on Twitter @Worthing_Herald
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Worthing Herald - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.