Plans revealed for 20-storey block of flats on Shoreham riverfront

The New Wharf site in Brighton Road, Shoreham
The New Wharf site in Brighton Road, Shoreham

Plans to build a tower block along Shoreham waterfront have been revealed at a public consultation.

Industrial land at New Wharf, just west of Monteum fishmongers in Brighton Road, could be developed into flats standing up to 20 storeys high.

Design company ECE Architecture exhibited early plans at the Ropetackle in Little High Street on Thursday (June 20), with a scale model showing how the residential building could tower over the Shoreham skyline.

The proposals would see around 100 flats come to the town, in blocks of either 13, 16 or 20 storeys. The building’s width would depend on the number of storeys.

Around 30 of the flats would be affordable homes, in line with the Adur local plan’s requirement of 30 per cent for new developments.

ECE said the tall, narrow building would help to maintain views of the Adur and South Downs by having larger gaps between blocks.

It would be a ‘truly landscape led scheme’, according to the consultation presentation, aimed at maximising communal space and using the building’s height as a ‘marker for a unique public open space’.

The architects said the proposal was developed in line with the Shoreham Harbour Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP), which was agreed in May 2018.

The JAAP will see a minimum of 1,100 new residential dwellings along Shoreham Harbour in order to deliver ‘sustainable transformation’, an ‘attractive new setting’ and create a ‘greater sense of vibrancy along the waterfront’.

It said New Wharf would ideally see horseshoe-shaped developments with fewer storeys, but taller buildings could be accepted if they demonstrate high quality design and incorporate public space, public transport accessibility and views to surrounding areas of beauty.

Microclimate impacts such as wind, daylight and air pollution would also have to be taken into account.

Barb O’Kelly from Adur Residents Environmental Action (AREA) said the plans at this stage were not detailed enough to form much of an opinion but she was concerned about the proposed height and impact on local infrastructure.

“The infrastructure is just not there,” she said.

“Where are all the children going to go to school, where are all the children going to play?

“And unless they can do something about the traffic and the air quality, it’s going to be detrimental to the community.”

She questioned whether there was a need for so many new homes, taking into account ongoing developments including Kingston Wharf and Free Wharf, and suggested over-development could actually see people driven away from the town in the long run.

She said AREA had recently undertaken a traffic count in Shoreham town centre and found 16,000 cars passed through between 7am and 7pm – a situation only going to be exacerbated by an influx of new residents.

The New Wharf development would join several ongoing builds along Shoreham Harbour, including the 540-home Free Wharf and 255-home Kingston Wharf.