Sussex Yacht Club prepares for construction of new £4.2m Shoreham clubhouse

Work to conserve important saltmarsh is underway at the site of the new clubhouse
Work to conserve important saltmarsh is underway at the site of the new clubhouse

Sussex Yacht Club has named the company selected as the construction contractor for its new £4.2million clubhouse in Shoreham.

W Stirland, based in Chichester, has been selected as the contractor for the Brighton Road project, which will see the existing clubhouse – which has been home to Sussex Yacht Club since 1950 – demolished.

This will enable flood defences to be built along the riverside by Adur District Council, as well as a pedestrian and cycle route.

Terry Kinch, the commodore of Sussex Yacht Club said, “I am pleased to announce that we have appointed W Stirland as the contractors for this flagship development.

“It will be an asset for everyone in Shoreham to be proud of and we are looking forward to welcoming the community in to enjoy what we have to offer here.”

Councillors on Adur District Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the scheme in August, 2018, and work has already started at the site. It is expected to be completed in 2020.

Ahead of construction, work to conserve an ecologically-important area of saltmarsh plants near the site has been underway.

Club staff have been carefully transplanting a section of the saltmarsh plants by hand to an area safely away from any risk of damage during the construction work.

The plants had been growing on a slipway which will be filled in as part of the development – which will also see flood defences built on the site.

The slipway is currently designated as an intertidal habitat and the club is working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Natural England to create compensatory intertidal habitat elsewhere.

In addition to the creation of the new habitat, the club decided to protect the existing plants by moving them to a new home at the same tidal height nearby.

Local school children will be monitoring them as part of a biology and ecology project.

Terry Kinch, the commodore of Sussex Yacht Club, said: “We had agreed with the Environment Agency to provide a new stretch of saltmarsh to compensate for the unavoidable loss of a small area of intertidal habitat as a result of the building work.

“However, we also wanted to try and save as many of the saltmarsh plants as we could, because they are ecologically important to many different species and are an essential part of the aquatic food web.

“After taking advice, we are pleased to have successfully moved the plants and are hopeful that they will survive and thrive in their new location.”

The yacht club’s new clubhouse will be a two-storey building set further back from the road.

The new building, which will continue to be home to Sussex Sailability, a charity that enables people with disabilities to sail, will be specifically designed to allow sailors with disabilities the best possible experience.

Club members have worked closely with the membership of Sussex Sailability, the charity Changing Rooms and specialist architects to ensure that the new facilities fully meet everyone’s needs.

Mr Kinch said: “We hope that our focus on accessibility will encourage many more people to try the sport and to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water.”

SEE MORE: Woman suffers ‘life-changing injuries’ after being hit by train at Ferring level crossing

Can you help grow an ‘unloved’ field in Southwick into a community garden?

Shoreham gardeners set for popular annual plant sale