Petition calls for Aquarena approval to kick-start development of Worthing's key sites

Approve plans for the Aquarena '“ then push on and develop Worthing's other brownfield sites.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 3:56 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 3:57 pm
Latest plans for the Aquarena, now submitted to Worthing Borough Council. Image courtesy of F10 Studios SUS-161024-104359001

That is the call from businessman Paul O’Brien, who supports Roffey Homes’ plans for the former swimming pool site, in Brighton Road.

Objectors last week submitted a 2,300-signature petition, calling on councillors to reject the plans when they meet next Thursday (January 19).

Critics believe Roffey’s designs, which include a 15-storey tower block, are ‘out of place, ugly and overbearing’.

But Mr O’Brien said: “I would much rather see this sort of building go up higher on our brownfield sites than go out onto Goring Gap and north of the A27 onto downland.

“I think like many we are just bored of the stagnation of many of our derelict areas and with multiple planning applications coming forward in 2017 we want this to be the year that Worthing begins to reach it’s potential.”

The pro-development petition has attracted more than 100 signatures since being launched online yesterday.

To be submitted to Worthing Borough Council’s planning department, it further calls for officials to push for progress on privately-owned Union Place and Teville Gate.

Mr O’Brien feared the Aquarena would become ‘another Teville Gate’ if plans were not approved.

Hundreds of residents have submitted official representations direct to the council.

Just over 1,000 residents have objected, while 221 support Roffey’s plans.

Roffey went back to the drawing board when it saw its previous plans for the Aquarena rejected in September 2015.

More than 1,000 residents launched official objections, which included a higher, 21-storey tower block.

Addressing the current plans, Worthing Society chairman Susan Belton said: “We hope the councillors on the planning committee will recognise the strength of feeling from the local residents, who have taken time to come out in all weather to sign this petition.”

To comment on the planning application, for or against, click here.