Southwick estate could be refurbished or redeveloped

Blocks of housing in Southwick could be refurbished or redeveloped as part of Adur District Council’s efforts to improve the quality of its accommodation stock.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:25 pm

Adur Homes, the council’s social housing arm, owns and manages more than 2,500 properties.

An area in need of investment is the Southwick Estate between the railway station and Shoreham Port, consisting of 248 homes across 15 blocks, 13 of which are owned by Adur Homes and two are commercial properties owned by others.

These are split into 70 per cent tenants and 30 per cent leaseholders.

Improvements were due to take place on the estate last year but were halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This has provided the opportunity for Adur Homes to review the entire estate and look at a range of future options.

The first stage of the work will see engagement with tenants and leaseholders before any detailed work is carried out.

Phase two would look at options including refurbishment, partial redevelopment, infilling, extensions or full redevelopment.

The council would then agree a preferred option and submit a full business case.

The project was welcomed at Adur and Worthing Councils joint strategic committee on Tuesday (March 27).

Carson Albury, Adur’s executive member for customer services, said: “Adur Homes in the past has been accused of doing capital works on our properties without consulting sufficiently or consulting at all with the residents and this will not happen this time in this particular instance.

“The tenants and leaseholders will be consulted with all the way through and whatever decision is made then they have a hand in it.”

The Southwick estate was originally surveyed by consultants as part of Adur Homes’ stock condition surveys undertaken between 2016-9.

This work noted that significant repair and maintenance work would be required to all blocks on the estate. Works included but were not limited to window replacement, fire door replacement, fire safety improvements, flat roof covering replacement, removal and replacement of concrete balconies, structural repairs and repointing of brickwork and refurbishment of internal communal areas.

Initial estimates for the total cost of full refurbishment would be in the region of £23million over the next five to ten years, with some of this recoverable through leaseholder contributions.

This substantial outlay would also only ensure properties are brought up to decent homes standards.

Meanwhile other items such as electrical works, asbestos management and some roofing elements would require even more money to be spent.

Due to the high costs, consultants were commissioned to look at redevelopment options, with the work demonstrating this could offer a viable alternative.

Neil Parkin, leader of the council, added: “What an exciting concept and I hope people will go along with it. It’s a chance of re-doing the whole estate where most of the buildings are well beyond their sell by date and I think it’s really exciting and groundbreaking for Adur.”