A progress report on Worthing’s major developments was delivered last week as opposition councillors probed senior cabinet members over long-awaited regeneration projects.
Teville Gate, Union Place and the Stagecoach depot on Worthing seafront were all discussed at a borough council meeting last Tuesday – the last time the whole council met before today’s elections.
Work on the demolition of the Teville Gate multi-storey car park is ‘ on schedule and on budget’, councillors heard.
Contractors are seven weeks into a 20-week contract to knock down the concrete structure, with a temporary surface car park set to replace it to bring in revenue while the site’s redevelopment is awaited.
Responding to a question from Labour councillor Beccy Cooper, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration Kevin Jenkins said he was still ‘quietly confident’ landowners Mosaique would come forward with a planning application.
He said: “We are still anticipating they will come forward in spring, probably May/June time. We can’t mandate a time but it is fair to say we are having very productive meetings with the architect and are involved with pre-application discussion.
“I think it’s fair to say people are rightly or wrongly sceptical whether development comes forward but we need to consider they have probably done more than any other developer on that site has done.”
Mr Jenkins said Mosaique had undertaken ground surveys, an environmental impact assessment, traffic surveys, were on a second set of architects and had held public consultation events.
Stagecoach depot and Decoy Farm
The council has long-identified the Marine Parade site as ripe for redevelopment – but finding a new home for the bus company is key.
Decoy Farm, in East Worthing, has been earmarked for employment use and the council believes Stagecoach could be an ideal fit for the former landfill site.
Responding to another question from Dr Cooper, Mr Jenkins said: “Worthing Borough Council has no financial interest in the actual Stagecoach depot that enables us to require change but it does have ownership of Decoy Farm to enable us to influence change because we are able to provide options for them to move.”
Consultants have been appointed to look at what is needed to bring Decoy Farm back into use and highways works for making it work for the likes of Stagecoach. Mr Jenkins said the council’s major projects head of service would explore options.
The former police station site has been purchased by the council and a report to cabinet proposed a land pooling partnership with publicly-owned London and Continental Railways (LCR). More details about options for the site are expected in October.
Away from the meeting
Other potential projects include the Grafton car park, on the seafront. The Herald reported last year that funding could be sought for its demolition. Larger retail units, residential and a better connection to the seafront could be on the wishlist.