UPDATE: Pictures of new Aquarena plans
A LOWER tower block and a signature cafÃ© are part of fresh plans for Worthing's Aquarena, an exhibition has revealed today.
Roffey Homes’ plans for the former swimming pool, in Brighton Road, are on show at the Chatsworth Hotel until 7.30pm.
The firm has a new architect – Allies and Morrison – on board after plans for a 21-storey tower block were rejected last year.
Roffey managing director Ben Cheal said: “We have challenged Allies and Morrison, who are extremely well-known architects used to dealing with difficult sites, to bring a fresh approach to the site.
“What we have to show here today is their first thoughts for the site.”
The new plans include more public open space to the east of the tower, including provision for an ‘exceptional architectural’ café.
Retail space facing Brighton Road is greater, with higher elements of residential space in Merton Road scaled down.
Buildings are arranged in a crescent formation.
Jonathan Stern, project architect for Allies and Morrison, said the team had taken note of Worthing’s heritage in the designs.
Metal railings which weave around the tower are a nod to seafront terraces.
He said: “If it is a building of significance, it will be because of its quality, not because of its height.
“This is early stages. The height of the tower at the moment is 15 storeys and it could come down or it could go up. This is where we see it fits comfortably.
“We think it really reflects Worthing and will be a really positive thing for Worthing. We hope people will like it.”
The team will take on board comments from today’s public exhibition and hold another consultation in the coming weeks.
Roffey hopes to submit final plans in the summer, with a view to Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee considering them in autumn.
A separate appeal for the old scheme is in progress but Mr Cheal will withdraw it if the new plans are approved.
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