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PLANNING IN WORTHING AND ADUR 

Teville Gate: Council set for dramatic £12m intervention to build 230 homes

A dramatic £12.5m intervention is set to be made by Worthing Borough Council to build hundreds of homes at the Teville Gate site.

A proposal is to be discussed by council leaders recommending the authority enter a joint venture partnership with an award-winning affordable homes provider to take over the site and finally bring some momentum to development which has stalled for decades.

Current owners Mosaic Global Investments Ltd has recently indicated it wants to sell the land, citing doubts caused by the pandemic as cause to end its plans for its ‘Station Square’ development on the site.

Fearing that another drawn out sale will further delay progress a council report says the best option may be for the authority to intervene and bring forward a plan to build 230 new homes on the site, 130 of which will be designated affordable.

The report proposes entering into partnership dialogue with VIVID, a Housing Association which already has 31,000 homes in the South of England and is keen to move into Worthing. VIVID is a strategic partner of the government’s Homes England body and was named Housing Association of the Year in 2019 by What House?

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, said, ‘For years we have worked so hard to try to bring development forward at Teville Gate but as it has been privately owned we have had little control of the outcome.

‘If this proposal succeeds it means we can take Teville’s destiny into our own hands. It means taking on managed risk but if successful it will bring much needed new homes and new life to this part of Worthing. Perhaps now is the time to intervene positively to help our local economy recover from the terrible effects the Pandemic has had on the entire UK.’

Mike Shepherd, Director of New Business and Development at VIVID said, ‘We are looking forward to the prospect of working with Worthing Borough Council on the Teville Gate site and bringing forward this development for the local community.’

The report points out that the Council’s post-Covid programme ‘And Then…’ calls for ‘appropriate and timely’ interventions from the authority to help stimulate recovery growth. It also details how council officers have worked with Mosaic to identify potential vendors for the site before concluding a joint venture might be the best way forward.

Under the proposed deal the Council and VIVID have agreed in principle to purchase the site from Mosaic. The Council will share the development risk of delivering 100 new homes for market sale. The affordable accommodation will be developed and managed by VIVID for the long term with the Council able to secure nomination rights for a proportion of new homes for people currently on the housing waiting list.

The investment from the Council would be in the region of £12.5m but, the report points out, 50 per cent of the sale proceeds of the market homes would return to the authority. If the homes were built and sold within three years at a 10 per cent profit the Council would return a surplus.

Last year in another effort to bring impetus to the Teville project the Council secured a £1.6 million grant, funded from the Local Growth Fund provided by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to demolish the multi-storey car park which sat on the only part of the site that it controlled via a long-term lease.

The report to go before Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee next Tuesday (Nov 3) asks the Worthing’s Executive Committee councillors to release £246,000 for the initial costs of the project and to delegate to the Director for the Economy the authority to enter into a pre-purchase funding agreement with VIVID.


Plans for more than 150 “key worker” homes approved

Innovative international housing developer BoKlok has received approval in principle to create 152 high-quality low-cost properties by Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

The company, which has its roots in Sweden and is jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA, has been working with the authority for more than a year to develop proposals for land west of Fulbeck Avenue.

The majority of the new homes will be priced so they are accessible to local working families. The remaining 30% will be allocated for rent and shared ownership.

Councillors backed the scheme at a virtual meeting of the planning committee last night (October 21, 2020), praising the innovative approach and its commitment to sustainability. 

Pending agreement on final drainage plans and site conditions, construction could begin next year with the first homes on the market soon after.

Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “I am delighted my colleagues have supported in principle this innovative scheme.

“We know the high-cost of home ownership is a major concern to local families. This modern high-quality development will provide hard-working key workers the opportunity to get a foot on the property ladder without having to move out of the town. It will also provide a range of affordable options for those who want or need to rent.

“While there is still work to be done on the outstanding drainage issues, this is an extremely positive step forward on a major development for the town.”

BoKlok UK Managing Director, Graeme Culliton said: “We are delighted by this outcome and we look forward to starting construction on one of our first sites in the UK.

“We know that the demand for housing is at an all-time high, therefore offering this solution will support the council’s housing targets and provide a thriving community development.

 

“We have paid close attention to committee members' views regarding ecology and drainage and we are confident that our continued work with council officers will bring this to a successful conclusion.

Councillors approved the scheme, pending agreement on site conditions as well as designing a robust drainage scheme  to alleviate flooding concerns.

The proposal for 152 flats will provide 51 one bedroom and 101 two bedroom homes distributed across five blocks. 

Each property will have a balcony, as well as access to landscaped community space, which includes growing pods, shared tool shed, barbeque pit and playground.

Secure cycle stores and 160 car parking spaces will be provided. A third will have live electric charging points while the remainder will be ‘cable-ready’.

The completed homes will be manufactured off-site using sustainably-sourced timber. They are then transported to the construction site for assembly with high quality IKEA fittings throughout.

Environmentally-friendly measures will be included throughout to keep the carbon footprint low, including community air source heat pumps and water saving methods to limit use to 105 litres a person per day.

Cllr Paul High, Chairman of the Planning Committee, said: “Colleagues are pleased to be able to back this scheme, recognising the benefits it will bring to providing housing to local people. There is still some work to do on drainage but I am confident that we will be able to continue our positive working relationship with BoKlok to resolve these in the coming months.”

The creation of new housing is a key part of “And Then…”, the Councils' short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown.


 



Approval for regeneration of Worthing town centre site

Ambitious plans to regenerate Worthing’s town centre have been given a major boost with the approval of proposals to create nearly 170 homes, commercial space, hotel and expanded cinema on a brownfield site.

As part of its ambitious town centre regeneration programme, Worthing Borough Council has been working with with LCR, the government’s placemaking and sustainable regeneration specialist, on bringing Union Place back into use.

The 1.1 hectare site, which includes the former police station, has sat largely unused for more than a decade after private companies failed to bring forward viable schemes.

After stepping into purchase the site last year, the Council last night received outline permission from the town’s Planning Committee to transform the area.

Also included in the proposal is replacement public car parking, high-quality public spaces and a new play area.

Leaders welcomed the decision, noting the development supports the overall town centre renewal programme and, when complete, would make a significant contribution to long-term economic sustainability of Worthing post-COVID.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, the Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that this proposal in principle has received the backing of the planning committee and want to thank the team from LCR and our own officers for bringing an ambitious and deliverable scheme forward. 

“Union Place is an important town centre site that has been left undeveloped for a number of years, which has had a negative impact both visually and economically on the vitality of our local economy.

“Bringing it back into use is a key part of our ambitious town centre renewal programme, which has become even more important due to COVID.

“The proposal creates a range of much-needed housing; supports tourism, through a new hotel; will create a more vibrant cultural scene, with the proposed addition of new cinema screens; and offers flexible commercial space and connectivity to the wider town centre which will support the local economy for years to come.”

Ray Willis, Regional Director for LCR in the South, said:“We’re pleased to be supporting the Council’s ambition in bringing this key site back into productive use. It has been made possible by leveraging the Council’s unrivalled knowledge of the needs of its community, coupled with our experience in developing complex sites. The project is set to deliver vital new homes, jobs and public value for Worthing.

Regenerating underused and underdeveloped land in our town and city centres has always been key to maintaining thriving communities, but it’s now more important than ever as Britain looks to navigate an economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. This is a key example of the kind of project that local authorities should champion in order to generate strong growth across our regional hubs.”

Frustrated with the lack of progress on regenerating the prime town centre site, the Council acquired the site last year before entering into a landpool agreement with LCR.

An outline planning application to create 169 new homes, 670 sqm of flexible commercial space and 90 bed hotel on the land between High Street and Chapel Road was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee at a virtual meeting last night (November 4, 2020).

Also included will be a cinema extension of up to four extra screens and flexible cultural space to support the neighbouring Connaught Theatre.

The development will be laid out in a series of even blocks of between four to six storeys with a 14 storey tower at its heart.

Plans include 245 car parking spaces, which will include public spaces to replace the current NCP car park. A fifth of the residential spaces will be EV charging points while 184 cycle spaces will be created.

Councillors also praised the new public realm enhancements, which will include a new play space.

The redevelopment of Union Place is one part of the Councils’ ambitious direction of travel Platforms for Our Places: Going Further.

This scheme also supports the Council’s ‘And Then...’ ambitions to create a vibrant mix of high-quality housing, cultural and commercial premises in the town centre post-COVID.


Future of major green space set to be secured by Adur Council

A major green space previously put forward for development is set to be preserved and enhanced for generations to come thanks to Adur District Council.

For centuries, the 70 hectare site at New Salts Farm has been used for agriculture, acting as a natural barrier between the urban settlements of Lancing and Shoreham.

But recently the owner Hyde New Homes explored the viability of creating more than 450 properties on the land to the north of the A259.

Recognising the importance New Salts Farm plays in the look, feel and wider biodiversity of the area, the Council is now set to make the rare move of stepping in to purchase the site - with a commitment to preserve and enhance the land as a haven for natural habitat.

Funding for the acquisition will come from the sale of the former Adur Civic Centre, where Hyde is working with the local authority to bring forward designs for 173 new homes and 1,000 sqm of office space.

Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “New Salts Farm plays an integral role in the look and feel of our whole district, acting as a vital green corridor between our vibrant coastline and the surrounding South Downs.

"That’s why I’m delighted we have been innovative, creative and proactive in exploring ways to protect and enhance this land for generations to come.

"If agreement is reached on purchasing the site, our ambition is to look at how it be used and improved to support biodiversity. This will support our very ambitious sustainability agenda and go some way to helping us achieve our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

A report on purchasing New Salts Farm is to be presented to executive councillors at a virtual meeting of the Joint Strategic Committee next week (Tuesday September 8, 2020).

The document outlines how Hyde looked to get the land allocated for development in 2016. However this was contested by the Council due to flooding concerns and a desire to maintain the green gap.

To prevent this from happening again, councillors are set to approve the purchase of the land at a meeting next week and seek to allocate the land as protected green space within the Adur Local Plan.

The next stage will be for the Council to investigate how to best utilise the land for the wider benefit of residents and nature. This could include some of it being set aside for capturing solar energy.

Cllr Parkin added: “We all know that there is high demand for housing in the area. While we are determined to support the creation of much-needed high-quality accommodation for our residents, this should not come at a complete cost to the natural environment.”

The proposed acquisition of New Salts Farm forms part of “And Then…”, the Councils short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown.

It also supports the ambitions laid out in Platforms for our Places: Going Further, which sets out the Councils’ plans over the next three years to help residents and businesses to thrive through support and action in five key areas, or platforms.



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