News


Harbour plans published

Proposals have been finalised for the long-term development of Shoreham Harbour, and published for final scrutiny before being submitted for formal adoption.

The Shoreham Harbour Joint Action Plan is a joint initiative by local councils and the port authority. Large areas of the harbour are earmarked for extensive housing development and new commercial premises.

Details of the final proposals are available on this council website.

A consultation period is under way until December 22 but at this stage comments are invited only on the legal soundness of the plan.

As expected from previous drafts, the plan allows for extensive development throughout the harbour. In the western arm alone (from Kingston beach to the Shoreham footbridge), a minimum of 1,100 dwellings are proposed, with no maximum suggested. They will be mostly in blocks of flats, with a few housing terraces.

For blocks of flats fronting Brighton Road or the river, a height of up to five storeys is suggested, but with more storeys allowed within deeper sites.

Less controversially, public access and amenities along the waterfront are encouraged, together with waterside cycle and pedestrian routes from Shoreham to Kingston, plus improved cycling facilities along the A259.

HISTORY: Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) for harbour proposed in 2008 by Brighton, Adur and WSx councils and Port Auth. Development briefs published 2014, followed by various consultations, technical studies etc. Final JAAP published November 2017, with formal adoption expected 2018.

To page-top


Alarm grows over traffic and pollution

Deepening concerns are being voiced over relentless local increases in traffic congestion and its resultant air pollution.

A local environmental group supported by the Shoreham Society is calling for urgent action and planning strategies to improve Shoreham's air quality. With pollution soaring from increased traffic as more local housing is built, Adur Residents Environmental Action (AREA) has said Adur Council must hold developers to account in terms of their duty to mitigate environmental harm when building new housing developments.

In the meantime a Shoreham Area Sustainable Transport Study is continuing to explore how to achieve smarter traffic and transport management as the local population increases. The study is focusing on improving cycle and pedestrian facilities, encouraging best use of roads and achieving sustainable transport infrastructure.

The Shoreham Society and AREA attended the latest meeting of the Shoreham Area Sustainable Transport Study and pressed for greater emphasis on environmental considerations in transport planning.

The increasing public concern over traffic congestion and pollution has prompted cynicism over Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's request to Highways England to re-think its ideas for easing congestion on the A27 between Shoreham and Worthing.

Initial suggestions by Highways England - widely criticised by residents and councillors - involved spending 69m on six junctions between Durrington Hill and Lancing Manor. Adur Council leader Neil Parkin described it as "like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic."

An increasing view is that seeking solutions from Highways England is mis-directed because it would mean only road-based solutions are considered, whereas a more creative and wide-ranging approach is required, with much smarter solutions such as integrated transport systems and strategies for social change to reduce vehicle usage.

More information about the campaign group AREA is available on their website (click here).

To page top


Height concern over Kingston Wharf plan

Building heights have again emerged as a big concern among local residents as plans are revealed for the proposed Kingston Wharf development in Brighton Road.

Some residents attending a public exhibition of the latest plans for the site, just west of the harbour entrance, said they were alarmed at the height and visual dominance of proposed blocks of flats.

The proposal is for around 200 homes in blocks up to nine storeys high - two storeys higher than the controversial development on the old Parcelforce site further along Brighton Road, which many people say is too high. Proposed building heights have been one of the main concerns in several other development plans for the town.

Kinston Wharf proposal

Artist's impression of the flats from the river.

As well as the housing, the development proposal includes a commercial area and an Aldi store, plus a cafe and river walkway. More information and visuals are available on the developer's website (click here).

A planning application is expected within the next few months.

To page top


Free Wharf plans add to height fears

Building heights and housing density have re-emerged as big concerns at Free Wharf, the former Minelco site off Brighton Road, Shoreham.

Public pressure resulted in a reduction of originally-proposed building heights, but there is a widespread view that the changes didn't go far enough. The concerns have risen again with the submission of a planning application for blocks of flats up to nine storeys high.

Free Wharf impression

The Shoreham Society has said three to five storeys would be far more appropriate, and has also expressed concern about the number of flats now proposed and the likely impact on local infrastructure.

When the developers showed a scheme in public consultation earlier this year it was widely criticised as too much and too high, so there is inevitable cynicism that they have now put in a planning application for more and higher.

Southern Housing Group (SHG) say the proposed height and density (ten blocks totalling 540 flats) are necessary to deliver the target of 30% affordable homes - even though that proportion was already set when 400 homes were initially indicated for the site.

Local residents with any views about the proposal can comment on the planning application at the council's planning website (click here), quoting planning reference AWDM/1497/17.

HISTORY: Site earmarked for redevelopment in 2012. Morrisons announced plan for superstore on part of site in 2015, but backed out after a few months. Southern Housing Group bought site in late 2015 and proposed major housing and commercial redevelopment. More detailed proposals announced in May 2016, with revisions publicised in December 2016. Planning application submitted October 2017. Building heights and strain on local infrastructure remain chief concerns.

To page-top


Affordable housing minimum urged

The Shoreham Society is calling on Adur council to insist that new residential developments must have a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing - and up to 40 per cent for large developments.

The society says council planners should adopt a robust policy on housing, not letting developers cut back on the 30/40 per cent national guidelines for affordable properties or social housing.

Society members are concerned about a growing trend by developers to offer the full recommended quota of affordable housing at first, but later say it is not viable and seek to either reduce the affordable quota or increase the overall density by packing more units into the site.

A society spokesman said: "Councillors and planning officers in many areas are proving weak in response to developers' demands, allowing genuine local housing needs to be compromised in pursuit of what they mistakenly believe to be economic regeneration.

"It can lead to a reduction in the provision of affordable homes, urgently required to meet the housing shortage for local families and workers. Instead it brings a predominance of high-cost luxury housing bringing much higher profits for developers but causing major social problems by attracting buyers from outside the area and increasing the strain on already-overstretched local infrastructure and services."

The society is urging councillors and planning officers to firmly resist any reductions in proposed affordable or social housing, to demand that developers open their books to independent inspection if they claim that the guidelines are not viable, and to decline planning consent for schemes that put profits before meeting real local housing needs.

To page top


Opposition grows against 600-home New Monks Farm plan

Widespread local opposition has been aired since a planning application was submitted for the controversial New Monks Farm development proposed to the west of Shoreham Airport.

At a public meeting called by local MP Tim Loughton, the mood was overwhelmingly one of protest, with many residents expressing great concerns about the plans for the site.

Extensive housing development in this area is included in the draft Adur Local Plan, despite concerns about the impact on local infrastructure and fears of flooding. Lancing Parish Council has opposed large-scale development here.

Some 600 homes and a new primary school are proposed, plus business and commercial premises including a large IKEA store.

A 28-hectare country park is also proposed in response to concerns over loss of open space.

In January the Government's Local Growth Fund allocated 5.7m for road works to support the development.

The planning application and numerous associated documents can be viewed on this Adur council website .

HISTORY: Housing development on this site - once thought unlikely because of perceived flood risk - was proposed in 2013 and later added to the draft Adur Local Plan to help meet the Government's housing target. Initial proposals amended in 2015 after various concerns were raised. Government funding of 5.7m allocated in January for roadworks associated with the development.

To page top


Housing alarm as Adur Local Plan nears approval

The Shoreham Society is alarmed at changes to Adur's future planning strategy which lift guideline limits on house-building in the area.

A Government inspector scrutinising the draft Adur Local Plan made suggestions for modifying it, including changing the word "approximate" to "minimum" when referring to housing numbers at several sites.

Although the inspector is not recommending new areas for development beyond those already earmarked, his proposed changes of wording - which Adur Council has also adopted - could significantly reduce local control over harmful over-development.

Having only the minimum targets specified with no guidance on maximums could mean the numbers of housing units could soar, and the Shoreham Society has urged councillors to resist the change.

The Society, which submitted a detailed response, welcomed the inspector's indication that no new sites need to be added to those already in the draft plan. This should mean that controversial proposals by developers for housing off New Salts Farm Road, and by Steyning Road near the Adur flyover, will be easier for the council to block as these sites are not in the plan. (... although councillors have already dithered over the flyover site, having delayed a decision despite their officers recommending refusal).

The society has also welcomed the inspector's indication that the proportion of affordable housing should be increased.

But the society wants the council to have enough power to ensure that developments earmarked in the plan are carefully controlled to address the impact on infrastructure, local services and the environment.

Some 3,500 new homes are proposed for Adur by 2031, and although this number is significantly lower than previous Government targets, such rate of development is inevitably controversial.

Tension between meeting housing demand and limiting harmful overdevelopment is a key issue. There has been much debate over whether the Local Plan's housing provisions are driven more by profit opportunities for developers than by any genuine attempt to meet local housing needs.

Concerns are also recognised about traffic congestion and resultant air pollution, and also flood risk and strain on local services.

HISTORY: Process began 2014. Consultations and amendments in 2015 and 2016. Submission to Government Oct 2016. Public hearings by Government Inspector held in Feb 2017. Consultation on his conclusions held during summer 2017. Inspector largely endorsed the plan with few modifications. Final agreement of the plan by Aur Council expected at meeting on December 14.

To page-top


Mixed reactions to Beach Green proposals

New proposals for developing the site which includes the old toilet block on Beach Green, Shoreham Beach, have been met with mixed reactions.

Earlier proposals floundered following the withdrawal of interest by the developer selected by the council, but Adur Council is now in talks with an acclaimed development company and the high-profile DJ Fatboy Slim.

Beach Green proposal

They are suggesting a multi-function community hub on similar lines to successful ventures at Shoreditch and Croydon and incorporating a cafe such as Fatboy Slim's Big Beach Cafe in Hove Lagoon.

Under the working name of Big Beach Box, their Shoreham Beach concept could have a roof terrace above the community cafe, and also changing rooms and a centre for watersports.

While some residents have welcomed the prospect of the old block being redeveloped, others are alarmed at the scale of the new proposal, saying it is out of proportion for the area, and some are critical of the box-like design.

They want to see a smaller-scale development on similar lines to the popular Perch cafe on Lancing beach.

Local architect and former Shoreham Society committee member Chris Harris is hoping to influence the design and has suggested that the developers could consider an alternative style with a curved roof and more open aspect. His sketch below shows his idea from the south:

Beach Green alternative design

A planning application is expected later this year and if approved, work could start early in 2018.

HISTORY: Redevelopment of the old toilet block has been a long-term intention for years. ADC chose a preferred developer in Spring 2016. Proposals were suggested and consultation conducted, but the preferred developer pulled out in Autumn 2016. New proposal put forward by Big Beach partnership in 2017, with planning application expected by year-end.

To page top


Tighter parking controls urged

Adur Council and the police are being urged to clamp down on illegal, obstructive and inconsiderate parking in the town.

The Shoreham Society is calling on the authorities to take a firmer line on bad parking after receiving increasing complaints from members about selfish and illegal road behaviour.

Unauthorised parking in disabled bays, on pavements and yellow lines and in dangerous positions at junctions have all noticeably increased as road congestion has risen, says the society.

With the town's population increasing dramatically with new housing developments, the society predicts the problem will continue to get worse unless parking regulations are more diligently enforced.

Spurred by an initiative by local resident Barry Ruffell, who has raised the issue with councillors and relevant officers, the 500-strong society is adding its voice in pressing for the council's parking enforcement officers, and the police in serious cases, to wage war against anti-social and illegal parking.

Mr Ruffell, a musician with the popular local acoustic trio The Rude Mechanicals, has identified several town-centre spots where parking infringements regularly cause problems, and the society is asking its own members to report examples of anti-social parking. It can be done by phoning the council's parking services dpt on 0345 680 0189, and/or emailing the principal parking officer Jason Passfield. Residents who feel this is an important issue are also advised to inform their local councillor.

A society spokesman said: "At the moment there is a prevailing attitude by some motorists that 'it'll be OK here for just a few minutes while I pop into the shop or do this little errand'. They disregard the likelihood that their selfishly parked car will cause obstruction, inconvenience and possibly danger.

"A change of social attitude is needed, and the best way to bring that about will be for people to know there's a very high chance of finding their illegally-parked car ticketed."

To page top


Ham Road plan approved against neighbours' wishes

Plans for an office block on the site of the former Shoreham Civic Centre car park in Ham Road have been approved despite opposition from residents of Gordon Road.

The proposal is for 2,300 square meters of floorspace for a hi-tech business, supporting around 200 jobs.

The residents say the block - of three floors above a parking area making four storeys in total - will deprive them of light and privacy. They also listed a range of other grounds for concern, but Adur Council's planning committee voted by a small majority to approve the plan.

Meanwhile, redevelopment of main Civic Centre site on the south side of Ham Road continues to be debated by councillors, who are keen to see it used for new housing and retail. Talks between Adur Council and the developers originally selected for transforming the area broke down and the council has been seeking a new partnership to get the project back on track.

HISTORY: Civic Centre built in 1980 to provide Adur Council's HQ. As council services increasingly became joint operations with Worthing, it was recognised ADC didn't need so much office space. Departments started relocating in 2013, and last council staff moved out in 2016 to new extension of Shoreham Centre.

To page top


Revised Ropetackle extension approved

Adur Council's approval of revised plans for extending Shoreham's Ropetackle area include a controversial proposal for a higher building than previously indicated.

Permission has been granted for a block of flats to be given an extra storey, despite strong local concerns about tall buildings.

The riverside area north of the railway line, to be called Ropetackle North, is to be developed by the Hyde Group with 120 new residential units - 60 houses and 60 flats.

The proportion of affordable housing has been left negotiable - a departure from normal planning procedures. The Shoreham Society wants to see a firm commitment to the recommended government minimum of 30 per cent before building permission is finalised.

Society committee member Gerry Thompson said: "In a highly desirable riverside setting such as this, all the rest of the dwellings will be seen as extremely attractive and valuable properties and will draw in people from outside Adur, thus adding to pressure on roads and infrastructure but doing nothing to alleviate the pressing local housing shortage.

"The question of sufficient affordable housing is a key issue often raised by residents and we are keen to represent these concerns in relation to this and other development sites - notably the Free Wharf (ex-Minelco) site."

A small hotel, a supermarket and a riverfront cafe were also initially proposed for Ropetackle North, plus shops and offices, together with new public open spaces and an improvement to the riverside footpath. But some of these features, including the hotel, are on hold until a later stage.

Although the Ropetackle extension was inevitable, the additional housing raises concern about pressure on local infrastructure and services, especially as other residential developments in the town are already bringing a huge increase in the local population.

The planning reference for seeing the application details on Adur Council's website is AWDM/1006/16.

HISTORY: Site earmarked some 10 years ago for redevelopment. Proposals by Hyde group outlined early 2016, modified Nov 2016 raising concerns about heights and potentially reduced affordable housing. Planning consent approved December 2016.

To page-top


Cement works site remains uncertain

Different development projects for the old cement works site north of Shoreham have vied for support, but its future is still uncertain.

The Shoreham Society is keen to see a sensitive and imaginative use of the site which would not unduly impact on the local infrastructure

The South Downs National Park Authority will determine which type of development is allowed to go ahead.

HISTORY: Cement works built in 1883. Expanded and developed through 20th Century until operation ceased in 1991. Cement company abandoned site, leaving two main buildings to become derelict, hazardous eyesores. Rest of site used for vehicle storage, workshops, etc. Various site proposals have been floated since the closure - including latest ones awaiting decisions by South Downs National Park Authority.

To page top


Railway subway campaign continues

Pressure is being maintained on Southern Railway and Network Rail to make the Shoreham station subway easily accessible from the street, allowing non-railway-users to cross when the gates are closed.

The Shoreham Society has been trying for over two years to explore options with the rail companies, and there has been increasing dismay at the lack of progress.

Many people have expressed frustration at long waiting times at the crossing when barriers are down and have supported the idea of making the subway freely accessible to the general public.

Street access to the subway has been blocked since ticket gates were installed at the station to deter railway fare-dodgers.

To page-top


Southlands housing scheme proceeds

Building work is under way for a housing estate on the site of the unoccupied main block of Southlands Hospital in Shoreham.

After studying details of the site layout and building designs, Adur Council's planning committee gave final approval and work has now started at the site.

Developer Taylor Wimpey bought the building and surrounding land and was given planning permission to build 106 homes there, including a mix of flats and houses.

Approval for the hospital's sell-off for housing was subject to an undertaking to provide 30% affordable housing. Other conditions included financial contributions of around 571,000 towards local infrastructure.

The NHS trust originally invited organisations to put forward proposals for using the site for health-related purposes, but the timescale for such proposals passed with no suitable projects emerging.

All in-patient facilities were transferred to Worthing Hospital, with the NHS retaining only the out-patient building fronting Hammy Lane, which the trust promises to keep and improve.

The latest development for this remaining part of the hospital is a major eye unit offering diagnosis, treatments and operations.

The decision to sell the main block for housing disappointed campaigners who wanted it kept for community health purposes.

HISTORY: Hospital Trust got planning permission in 2014 to demolish old main block and release the site for housing, following decision to stop inpatient services and concentrate on specialist day services. Wimpey group bought site in 2015 and demolition/construction proceeded in 2016. Completion expected 2017.

To page-top


Parcelforce redevelopment progressing

Work on the controversial project to build flats and a supermarket at the former Parcelforce site in Brighton Road, Shoreham, is continuing.

Work first began on the site over a year ago but was paused by a technical licensing issue.  Then it re-started but stopped again, but has recently been progressing again.

Plans for 132 homes and a 1,200 sqm foodstore were approved in 2013 despite objections to the proposed building heights up to seven stories high.

The Shoreham Society was among a number of local groups and residents who formally objected to the application.

A chief concern is that the proposal represents over-development in an area already suffering from extreme pressure on infrastructure. There was particular opposition to the height of the development and the number of housing units.

A number of significant problems were recognised in the planning report which was considered by local councillors before their decision. Click here to see it.  The report referred to concerns about traffic, air pollution and other environmental issues, flood risk, sewage capacity and visual impact.

HISTORY: Planning consent approved in 2007 for a hotel, but that proposal didn't materialise. New application approved 2013 for current project of flats and retail. Construction delayed with stop-go activity. Completion expected 2017.

To page-top


Offshore wind farm construction progressing

Another phase of work is under way for the offshore wind farm being installed off the local coast. The turbine bases are in place eight miles (13km) offshore and most of the upper sections of the turbines have been added.

Work on land-based infrastructure is also progressing, including the laying of underground cabling following a route through mostly agricultural land to the north of Shoreham. The entire 1.3bn project is due for completion in 2018.

After consultations, the project was scaled down last year to reduce the visual impact. The number of turbines was reduced from 175 to 116 and their height is down from 200m to 140m. The width of the wind farm as seen from the shore is also considerably reduced. The farm will provide enough power for 300,000 homes.

The revisions followed representations made by environmental groups who were concerned about the seascape, particularly the views from the South Downs national park.

More information is on the website www.eon-uk.com/rampion

HISTORY: Development consent for wind farm issued in 2014. Land-based infrastructure work carried out through 2015 and 2016. Offshore work undertaken from Jan 2016. Completion expected 2018.

To page-top


Pond Road prospects under review

The Shoreham Society is monitoring discussions - or lack of them - about redeveloping the Pond Road area in Shoreham.

Adur Council issued a brief long ago for the redevelopment of this key central area, envisaging retaining the existing community centre (now extended with council offices), building new public facilities including a health centre on the Burrscroft site, and replacing the existing health centre and library with housing.

Apart from the community centre, those proposals were mothballed because of the economic climate, but the prospect of redeveloping the area has occasionally been revisited.

Shoreham Society challenged the initial proposals on several grounds, including doubtful economic viability, poor use of space and inappropriate overall concept.

The society believes that any development should be in keeping with the site's position at the heart of the conservation area and adjacent to the heritage asset of St Mary's Church.

Remodelling of existing buildings is also strongly preferred by the society rather than demolition - principally because recovering the higher costs of rebuilding could result in excessively dense or high-rise development.

Society experts are monitoring the situation and seeking involvement in any new consultations.

HISTORY: Plans outlined in 2007 for new health centre and town square development. Put on hold after 2008 financial crisis. Still no firm proposals.

To page-top


Town seal

Do you care about Shoreham?
Make a difference by joining the
Shoreham Society committee.
Contact us by clicking here


Follow the society on:
twitter
facebook


Conservation awards mark
society's 30th anniversary.
Click here for details