The redevelopment of Adur Civic Centre has fallen through following the ‘dissolution’ of the KSD SteelRock partnership.
Adur District Council has announced it is now seeking a ‘new approach’ to the future development of the civic centre.
In April the council chose KSD SteelRock as the preferred developer for the £60m redevelopment scheme, but the council announced this week the partnership had fallen through.
Leader of Adur District Council Neil Parkin said: “Of course we are disappointed that the original team who presented so well have been unable to work together.
“However, this change in circumstances provides the council with an opportunity to take a more direct approach in securing much needed employment space, alongside new homes, in Shoreham.
“We are actively considering a range of options - which might include forming a joint venture - to drive delivery forward and ensure that this important site meets our aspirations for the future of the town.”
A council spokesman said a joint venture would be a first for Adur District Council, however it ‘could be the start of a new strategic approach to guide future developments’.
UKIP councillor Ken Bishop said he was ‘pleased’ with the news. “I personally am quite pleased because I didn’t like it a lot and I did express that right from the start,” he said.
“I hope it’s going to be sold off as two separate entities.
“The north of the land lends itself to social housing, or Adur District Council could even build council houses there.
“That would be wonderful. The actual civic centre building itself can be entirely separate.
“I would like to see Adur District Council involved in a partnership rather than just selling it off then dealing with planning applications.
“I think we can have a much better development on that site that will benefit the people of Shoreham.”
Ralph Gilbert is the managing director at Southwick company Focus.
The centre was set to provide expansion pace for the firm to double in size.
He said: “We are obviously disappointed the redevelopment plans for the centre have hit a stumbling block. Focus Group have not given up on moving to this landmark site and are already in talks with the council to ensure this remains a feasible option for our continued growth in the area.”
When the council decided on its preferred bidder earlier this year, proposals were put forward to create a digital skills academy at the civic centre, alongside new business and residential space.
In a significant redevelopment for the town, key highlights of the plans included the foundation of a digital academy on the former staff car park site, the relocation of major employer Focus from Southwick, the provision of a range of spaces suitable for the town’s businesses to expand into, a number of high-quality residential units, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, 30 per cent of which will be affordable properties and hotel accommodation suited to the needs of business and leisure visitors.
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