‘Landmark’ tower ditched in latest development vision

Southern Housing representative Spencer Neal, right, shows the latest plans to the Shoreham Society's Gerry Thompson SUS-160712-090435001
Southern Housing representative Spencer Neal, right, shows the latest plans to the Shoreham Society's Gerry Thompson SUS-160712-090435001
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A 14-storey tower block plan for Shoreham river front has been scrapped.

But some residents remain concerned that the latest vision for the former Minelco site, in Brighton Road, would still tower above the town.

Southern Housing Group held its second consultation on the ‘Free Wharf’ development at Sussex Yacht Club on Thursday and Saturday.

Following feedback from May’s initial exhibition, the developer scaled back plans for a ‘landmark’ building and made other design tweaks.

Jeremy Barkway, Southern Housing Group regional development manager, said: “We have reduced the massing of our previous proposal and taken away what we were calling our landmark building which was the tower element.

“We have also created an area of more open space that is approximately half the site in open space. The net result is a reduction in massing of 483 flats which is down from the original 550.”

Mr Barkway said economic factors played a part in dictating density and height of buildings.

The development would peak at a maximum of eight storeys. Mr Barkway noted the nearby seven storey Parcelforce development was the ‘starting point’ for higher density projects in the area.

Commenting on the vision, Marine ward councillor Joss Loader said: “I would like to flag it up as a victory for people power and say that the developer has listened and taken people’s comments on board but in reality I think people need to look at it afresh as though this is the first time they have seen it and ask themselves ‘is this acceptable’ for a riverside town like Shoreham?”

Jill Charlish, of Falcon Close, Shoreham Beach, welcomed the height reduction but said it was still ‘too high’. The proposals include 480 residential parking spaces and 70 spaces for commercial elements of the plans, as well as perks like flood defences and cycle routes. – See letters page 32