Building heights rise – despite residents’ plea

The Shoreham Societys Gerry Thompson was shown the plans at the last consultation event
The Shoreham Societys Gerry Thompson was shown the plans at the last consultation event

A riverfront regeneration scheme which courted consultation criticism for its eight-storey buildings has been tweaked – with some structures set to be higher.

Southern Housing Group is set to submit a planning application for Free Wharf, ten months after a public exhibition saw building heights dominate debate.

Despite ditching previous plans for a ‘landmark’ 14-storey tower, the December event saw residents criticise the developer’s plans for eight-storey blocks.

Revised plans, to be submitted to Adur District Council, are set to include three buildings of nine storeys. The developer said the site, in Brighton Road, Shoreham, had ‘significant challenges’.

Shoreham Society chairman Gerard Rosenberg said: “This represents substantial overdevelopment and is not right for our much-loved town.

“The people of Shoreham are intensely worried about the ever-increasing problem of over-development and the effect on their quality of life, and would like councillors to represent them in these views.”

Marine ward councillor Joss Loader said Shoreham’s skyline was set to change, with many residents fearing for the future of the town. She said she was yet to talk to anyone who liked the design or height of the seven-storey Parcelforce development east of the Adur Ferry Bridge.

Alan Townshend, Southern Housing Group development director said the firm had listened hard to the consultation and kept the bulk of the buildings to eight floors or less.

“Only three buildings have an additional, single property on top of the uppermost floor,” he said.

“In addition, we removed the landmark tower. However, this is a brownfield site with inherent and significant challenges. Many people wanted an emphasis on the public realm and open spaces, as well as improved riverside access and flood defences.

“Quite rightly, people also asked for affordable housing with a variety of tenures. Naturally, this puts pressure on other aspects.”

Free Wharf is the developer’s name for the former Minelco site.