Society chairman opposes high-rise buildings for town

An artist's impression of what the redeveloped Minelco site could look like SUS-160516-111800001
An artist's impression of what the redeveloped Minelco site could look like SUS-160516-111800001

The Shoreham Society has objected to plans for the Frost-Minelco site following comments the development could pave the way for a strip of Benidorm-style high-rise buildings.

Speaking to the Herald, chairman of the society Gerard Rosenberg reacted to a public consultation held by Southern Housing Group, who owns the site in Brighton Road. He also agreed with Adur District councillor for Marine ward Joss Loader, who previously said there was a ‘major danger that this riverside strip will soon resemble Benidorm, with a series of high-rise buildings’.

Mr Rosenburg said: “Precise heights of building were not disclosed – a strategy we do not approve of – but the design drawings clearly show very tall buildings over the site, with one tower block rising to 13 or 14 storeys.

“The society considers that anything like these building heights is completely inappropriate and unacceptable in Shoreham, being more typical of what one would expect of a city development in London.

“We know that these proposals have been greeted with horror by residents of Shoreham when they have been told the actual building heights proposed. Shoreham is a small and attractive town whose skyline is dominated by the iconic building of St Mary’s church; its ‘specialness’ is an extremely valuable economic and cultural asset.”

The consultation earlier this year was the first step by the group to advertise its plans, allowing residents to offer their feedback.

Alan Townshend, group development director for Southern Housing, said: “We are committed to closely working with Shoreham-by-sea’s local community. In fact, the feedback we already received during our public exhibition in May 2016, and via our website, is very valuable; it plays an integral part in developing a proposal that truly benefits the town and its residents.

“We will hold a further public exhibition later this year to give residents another chance to directly share their thoughts with our project team. In the meantime, we also welcome any feedback on our plans to be sent to us via our website www.freewharf.info”

Mr Rosenburg was also concerned about building density, adding: “The current proposals now appear to intend delivery of 550 dwellings. This increase is not needed to meet this site’s contribution to Adur’s overall housing allocations throughout the council area as set out in the draft local plan, currently awaiting response from central government.

“The society is not anti-development, but feels that Southern Housing need to go right back to the drawing board with this scheme and look at the scale of development very differently, in which case we shall be more than happy to welcome the developers to talk about their new proposals.”

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