Plans to build 136 flats at the former Howard Kent storage depot in Shoreham have been slammed as ‘hugely unsuitable’ by residents.
Members of the revived Kingston Beach Residents’ Association said the proposals, which include one block measuring potentially ten storeys, would ‘blight the eastern gateway into Shoreham’ and put the Victorian cottages opposite on Brighton Road ‘in almost permanent shadow for six months of the year’.
Chairman Andy Harvey said the development was ‘out of character for the site’ – which he described as a popular destination with unique features such as the lighthouse, the beach, the lifeboat station and the fort.
“It would take a great deal away from the area which is used by an awful lot of people,” he said.
“The developers are trying to portray how this will revamp a neglected area.
“But this is not a neglected area. It is very well used.”
The group believe a maximum of three storeys would be an acceptable height for any development.
Mr Harvey said: “We are not trying to be a bunch of NIMBYS.
“We are more than happy for development to go ahead there.
“The right development will improve where we live for everybody.”
Residents also said developers had not engaged them in consultation and that a public meeting had been badly advertised.
“The developers are doing very little to build trust,” Mr Harvey said.
Brighton Road resident Noel Boswijk who attended the meeting said representatives were ‘not forthcoming’ with details about the development, while resident Kevin White described the event as simply a ‘box-ticking exercise’.
Jude Harvey, who has lived in Brighton Road for 22 years, said the development bore many similarities to a previous proposal for the site which was thrown out by the planning committee 10 years ago.
She said many of the objections were ‘still valid’.
The residents also said the development would ‘do little’ to improve the housing available to local Shoreham people, in addition to creating more traffic and pollution.
But architect Liam Russell who has designed the proposals said: “We feel that the proposals create a wonderful scheme with benefits to the wider area.
“In our opinion the improvements to this part of Shoreham Harbour afforded by this landmark development will have knock on affects to sale values and the general environment for residents.”
He said analysis had been undertaken to ensure the development met the requirements for daylight levels so that neighbours would be affected ‘as little as possible’.
The impact on the beach setting had been assessed, he said, adding: “We believe the impacts are positive as they will improve the area and make a complimentary environment for the listed landmarks.”
He added that consultation had been ongoing for some time via the local authority and said that, as a resident of Shoreham, his practice had a ‘unique insight into what is required for this site’.
All questions raised at the meeting were answered as fully as was possible at that time, he said, adding: “We will be presenting full plans in January at the second consultation event.”
This public event is scheduled for Friday, January 12, from 9am to 9pm at the Barn Hall in Southwick Community Centre, Southwick.
The Kingston Beach Residents’ Association will hold a meeting prior to the consultation on Thursday, January 4, at 7.30pm, at the Shoreham Rowing Club by the Lifeboat Station.
Contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information