Future of ‘fully-let’ site ‘must be viable’

Shoreham Cement Works
Shoreham Cement Works

THE owner of Shoreham Cement Works is working with key stakeholders to enable an early redevelopment of the site.

But the Hargreaves Group, which acquired the cement works and quarry, more widely known as the Beeding Cement Works, in 1997, said any proposal to redevelop the site must be viable.

Director Richard Andrew said the company remained committed to working with the South Downs National Park Authority and other key stakeholders.

“However, until such time as that objective is achieved, it will operate the site as it does presently, in a manner that will enable it to continue to provide employment within the local and wider community,” he added.

Since its comprehensive scheme for a mixed-use development, called Adur Valley Park, was turned down on appeal about 10 years ago, Hargreaves has been letting the site to a number of businesses.

It is now fully let and provides employment to more than 150 people across a variety of businesses, benefiting the local economy.

Mr Andrew said is was essential that the commercial considerations were recognised before any redevelopment took place, as the site was currently generating a significant level of income.

He added: “This means that the redevelopment needs to secure the early release of sufficient value to compensate for the loss of income presently being derived from the site plus the very substantial enabling costs which include not only the necessary demolition and restoration works but also the provision of all the infrastructure necessary before the site can be developed and include all main services, a road network within the site and improvements to the existing highway, all of which are pre-requisites that are necessary before any buildings can be constructed.”

The latest round of discussions began early last year, including Adur and Worthing councils, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council.

Mr Andrew said: “The intent of this engagement was and remains to establish and progress a collaborative working approach towards finding an acceptable form of redevelopment for the site and it has thus far included meetings and a stakeholder workshop session, with a site visit, which took place in October 2013.

“The Hargreaves Group has reiterated its wish to work collaboratively, including through the emerging South Downs Local Plan, so as to pave the way for, and ultimately secure, a future for the site and one which acknowledges its previously used/brownfield status, the potential to generate new investment/ employment and the need for an appropriate level of restoration.”

The site, on the A283, totals more than 118 acres.