Green ‘leisure destination’ idea put to residents

Wilbo's initial concept for Shoreham Beach Green, which could extend past a dilapidated toilet block across the rest of the green SUS-160802-121259001
Wilbo's initial concept for Shoreham Beach Green, which could extend past a dilapidated toilet block across the rest of the green SUS-160802-121259001

A DEVELOPER could transform the toilet block on Beach Green into a café – but has also floated plans to turn the southern side of the green into a ‘leisure destination’.

Wilbo’s Restaurants has been selected by Adur District Council as its preferred developer for the dilapidated block.

But residents will also be asked for their say on wider plans to develop Beach Green, with initial ideas including a beach volleyball court and pitch and putt golf course.

Wilbo’s director Brian Wilson stressed nothing had been decided. He said: “We have some good ideas but want to open it up to the general public. We are more than happy for them to be a part of it. We will work as a team.

“We will get the schools involved. We want to create something for everyone.”

Mr Wilson employed Brighton architects CDMS to draw up initial concepts as part the expression of interest in the site.

He spoke at Shoreham Beach Neighbourhood Forum on Saturday to gauge opinion.

He argued the wider scheme would improve the viability of the café and attract visitors but felt the overall reaction at the meeting was roughly ‘70/30 against’.

Ward councillor for Shoreham Beach Liza McKinney said ‘many questions’ were still to be answered, including who would maintain extra facilities if they were built.

“I am totally opposed to the loss of the whole green,” she said.

“We have only two pieces of green that are on opposite sides of the road and the loss to the community would be enormous because we have no other.”

A design document states Wilbo’s would finance equipment for any scheme, providing the council provided the land at no cost.

It adds: “The design concept for Wilbo’s will be that of a leisure destination and focal point of Shoreham Beach.

“The concept does not limit itself to the footprint of the public conveniences, but instead recognises that the design offers the opportunity to knit together the green and beach to form one beach front concept which engages in all directions.”

Cabinet member for environment Keith Dollemore said: “This is very preliminary stages. The developer is obviously aware that his scheme is far bigger than what the council intended but if somebody comes up with a scheme, we will consider it. He has taken it to the public to get their views.”