Plans to build up to 200 affordable homes on the site of Shoreham’s old Civic Centre have come under fire from environmental campaigners.
Developer Hyde Housing has submitted an environmental impact assessment for the Ham Road site, which suggests a block of up to 12 storeys, with commercial space, served by around 85 parking spaces.
The assessment, submitted as part of an opinion screening process that precedes a full application, concludes the scheme would not have ‘any significant effects on the environment’.
But environmental group Adur Residents Environmental Action claimed it will add to a parking situation in Shoreham already in ‘meltdown’.
The group’s chairman, Barb O’Kelly, said the potential impact was huge.
“It will have a dramatic effect,” she said, and referred to the Focus Group office block recently built on the Civic Centre car park.
“This affects the whole area. Free Wharf hasn’t got enough parking spaces, neither has Focus Group, so at the moment there are potentially over 200 more flats without enough parking spaces.
“That means more cars driving around looking for places to park and more parking problems.”
Mrs O’Kelly said Focus was currently using the vacant Civic Centre site as a temporary car park.
With the Focus car park already full to capacity, she questioned how the area would cope once the company’s temporary car park is lost, particularly with plans to expand its workforce from 250 to 450 employees.
West Sussex County Council guidelines also state developments must have at least 0.9 parking spaces per home, which would be a minimum of 180 for the site, increasing with the numbers of bedrooms.
There are also concerns over the building’s height, which the environmental assessment said could reach 12 storeys, although architect designs suggest ten storeys.
The Adur Local Plan sets out new buildings should not obstruct views of the St Mary de Haura church through ‘unsympathetic height’. St Mary’s stands at 30m – the equivalent of seven storeys.
The proposed block would be composed of 60 per cent shared ownership and 40 per cent affordable housing, with a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom homes.