A former care home in Shorheam is set to be torn down within the next six months to kickstart a scheme which will tranform the east side of Pond Road into a hub for community services.
Burrscroft, which has been empty for 11 years, will be redeveloped along with the Harbour View Healthcare GP surgery and the library in order to provide ‘a far more effective service to the community’.
Councillor Kevin Boram has been appointed the chairman of a joint project which will see West Sussex County Council, the NHS and Adur District Council work together on the plans.
Mr Boram said: “I think it’s great news. This is a horrible site right in the middle of a busy, buzzy community and it’s not used. We are doing so well in other parts of Shoreham.
“It’s a new project and we need to do lots of thinking, but everybody seems very willing.
“Working together, we can get a better solution for the community.”
He said the Harbour View Healthcare GP surgery was ‘currently not fit for purpose’ and would be unable to deliver the aims set out by the NHS in its recent 10-year strategy
It would also not be able to provide adequate services to meet demand from the new developments due to be built in the Shoreham Harbour quarter, Mr Boram said.
A ‘significant amount of work or redevelopment’ would be needed in order to make it ‘fit for the future of the community’, he said.
Meanwhile, the library in Pond Road was ‘underused’, said Mr Boram.
The county council was looking at how to create community hubs within libraries: “So we still have libraries, but we do more things within that space.”
The Burrscroft building in Pond Road, which is owned by the county council, has had ‘all sorts of issues’ including ‘squatters’, Mr Boram said.
He said it would be demolished, adding: “We need to signal to everybody that we are going to do something on this.”
Adur District Council, which owns the grassy knoll in the middle of the site, will also be involved in the plans.
The work to transform the area could involve pedestrianising Pond Road, suggested Mr Boram,
This would link Pond Road with the path through the church, along East Street and to the footbridge to create ‘a pedestrian spine’ in Shoreham.
Following an initial meeting held on Monday attended by representatives including the MP Tim Loughton, Mr Boram said: “The next stage is for everybody to think about what they want and need for that site.”
He said there could be land swaps or that some surplus land not required to provide the services could be used for housing or commercial purposes.
“I’m not going to rule anything out,” he said.
While there was no timescale for the scheme yet, he said: “I want to bring that site into community use as quickly as possible.”