Public consultation delays Shoreham Beach projects

The previous Ferry Road public consultation, held in October 2012 S42763H12
The previous Ferry Road public consultation, held in October 2012 S42763H12

A PUBLIC consultation is to be held following last-minute objections to a Shoreham Beach improvement scheme.

West Sussex County Council wants to gather a wider opinion on the loss of parking spaces at the northern end of Ferry Road.

But Adur District Council says that means plans to progress the schemes for Riverside Car Park, Lower Beach Road and Ferry Road from today would now have to be put back.

The consultation has been called after four Ferry Road businesses complained about the loss of parking outside their premises and pointed out they owned the land.

Many residents, however, have expressed frustration at the delays.

Bob Baker, from accountancy firm Robert Baker & Co, spoke out at the Adur County Local Committee (CLC) meeting on June 26 and now Saltings county councillor Mick Clark has given his support for a consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).

A county council spokesman said: “We want to gather wider opinion with regards to the loss of parking for a more amenable area.”

James Appleton, Adur’s head of regeneration, said the TRO process for both the car park scheme and Ferry Road was outside the district council’s control.

He added: “Due to circumstances beyond the control of Adur District Council, we are unable to progress the improvement schemes from August 4 as previously stated.

“We are working hard to bring the scheme to fruition but as we speak are unable to give an accurate start date due to necessary public consultation, tendering processes, etc.

“Subject to the results of that consultation, we will endeavour to make a start on the Lower Beach car park scheme as soon as practicable.”

The Ferry Road scheme, however, was dependant on the TRO decision, which would not be made by Adur CLC until its meeting on September 8 at the earliest. Mr Appleton said, even if the scheme was approved, the realistic start date would now be next spring.

He added: “We would like to assure residents that we are working hard with all agencies involved to ensure these works are delayed for the minimum time period possible and in the meantime thank everyone for their patience.”

Joss Loader, chairman of Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association, said: “It’s a great shame the Ferry Road scheme has been delayed and we’d like the county councillor, Mick Clark, to explain the hold up to the community. Communication has been poor to say the least and many residents feel they’re totally in the dark.

“By attempting to address the concerns of four Ferry Road traders over the removal of parking spaces, it appears the county council has caused the whole scheme to be delayed until next spring. This will have a huge impact on their business neighbours who rely on seasonal trends.

“These neighbours told our district councillors months ago that they wanted work to start this October, so it would be finished in time for next year’s spring and summer busy period.

“All traders in Ferry Road now face months of noise, disruption and dust during their busiest trading period. So who are the winners are here?

“We have a fantastic new bridge and all credit to West Sussex County Council for delivering that but they need to allow the district council to get on with this and fast.

“I hope the car parking area and bridge approach areas are landscaped as a matter of urgency.”