Worthing pensioners plagued by ‘monstrosity’ development

DM1923103a.jpg. Retirement flats residents annoyed by building work. The Worthing residents with the Travis Perkins development behind. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190219-184816008
DM1923103a.jpg. Retirement flats residents annoyed by building work. The Worthing residents with the Travis Perkins development behind. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190219-184816008

Residents of retirement flats in Broadwater have complained of a ‘monstrosity’ being developed behind their building.

Planning permission was granted last year for a branch of builders merchant Travis Perkins to be built in Sompting Road.

Building work began in March 2018 and for the pension-aged residents of Highfield Court in Penfold Road, it has been a difficult year.

Racking used to store wood has been described as an ‘eyesore’ and dust from breaking up a concrete floor has covered cars and windows.

Sylvan and Pat Allen, who are both in their 70s, have lived in the block for about a year. Sylvan said: “It is so upsetting to the residents, they are up in arms.

“It’s an eyesore, it’s a monstrosity. All they need is the razor wire and the control towers now. We’re in our 70s but a lot of the residents are in their 80s and 90s, so they don’t have the energy to fight it.

“It’s going to devalue all of our properties. No-one in the building knew the council had to consult them on the application so no-one knew.”

During the consultation phase for the application, only one comment was received from Highfield Court residents.

The racking, which was approved in the planning process, initially stood so high that workers could see into residents’ bedrooms.

After complaints, Travis Perkins accepted it was an oversight and reduced the height.

Now residents are calling for a surround or mesh to block out the 16ft ‘monstrosities’.

Nick Pinney, divisional property director for Travis Perkins, said the £7 million development of its Benchmarx and City Plumbing Supplies branch was due to open in March and would create a number of jobs for local people.

“We strive to be a good neighbour, and have been working closely with local residents to adjust some of the layout to the site so we minimise any negative impact for them,” he said.

“We have good dialogue with the local residents who are on board with our proposed changes.”

A spokesman for Travis Perkins said a meeting with residents was planned at some point in the next few weeks, where any concerns could be addressed.

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