Comments on the latest proposal from the public consultation event on plans for the former Aquarena site in Worthing: the response by the current architects Allies and Morrison is regarded as a distinct improvement over the earlier schemes submitted but in my view has still some way to go for it to be acceptable.
The overall development of the site appears to be disjointed as the new 15-storey block does not easily sit with the main block of flats to the north.
They appear as two separate developments on the same site!
The west elevation (adjacent to Splash Point) is harsh in appearance and needs refining and breaking up similar to the Merton Road frontage.
Further work is required to integrate this elevation with the tower block, probably by increasing gradually the storey height of the main block southwards towards the tower block.
This is a very important site particularly for the future eastern approach to Worthing.
Therefore, the north-east corner of the new development will require special treatment to ensure that its impact does not compromise the visual appearance of the area (including that of the area of conservation).
The development still appears overbearing on the area as a whole, although it has been lowered.
There are still the same number of flats on this site as before this creates an unwelcome precedence for future town development and goes beyond the present Council Planning Policy. It would be desirable to scale back the density of this development to an acceptable level that meets the overall needs of the area and community.
While I accept that the information available is schematic at this stage, nevertheless the poster at the presentation displaying the view south wards down Merton Road towards the sea is misleading unless the eastern footway is being widened.
The existing footway is half the width shown and very misleading.
It certainly gives the wrong impression of the distance between the existing housing and the proposed development.
Any loss of on-street parking will be detrimental to serving the existing and proposed shops. It would be desirable to set back the flats in Merton to provide a lay-by on the western side of Merton Road.
This would also assist in breaking up this frontage and the overbearing nature of this frontage.
The development detail on the eastern elevation is an improvement on what was proposed earlier although some further stepping back would be considered desirable and less overbearing.
The incorporation of the café site on the south-east corner open space is exciting providing there are sea views and it is integrated fully into the public area. Also, providing there has been a clearly established need for this facility.
There is no dispute over the need for regeneration of the eastern end of Worthing and there is a general acceptance of the need to develop this site.
Overall the adopted approach is considered a good start, but there is still a need to keep the community in step with you.
Therefore, this first presentation is regarded as work in progress.
David and Valerie Green
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