Along with residents, the chairman of the Shoreham Beach Residents Association (SBRA) and I were shocked and personally remain furious that last Wednesday the chairman of Adur County Local Committee (CLC) refused to allow the Ferry Road improvements, that were planned over three years ago as part of the Lower Beach Road and car park regeneration project, to be determined.
The item was pulled from the agenda at the 11th hour following a last-minute legal hitch regarding Lower Beach Road alongside The Waterside Inn.
The reason why the county council’s lawyers decided the whole project should be delayed remains a mystery. I failed to recieve a proper explanation from the chairman. I have been reliably informed since that a local resident has raised a legal challenge in regard to public hard status.
UKIP county councillor Mick Clark, deputy chairman of the committee, delayed the decision last June when he backed the demand by three traders at the northern end of Ferry Road for the retention of three car parking spaces which they regard as private property. Now the whole project is delayed and if, in fact, the status is still that of a public hard, a change would have to be agreed in Parliament and could take years to resolve.
The CLC paper had provided for three options.Option three was to go-ahead but put the Ferry Road element ‘on ice’. I requested that a decision on this be allowed, pending resolution of the legal challenge. Totally refused. If the CLC was prepared to halve the project when Ferry Road was the problem, then why was resolution not allowed when the boot was on the other foot?
The result of this absolutely astonishing mess means the area remains a mishmash and the regeneration of the Beach side of our beautiful new bridge is in serious jeopardy.
The next CLC meeting is not until February 2015. If it were to prove possible to get the county to agree to give Ferry Road the go-ahead, the traders would still be faced with severe construction disruption in the summer and early autumn, the very height of their business.
I now fear that UKIP appears to be determined to hold up any type of progress for Marine ward, Shoreham Beach. Three Lancing UKIP councillors recently tried to delay progress on our Neighbourhood Plan.
Their reason? Apparently they wanted to stop housing being built on Adur Recreation Ground. If only they had bothered to speak to the local councillors or the chairman of SBRA, they would have saved a lot time.
The point of including Adur Rec in the plan is to ensure it is kept for the enjoyment of the community as a leisure facility, not housing.
Councillor Liza McKinney
Independent, Marine Ward
Old Fort Road
• Want to share your views? Send your letters by email: email@example.com or post to Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA.