Building heights queried as development brief finalised

THE development brief that could see parts of Shoreham’s riverside reinvigorated has been finalised.

The document, covering the Western Harbour Arm of Shoreham Harbour, provides guidance on future investment and planning decisions along the waterfront.

The final draft was discussed at Adur Council’s planning committee on July 1 and approved, before being submitted to Pat Beresford, cabinet member for regeneration, for the final say.

The Western Harbour Arm, which roughly runs from the north side of Kingston Beach westwards to Adur Civic Centre, is earmarked mainly for mixed residential usage, including just over 1,000 homes, with some new business opportunities.

It will play a key role in realising the wider vision for the harbour and strengthen the overall appeal of Shoreham.

James Appleton, executive head of planning, regeneration and wellbeing, said: “The development brief is founded on a desire to develop a viable and deliverable spatial plan that responds to the marine character of the area, that promotes high-quality innovative design alongside high levels of sustainability and with careful consideration of environmental issues and infrastructure implications.”

Homes would be the main focus but small shops, cafés and restaurants would have an important role to play in realising the vision.

It was noted, however, that the area closest to the town centre was already being considered for a larger store as part of a mixed-use Morrisons development.

Mr Appleton said the retail units would ‘help to bring life to the waterfront’ and a hotel use may also be appropriate, as the area developed.

A key concern was the height of buildings and committee members questioned Mr Appleton on the decision to allow apartments up to four or five storeys.

They were told the document was for guidance and each proposal should be treated on its merit, with due consideration to flooding issues.

Schemes offering a variation of height and scale were to be encouraged.

Any proposals for individual taller buildings above a threshold of four or five storeys would be required to submit evidence and demonstrate an appropriate response and a high-quality design.

The brief had been discussed at various stakeholder and public consultations, including a design workshop at Adur Civic Centre in March.

Many representations were broadly supportive of the overall aim to revitalise the area and recognised the need to make provision for new housing and employment space.