Council plans £700k car park works – despite hopes it could soon be torn down for redevelopment

W02537H13  The Grafton car park
W02537H13 The Grafton car park
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More than £700,000 will be spent on maintenance works for Worthing’s Grafton car park – despite ongoing plans to redevelop the site.

Decades have passed in which Worthing Borough Council has hoped to redevelop the town centre facility.

Worthing Borough Council commissioned an investment prospectus last year to attract developers to the town. This is an artist's impression of what the Grafton site could look like SUS-160202-170801001

Worthing Borough Council commissioned an investment prospectus last year to attract developers to the town. This is an artist's impression of what the Grafton site could look like SUS-160202-170801001

But with the car park in need of maintenance to ensure it meets the ‘mininum’ standard, cabinet members have agreed to invest £719,245.

Speaking at Tuesday’s joint strategic committee (April 4), cabinet member for regeneration Bryan Turner said: “I am just concerned about the cost of maintaining the Grafton when it is a site that we have an ambition to redevelop.

“We need to have a vision for the car park pretty quickly, else we are going to to keep putting more money in.”

The two-year programme will include new lighting, CCTV refurbished lifts.

It forms part of a wider £1.3million project to upgrade all the council-owned multi-storey car parks.

A further seven-figure investment could be required between 2018 and 2020 – £722,400 of which would be needed for the Grafton if it was not redeveloped.

Cabinet member for resources Mark Nolan said: “There’s an awful lot being spent on the Grafton and if you go across these next three to four financial years and spend it I think it changes the strategy for the site, because it’s pretty difficult to then justify tearing it down when that type of money has been spent.

“I’m not sure how we sell that to the public.”

Director for customer services Jane Eckford said the two-year programme would bring the car park up to a minimum standard.

She said: “We are managing a number of levers very carefully to ensure we get the best deal and outcome for our citizens.”

The figures are currently indicative and will be confirmed following the procurement process.