Shoreham’s former civic centre site is set to be sold for affordable housing if councillors give the go-ahead next week.
The buildings in Ham Road have been demolished with the district council moving into a new purpose-built home in Pond Road.
Earlier this year the council appointed agents Knight Frank to proactively market the site.
The Hyde Group has made the ‘best offer’ of £7.05million to the council.
The housing association is looking to build 171 new homes, all affordable, as well as 987sqm of flexible office space and 85 parking spaces.
A decision on the proposed sale is set to be made by Adur and Worthing’s joint strategic committee next Tuesday (July 9).
A total of 13 bids were received with a variety of offers and forms of sale and differing levels of conditionality.
These were narrowed down to five shortlisted applicants which were then assessed on their ability to deliver a high quality development, capacity to build out at pace and based on the proposed uses, mix and tenure.
Hyde’s proposed development includes a taller element on the corner of Brighton Road addressing Ham Road park, stepping down to the western boundary next to the Duke of Wellington pub.
The site is split into two buildings to provide a pedestrian route through from Ham Road, linking to the waterfront.
Vehicular access is from the northern boundary from Ham Road, with pedestrian only access from Brighton Road creating a large public realm space.
Commercial space would be at ground floor level.
According to officers: “Their [Hyde’s] offer of £7,050,000 subject to planning is the “strongest consideration achieved and comes without any associated risk of retaining, letting and potentially selling the commercial space.
“As well as this, Hyde’s proposed delivery is not reliant on any third party developers or financers. The documents provided in association with Hyde Group’s bid were comprehensive along with their interview, in which they brought key individuals from the delivery team, providing reassurance as to their commitment to the project and the level of due-diligence completed to date.”
Officers explained how several proposals did include a hotel, which ‘remains an aspiration to support business and the visitor economy’.
Hyde has committed to exchanging contracts within three months of being determined as the successful bidder. This could mean planning permission could be secured by summer 2020, with the aim to complete construction by 2022.