Plans for 378 flats, including a 22-storey tower block, have been given the thumbs-up by Worthing Borough Council.
The application, for the former Teville Gate car park site and land to the west of Teville Road, was approved at a meeting of the planning committee last night (Wednesday March 4).
Submitted by Mosaic Global Investments Ltd, the application also includes an 83-bedroom hotel, a food store, gym and retail space.
The site has been in limbo for years with a number of permitted developments proving to be unviable.
This development will include 116 affordable homes – though only 35 of those will be for renting.
Given the length of time the site has been empty, there were concerns from some members that the council was adopting a ‘something is better than nothing’ approach.
The tower block in particular was unpopular with some councillors and many residents, and there were fears that too many flats had been squeezed onto the site.
But others liked the look of the scheme and said they were ‘excited’ by what was being proposed.
James Appleton, head of planning and development, reminded the meeting that the site had been identified in the Local Plan to take tall buildings – and no maximum limit had been set when it came to numbers.
He added: “If this scheme does not go forward there are serious concerns about what development will come forward in the future.’
Members agreed that a Changing Places toilet for people with disabilities should be included in the scheme – and the application was approved by 6 votes to 0, with 2 abstentions.
Should this development go ahead as planned, the area around Railway Approach will be changed forever.
Work on a five-storey office block at neighbouring Teville Gate House is already well under way.
It should be ready for use in 2021 by some 900 staff from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, who will be moved from the current offices in Durrington.