BACK in April residents cheered as developer Roffey Homes’ proposed 11-storey block of flats in Grand Avenue was rejected by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee.
However, that jubilation may be short-lived as the developer has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate to have the decision overturned.
Phil Abbott, from Protect Worthing Seafront Campaign Group, said: “Considering Roffey has made a small fortune out of property developing in Worthing over the years, we find their decision to appeal outrageous.
“It was perhaps naive to hope that Roffey would put the views of the Adur & Worthing planning office, the council planning committee or local community groups first, or have Worthing’s best interest at heart.”
But Ben Cheal, Roffey Homes’s managing director, said his company did have conversations with planning officers following the rejection of the proposal to find a suitable way forward.
Mr Cheal said: “We did go back and discuss with planners but we could not get any clear way forward from them that we believed was reasonable and so the appeal route was the only way forward.”
Alberto and Sue Lazzarini’s home is two doors down from the site of the proposed development – currently a derelict building on the corner of West Parade and Grand Avenue.
They moved to Worthing from London in March last year to retire by the sea and said they are devastated that Roffey has decided to appeal rather than propose a more sympathetic design than the one rejected in April.
Mrs Lazzarini, 70, said: “I’m devastated. I’m going back to my doctors this week to get something to help me with my nerves.
“They have got it completely wrong. They are trying to make out we will get the same sunlight as before but we are not. Our garden is going to be very badly hit by this building.”
Mrs Lazzarini accused the developer of allowing the derelict building to fall into disrepair so that any development would be received more favourably.
Mr Abbott, of West Parade, Worthing, said: Let’s be perfectly clear about it, Roffey are no different to any other developer, they are purely profit driven. They do not have a social conscience; if they did, they would have taken Alberto and Sue’s plight into consideration before appealing.”
The Protect Worthing Seafront Campaign Group has offered to cut the grass of the derelict site while its future is decided.
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