Swift revamp hopes for Union Place site


THE new owners of the former police station site in Union Place have spoken of their desire to regenerate the land swiftly.

Change Real Estate were revealed as the buyer for the key town centre site last week, stating their preference to transform it into a ‘mixed use’ development.

In an interview with the Herald, co-director Ron Persaud pledged not to disappoint residents by delaying the redevelopment, as has happened up the road at Teville Gate.

He said: “We push the team very hard. We are quite experienced and don’t like to delay because the market conditions are good at the moment and the council are positive, so let’s try and do something.

“We’d like to be in the situation in a couple of months where we have a preferred scheme that Worthing and us likes and we are working to the submission of a planning application by the end of the year.”

Mr Persaud said ‘mixed-use’ developments could typically include a blend of residential, offices, bars, restaurants and retail but the exact mix would be determined in the coming months.

“We will expect to have some residential on the site but I’m not sure in what proportion that will be at this stage,” he said.

“We are trying to find a solution that is a positive regeneration for a key town centre site that creates income for the council as well. That is the process we are going through.”

Asked if the scheme could include often-requested brands such as Nando’s and Frankie and Benny’s, Mr Persaud could not promise any specific targets but suggested there was a ‘lack’ of big brands for a large town.

Between Mr Persaud and co-director Jonathan Bloomer, the pair have 70 years of experience, transforming difficult to develop sites into residential and retail projects.

Among their successes is the Whisky Bond building, in Leith, Edinburgh, which stood derelict for decades.

It is now being restored into apartments, offices and a restaurant.

Mr Persaud said: “We tend to buy sites we think have opportunities.

“It seemed like a good opportunity, in the town centre, so in close proximity to shops, good transport links and car parking. It has a number of ingredients.”