A major eyesore earmarked for development for more than decade is set to be demolished as part of a pioneering plan from Worthing Borough Council.
For more than ten years, the Teville Gate multi-storey car park and the surrounding area has been identified as a prime plot for new homes and commercial space.
With demand for parking on the site decreasing and running costs increasing, the local authority will release the funds needed to kick-start the plan to demolish the 1960s multi-storey.
Officials said the move had the added incentive of encouraging the freeholder Mosaic to consider demolishing the other buildings on the site – meaning it was a “positive step forward” in creating a new gateway to Worthing.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
“For too many years, there has been false hope after false hope around this site.”
“To get to this stage has required some really detailed and delicate behind-the-scenes negotiations, some of which are still ongoing; but I’m confident that it delivers a strong and very visible message that we are committed to regenerating the town.”
“I know I will not be the only one pleased to see the back of this eyesore car park. Once demolished I believe it will generate real momentum in bringing forward this complex but very important gateway scheme.”
Agreement was reached on the move at a meeting of Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee last night (Tuesday, 12th September 2017).
Councillors heard that the current multi-storey car park has significant maintenance issues, requiring an investment of £2 million over the next four years to keep it fully open.
Last night councillors agreed to release £60,000 towards consultancy costs and erecting hoardings around the car park site, which links Worthing’s main railway station with the town centre.
Work on securing the £1.6 million needed to fund the work is ongoing. Once funds have been allocated, the demolition works will start subject to a planning application for the redevelopment being submitted.
In order to ensure the long-term lease remains active and income is still generated for the council, a replacement surface car park will be built in its place.
The small number of people with existing car parking season tickets for the site will be offered a refund for the time left or transfer their permit to High Street car park.
Town Hall officials confirmed last night that agreement had been reached with the freeholder Mosaic to push ahead with the demolition plan, with work potentially starting in the coming months.
Councillors were also informed that a planning application by the owners of the site for a redevelopment of the area could be submitted by the end of the year.