A lagoon could be created on Worthing seafront as part of a dramatic new vision to herald in a renaissance of the town’s coast.
Worthing Lagoon would be created by a spit built out into the sea near Denton Gardens producing a calm water haven for watersports, swimming and boat moorings.
The lagoon is just one idea produced in a plan by Worthing Borough Council as it seeks to ensure the seafront offer for tourists and local residents competes with other coastal towns.
Also in the Seafront Investment Plan are improvements to the promenade with more seating, a retaining wall and a new parade of beach huts on the western section.
The plan is to extend the promenade experience further to the west and create new pedestrians crossings throughout Marine Parade.
Other suggestions include a possible revamp of the Lido to bring in a restaurant and even a swimming pool, public art installations and lighting schemes.
In addition plans are being studied to improve access to the pier to create a more welcoming experience to the popular seafront destination.
Already two parts of the plan have taken significant strides forward. French food company Bistrot Pierre has been give the lease as part of the conversion of the seafront shelter opposite West Buildings into a beachfront state-of-the-art restaurant.
The council is also shortly to announce the successful bid to convert the shelter opposite Steyne Gardens into a similar venture.
The borough council has released an artist aerial impression of some of the possibilities but has stressed the plan is a “vision statement” for the next five to 10 years with finances needed to be sourced and private sector partners sought to bring it to fruition.
Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins said:
“These are exciting aspirational plans that will build on our progress so far.
“We are not saying that we can deliver all of them straight away but they are a clear statement of intent. We will be going all out to fund these improvements and we will also saying to developers who want to come here: help us deliver this overall vision and be part of the future.
“These plans say the Council is thinking seriously about how we can use our wonderful seafront, whilst respecting its charm and character and ensure the future economic prosperity and quality of life of people who live here and those who will come.”
No exact costings are being put against as yet the scheme but the Council will seek to bring in investors to develop the schemes and attract central government grants for some elements.
The Borough Council’s Place and Investment Team has already held some engagement events with stakeholders with reaction overwhelmingly positive.
Town hall leaders want to build fresh momentum in the town and ensure it competes with other places currently experiencing coastal renaissance such as Bournemouth, Hastings and Margate.
A series of architects impressions and precedents are included in the Plan, allowing residents a glimpse into a possible future.