Work on redeveloping the Bayside site in Worthing is progressing at great speed – with the former Aquarena leisure centre now reduced to a few piles of concrete and containers of metal. Contractors on behalf of Roffey Homes started work on the plot in Brighton Road in late November as they look to push on with £45 million plans to create 141 homes and commercial space on the land. In a matter of weeks, the former municipal building has been fully dismantled ahead of piling works starting next month.

On visiting the site this week, Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said he was impressed with how work on one of the town’s biggest regeneration schemes of recent years was progressing.

Cllr Jenkins said:

“Now that that former Aquarena has all but gone, you can really see the size and the scale of this project.”

“In just a few months, a building which housed so many memories for the residents of this town has gone. In time it will be replaced with a development that will become a real Worthing landmark.”

“I want to praise the Roffey team for pushing on with the plans at such speed. I’m also impressed with the level of care the team is taking to ensure they keep the disruption, which is inevitable with a scheme like this, to a minimum.”

Worthing Borough Council handed over the keys to the site to the developer in September. Since then, work has been progressing at great speed. Teams have demolished the majority of the former building – including the giant slide and iconic chimney – taking great care to keep waste to a minimum. Concrete is being crushed on site while metal is packed into containers to be processed and re-used. Once demolition is complete, piling work will start which will see giant metal sheets pushed 12 metres into the ground. That will allow excavation work to commence, with contractors needing to dig three metres down to create the foundations and underground car parking element of the new development.

Ben Cheal, of Roffey Homes, said:

“An important milestone is being created this month with the commencement of the construction works on the new building.”

“Building out a regeneration project is so important for any town or city, and so I honestly believe this development shall be a catalyst for further investment in Worthing.”

In addition to the demolition work, an off-road track has been created within the site. This will accommodate deliveries from lorries, ensuring minimal disruption to traffic on Brighton Road. Outside the main site, an enclosure has been created on the beach for workers to use as a base. To ensure that the foreshore is not damaged, a membrane was put over the shore before building work commenced. No hazardous liquids or fuel are stored in this area, to keep the risk of pollution at a minimum. At the moment about 16 staff are carrying out the work although this will increase to 80 when construction is fully underway. Roffey said it was committed to using local workers and sub-contractors where possible.

For further details visit the Bayside Worthing website.