Long-awaited redevelopment of the Pond Road area in Shoreham may have moved a step closer, with a new feasibility study under way and potential funding earmarked.
The Shoreham Society has monitored discussions – or lack of them – ever since Adur Council issued a brief more than 10 years ago for the redevelopment of this key central area.
The planning brief envisaged retaining the existing community centre (since extended with council offices), building new public facilities including a health centre and community hub on the Burrscroft care home site, and replacing the existing health centre and library with housing.
Apart from the community centre, those proposals were mothballed because of the economic climate. But West Sussex County Council, which owns the Burrscroft site, has revived hopes for the area by proposing the use of capital funding which it believes may be available from a Government investment scheme.
A detailed feasibility study is under way and the council says it is on schedule for publication in January. Officers have obtained quotes for the demolition of Burrscroft, which they see as the project’s first phase.
The Shoreham Society has always favoured creative redevelopment of the area but challenged the initial proposals on grounds including poor use of space and inappropriate overall concept. The society believes that any development should be in keeping with the site’s position at the heart of the conservation area and adjacent to the heritage asset of St Mary’s Church.
Remodelling of existing buildings is also preferred by the society rather than demolition – principally because recovering the higher costs of rebuilding could result in excessively dense or high-rise development.
Society experts are monitoring the situation and seeking involvement in any new consultations.
HISTORY: Plans outlined in 2007 for new health centre and ‘town square’ development. Burrscroft closed in 2008. Redevelopment plans put on hold after 2008 financial crisis. Publication of new feasibility study expected.