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MORE than 500 now homes have have been given the green light.
Southern Housing won planning permission for ten tower blocks, made up of 540 homes, for a derelict site at Shoreham harbour on Monday night.
Adur District Council’s planning committee granted approval for the development which will include 162 affordable units.
Southern Housing bought the former aggregate-processing site known as Humphrey’s Gap, on the western arm of Shoreham Harbour in 2015. It is part of Shoreham’s old commercial port and overlooks the River Adur.
The approval is the first step in the local authority’s long-term ambition to regenerate Shoreham Harbour and create a new high-quality residential area with riverside promenade and cycle path.
Half of the three acre site will be transformed into a public space with a shop, three restaurants, and office space for small and medium sized businesses..
Developers also pledged to set aside more than £2 million towards infrastructure improvements. However campaigners have objected to the height of the buildings, which will be up to ten storeys high.
A spokesman for the Shoreham Society said: “A maximum of five storeys would be far more appropriate for all of the Brighton Road sites, and certainly no more than seven within the deeper sites away from the road and the river. The society has also expressed concern about the total number of flats proposed and the likely impact on local infrastructure, and strongly opposes any reduction in the proportion of affordable housing.
“Approval of this application sets a clear precedent for other high-rise proposals currently in the pipeline, including those for the Kingston Wharf site west of the harbour entrance.”
Councillor Carol Albury, chairwoman of Adur District Council’s planning committee, said: “While it was not an easy decision to take, the committee believes this development will provide significant economic, social and environmental benefits which demonstrably outweigh any negative effects of the proposal.
“As part of the Adur Local Plan, which was approved last month, the council has committed to building at least 1,100 houses along the western harbour arm. This is the first step in achieving that total.”
Southern Housing said it had spent the last two years working closely with council planners and residents in drawing up the plans which they hope will “stand the test of time”.
The 162 affordable homes, which meets quotas in the Adur Local Plan, includes 122 homes for shared ownership and 40 for affordable rent.
Southern Housing said it would agree to a council request to provide more affordable rented apartments in the development in the future, if it was proved to be financially viable.
In addition to the riverside pedestrian and cycle route, the developers will create mooring platforms and an observation platform at the end of Humphrey’s Gap.
Flood defences lasting more than 100 years will also be provided at the former Minelco site.
The development will also include 512 car parking spaces and space for 596 bicycles.
More than 200 jobs will be created during construction with up to 170 on the completed development.
Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “The regeneration of the Shoreham Harbour arm has been a long held ambition of the council and I’m pleased that the committee has taken this first step in developing this former industrial area.
“As well as providing some much needed affordable housing for local residents on a derelict brownfield site, half of the area will be turned into high-quality public space – something that will enhance Shoreham’s growing reputation as a vibrant coastal town.”
Southern Housing held two public consultations in 2016.
The Free Wharf application is part of a wider regeneration of Shoreham Harbour. Adur District Council is working with Brighton and Hove City Council; West Sussex County Council and Shoreham Port Authority on the joint project.
Last year an ambitious 15-year plan for the area proposed 1,400 riverside homes and hundreds of jobs could be created at the western end of the harbour.
Wider plans for the port were published as part of Shoreham Port’s masterplan last year.
Source: The Argus