Nearly 200 affordable homes are set to be created on a key Shoreham site as Adur District Council back a move to push on with developing its former headquarters.
Interest in transforming the former Adur Civic Centre in Brighton Road has been high as the local authority looks to create a high-quality attractive building which meets the needs of the wider community.
After a national marketing campaign, more than a dozen bids were received – with councillors accepting a proposal from Hyde Homes as their preferred option moving forward. The deal, which has the support of Homes England, would see the Council receive a lump sum for the site with the firm then creating 171 apartments above high-quality office space for local small and medium businesses. Nearly 70 of these will be for local families on the housing waiting list.
Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m pleased that after many months of hard work we are able to bring forward a low-risk proposal for this prominent site in the heart of Shoreham which will deliver real benefits to hundreds of local residents.
“This deal makes total sense to the Council, generating a sizeable sum which we can re-invest in other services while creating close to 200 affordable apartments in a prime town centre location
“I’m particularly pleased that close to 70 of the new properties will be solely for people on the housing waiting list, meaning what was the Council’s home could soon be our tenants homes.”
The former Adur Civic Centre, which on the main Brighton coast road and near the town’s station, is a highly visible ‘gateway’ site at the entrance to Shoreham. To highlight the site’s readiness for development, the red-bricked building was demolished in 2017 using money from the Local Growth Fund secured via the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. Since then, the Council has designed and built a striking contemporary office block on the former car park which has since been leased to growing local firm Focus Group. This has kept 250 jobs in the local area and will allow it to create 200 more.
Now attention has turned to the main site with a report to Adur and Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee on Tuesday night noting the proposal from Hyde was “low-risk” as it did not rely on any third party developers or financiers. It added that 40% of the homes proposed will be for social rent, and 60% of the homes for shared ownership. Hyde added the ground floor commercial space would have potential to be used for a range of employment opportunities and would support both start-ups and expanding small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), supporting 80 full-time jobs.
With councillors now backing the idea, the firm is starting work on a planning application and a detailed proposal could be presented next year. Construction on the new building could be complete by 2022.