Three key green spaces are proposed to be protected as a draft blueprint to guide the future development of Worthing has been revealed.
Those behind the Worthing Local Plan have spent the past two years carrying out extensive studies into every parcel of land in the borough as they look to ensure the right mix of places for people to live, work and play in the future.
Despite Government figures indicating Worthing needs 15,000 homes over the next 15 years to meet demand, the widespread search has shown there is only enough land to provide 4,000 by 2033.
Even with this pressure, the Council has made an initial commitment to place protected status on three major green spaces on the edge of the borough boundary – Goring Gap (South), Chatsmore Farm (between the A259 and railway line at Goring) and Brooklands Park.
Councillors are set to give their thoughts on the draft document this week with a public consultation on the document planned for the end of October.
The 15-year Plan will eventually need the approval of a government inspector before being adopted.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Every resident, worker and visitor to our town will know that, due to our position trapped between the Downs and the sea, land really is at a premium in our area so it is imperative that we make the most of our limited assets.
“The draft Worthing Local Plan does this, focusing on providing much-needed housing while also seeking to protect some of our most valued open spaces and employment areas.
“I look forward to hearing everyone’s contributions on this initial document in the coming weeks and working with residents, businesses and other stakeholders before we submit our final version to the Planning Inspector later next year.”
Discussions around creating a new Local Plan for Worthing began more than two years ago.
During that time the Government released revised housing need figures which state the borough needs to create 15,000 new properties in the next 15 years to meet demand.
Even with the development of major brownfield sites such as Teville Gate, Union Place and Grafton Car Park coming forward, comprehensive evidence published to support the Council’s first draft has demonstrated there is only enough land in the borough to provide just over 4,000 dwellings.
Among those other areas allocated for development include land off Upper Brighton Road (123 homes), land east of Fulbeck Avenue (50) and part of the Northbrook Caravan Club site (75).
The 166-page document also indicates that there remain significant obstacles to developing other greenfield areas such as land east of Titnore Lane and land off Beeches Avenue.
The document also includes detailed policies on a range of planning issues, such as affordable housing provision, heritage, design, retail and the economy. When adopted, these will be used when making decisions on future applications.
The next stage is for councillors to give their thoughts to the proposal at Worthing’s Planning Committee tomorrow (Wednesday September 19) before it goes to the Joint Strategic Committee.
Then, a six-week public consultation is planned when members of the public and other stakeholders can have their say on the proposal.
Planners will take on board this feedback before creating a final version which will be subject to further consultation before then being presented to a Planning Inspector towards the end of next year.
Once approved, the plan would be reviewed after five years in line with government recommendations.