A major new town centre office block which will become home to hundreds of workers has been given the go ahead by Worthing Borough Council.
The multi-million pound proposal for Teville Gate House, which is situated opposite Worthing Station in Railway Approach, received unanimous approval by the Council’s Planning Committee.
Councillors heard how the new five-storey building would be leased to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), becoming one of its specialist regional hubs and a base for more than 800 jobs. The new contemporary development will replace an outdated L-shaped office block built in the 1970s which has been vacant for years before demolition work started last month.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted these plans for a major investment in our town centre have been given unanimous backing by the planning committee.
“The proposal brings major benefits, transforming a prominent vacant site into high-quality space for hundreds of workers. This will boost local business and supports our ongoing work to improve the vitality of Worthing.
“This development will also contribute towards plans to redesign and improve Railway Approach in line with our wider public realm ambitions, creating a more welcoming approach for visitors who arrive in our town by train.”
The proposed five storey building will provide 8,550 square metres of high-quality office space with parking and cycle spaces – more than double the floorspace of the former building.
A report presented to the planning committee said the 1970s block had “clearly become dated in its appearance” with the lack of tenants indicating that refurbishment was economically unviable.
It added the proposal would help to redefine Railway Approach and lead the eye along the pedestrian route from the station towards the town centre.
Developers Teville Gate House Ltd confirmed an agreement to occupy the site had already been signed with HMRC, who would look to relocate staff from its current base in Durrington by 2021.
Councillor Paul High, Chairman of Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee, said: “The committee unanimously agreed that this proposal allows a major employer to construct premises of regional importance while retaining a significant number of jobs in the town.
“As with any development this size, there were some queries around parking. But the excellent location directly next to the main station, creation of a detailed travel plan and investment in infrastructure will mean that workers will be encouraged to use sustainable methods.
“We look forward to seeing the development progress in the coming months.”
A separate proposal for the main Teville Gate site has been submitted to the Council by its private owners. The application is due to be considered by the planning committee later this year.