A radical vision to open up Shoreham’s riverfront to cyclists and pedestrians while reducing the risk of flooding will take a major step forward thanks to Adur District Council and Sussex Yacht Club.
As part of a wide-reaching plan, the local authority wants to transform the industrial units along the River Adur’s Western Harbour Arm into new homes and workspaces with an expansive waterfront promenade.
However, one of the obstacles in delivering this has been the location of the current Sussex Yacht Club (SYC) building in Brighton Road, which is regarded as a key weakness in flood defences.
To reduce the risk of flooding to the town and neighbouring properties while encouraging private investment in the area, Adur District Council has now struck a deal with the club. This will see the local authority buy some of the club’s land with the proceeds being used by SYC to construct a new clubhouse.
The local authority will then demolish the existing building, which is at the northern end of the Adur Ferry Bridge, and build new flood defences along with a riverside cycle and pedestrian route.
The project, which is costing up to £4.7 million, will transform the surrounding area for thousands of residents and visitors to the town.
Councillor Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said: “We have been working towards – and succeeding – on a vision to transform the district for a number of years. The regeneration of the industrial riverside and improved flood defences is at the heart of bringing more investment into area.
“Key to all of this is the Sussex Yacht Club site, which is why I’m delighted we have been able to work with the community and partners to move this forward.
“The end result will be a major step forward in a renaissance of Shoreham, which will transform the area and the lifestyle of the people that live and work in the town.”
A report on the Sussex Yacht Club project will be presented to Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) next week (5th June, 2018).
Councillors will be informed that the scheme is part of the wider-reaching Shoreham Harbour Joint Area Action Plan, which will see hundreds of homes created along the Western Harbour Arm.
The majority of flood defences in this area will be provided by private sector investment as individual sites are developed. However, the report to councillors says “Sussex Yacht Club as a members club is unlikely to have a commercial incentive to carry out this work”.
The project will be funded by £3.5 million from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and up to £1.2 million from the Environment Agency.
Councillors at JSC will be informed that Heads of Terms for the project have now been agreed. The next step is for contracts to be exchanged and consents to be agreed with work potentially starting later this year.
The flood prevention work, along with footpath and cycleway, could be complete by 2021, subject to planning permission being granted.