Heritage and historical buildings in Worthing are set to stand tall for years to come thanks to Worthing Borough Council.
From Georgian terraces to Regency rows, a Victorian pier and promenade to early 20th Century cinemas, Worthing contains hundreds of Listed and protected buildings.
To make sure they remain ship-shape for future generations, the Council is taking extra steps to ensure it fulfills its role as guardian of the town’s heritage.
Working with property owners and conservationists, such as the Worthing Society, a new programme of preservation is underway. Trees are being cut back, graffiti is being tackled and the Council is using its planning powers to encourage more freehold owners to improve the appearance of their buildings.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Worthing has a proud vibrant historical heritage which we as a council not only want to protect, but preserve it for many years to come.
“By working with freeholders and conservationists, these proactive steps have the potential of making a big difference to our town centre streets, making them more inviting for people explore and giving a real boost to the local economy.”
The first focus for the work has been Bedford Row, a street of Regency homes just off the seafront which is in the South Street conservation area.
Built in the early 19th Century, it is one of three significant east-facing bow fronted terraces in the town centre alongside Montague Place and Liverpool Terrace.
But, over the years, the condition of the properties has deteriorated with the exteriors not up-to-scratch with what is expected of a conservation area.
One of the properties in the street – Number Two – was particularly dilapidated and was picked out as a test case for the work.
Two letters were sent, the second warning of possible enforcement action, but no reply was received.
Then, when council staff visited the street last month they were pleased to see that scaffolding had been erected outside the building. Window frames have been maintained and the render and woodwork painted as the property received a much-needed facelift.
The work has been led by the Councils’ planning enforcement team. Jordan Trimby, one of the officers, said: “I’m delighted to see that the owner took our suggestions on board and even thanked the council for bringing it to his attention.
“The end result is something which is not only economically beneficial to the owner as freeholder, but also to residents of the town who can enjoy the heritage of this wonderful area. Bedford Row is one of Worthing’s oldest residential streets with the first houses erected in the early years of the 19th century.
“This is a terrific start to this project and we look forward to further improvements in the coming months.”