The owners of an award-winning seafront cafe in Lancing have become the latest company hoping to transform the dilapidated Beach Green toilet block and want to hear residents’ ideas.
Alex Hole, managing director of the popular Perch on Lancing Beach, will hold a community consultation on Monday, December 19 to gauge public opinion on his proposed cafe before submitting a tender to the council in January.
Mr Hole said he had no ‘fixed ideas’ about the council-owned site yet, which could potentially contain artists studios, a gallery, a retail unit or a bike rental in addition to a cafe.
However, he confirmed there would be no wider development of the site – to retain the green space – and no residences.
Mr Hole said the community response has been ‘pretty positive’ so far and the company felt ‘warmly welcomed’. He said: “We’ve had a lot of suggestions and ideas, a few valid concerns but nothing that seems insurmountable.
“For us, no development truly works without the backing and consent of the local community.”
We want to enagage, listen and then build the conceptAlex Hole, managing director
In October, developer Brian Wilson of Wilbo’s pulled his controversial plans to redevelop the entire southern side of the green.
Joss Loader, Marine Ward councillor and Chair of Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association, said the ‘prominent open green space’ was of ‘vital importance’, adding: “After all the controversy relating to the council-owned site earlier this year, it’s encouraging to see that this developer is coming to the community and striving to gauge public opinion before pressing ahead with a formal proposal.
“It’s obviously very early days and too early to form a considered opinion.
“We also know that other individuals are showing strong interest and all bids have to be considered openly and transparently.
“So let’s hope we now have a real opportunity to come up with a project that enhances the green’s unique setting alongside the local nature reserve that also has widespread community support.
“The views of residents whose properties overlook the public loo block also need to be considered, along with parking concerns.”
The consultation at the Shoreham Beach’s Harbour Club starts at 8pm on Monday, December 19.
Contact Mr Hole before or after the meeting at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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