Two cinema screens and 194 homes planned for Union Place in Worthing

An artist's impression of Union Place development plans
An artist's impression of Union Place development plans

Worthing Borough Council's vision for Union Place has been revealed.

The council's preferred option for the town centre space is to build 194 homes, commercial space and two modern cinema screens adjoined to the Connaught Theatre.

Union Place

Union Place

Other options include a purely residential scheme of more than 200 units or a mixed-use scheme of homes and offices. All three would include more than 100 car parking spaces.

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The range of options to develop the 2.6 acre site have now been worked up and will be presented to councillors at a meeting next week (Tuesday November 6).

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “After years of stalled schemes, finally we are seeing progress on the plans to regenerate this prime site which has the potential to support the town centre for many years to come.

“We have already shown that, as a council, we are not going to stand by any longer and watch Union Place remain derelict and unused, which is why I am pleased to see us progress to this next stage in just a few months.

“If councillors are happy to proceed then I look forward to working with LCR on creating detailed proposals which I’m certain will lead to a development that the people of Worthing can be proud of.”

In a report to councillors, officers recommended the construction is done in phases, with the suggested first stage being the creation of residential units on the north east corner of the site.

The report also underlines four key aims in bringing forward the redevelopment: it is done with pace; what is provided has a beneficial regenerative impact on the wider town centre; control is retained and financial returns are optimised.

According to a spokesman, the council was 'frustrated with the lack of progress on regenerating the prime town centre site' so it bought Union Place earlier this year before entering into a landpool agreement with the government-owned development firm London & Continental Railways (LCR).

This was agreed by senior councillors in April. The deal saw the current small open-air car park in High Street sold to LCR and allow the company to enter a 'land-pooling agreement' with the Council.

Through that agreement LCR will pay for works in drawing up proposals and securing planning permission, while the Council retains majority ownership of the site.

Since then, a joint Strategic Board established between the Council and LCR to oversee the project has examined six options for bringing development forward on the site, a spokesman said.