Our first street surgery of the year was a rather soggy affair on Saturday but thank you to all those visitors to the Shoreham Farmers Market who came to wish local councillors and I a Happy New Year and comment on our fortitude.
It was in fact a doubly damp morning as Councillors Neil Parkin and Kevin Boram and I held a second street surgery especially to meet the residents of the new Waterfront development and hear about some of the problems they have been having with the developers Hyde Housing. A particular thanks to the resident of one of the houses in Salt Marsh Road there who opened up his garage to give us some shelter given the good turnout from his neighbours. (Masks were worn.) We will be taking up a variety of issues with Hyde and brokering a meeting with the newly formed residents’ association.
Hyde are also of course responsible for the new development on the old Civic Centre site which has not been without controversy. Many of us are particularly concerned about the density of the residential part being proposed and particularly the height. It has always been an unwritten rule that no structures in the centre of the town should exceed the height of St Mary’s and particularly given the conservation zone considerations I see no reason why that should not continue to be respected.
Some of the harbourside developments have already tested the height considerations but there are moves to create a ‘Harbour Quarter’ separate from the town centre proper, although the main challenge remains the amount of traffic coming into Shoreham on the A259. I was pleased therefore that following concerns raised by Council Leader Neil Parkin Hyde Housing have withdrawn their application which was due to be considered later this month and will come back with revised plans.
Undoubtedly over the last 15 or so years Shoreham has become a victim of its own success and the other unresolved problem remains the pressure of traffic and squeeze on parking. County Councillor Kevin Boram is pushing West Sussex to get on with the ‘parking audit’ we have been promised so local people can consider whether a proper resident’s parking zone will help them fend off commuters parking outside their homes and shoppers can access local businesses. And even better there are more cycle racks for those able to do without cars more often. Watch this space.
We will be holding our next street surgery, hopefully in rather drier conditions in Lancing village centre from 10am this Saturday. For constituents wanting a scheduled constituency surgery appointment I will be in Sompting on Friday and appointments can be booked through the Shoreham office on 01273 757182