Herald column September 20th 2018

It was a very different and much smaller meeting to discuss the Howard Kent site proposals at the Southwick Barn last Friday to the 200 odd standing room only event at Shoreham College earlier in the year. There was a constant trickle of people to view and discuss the plans throughout the afternoon but only a couple of dozen or so felt the need to stay on and question the architects for the evening event.

The developers certainly seem to have been stung by the outcry at the wholly inappropriate monstrosities that they first put forward and 135 densely packed dwellings have now become 49 mostly less imposing family houses. Whatever you think about the final result it is good to know that lessons can be learned and minds changed and there seems a genuine desire to engage with the community this time before formal plans are lodged with Adur Council. There are still some major hurdles to cross around the absence of affordable properties and suitable play areas for children for example but this is a step in the right direction and well done to Andy Harvey and the Kingston Beach Residents Association for digging their heels in.

I paid a visit to Shoreham Fort on Friday to meet the archaeologists exploring what looks like a WW2 anti-aircraft gun emplacement just to the west of the Fort before some new road surfacing takes place. Friends of the Fort Chairman Gary Baines has been rightly concerned about the loss of archaeology in connection with the work on the adjoining car park and rushed in to take a photographic record before diggers stated ripping up potentially important brickwork.

Gary, the Friends Secretary Sharon Penfold, and their team of dedicated volunteers have done more than any Council or organisation  for years in lovingly restoring this unique Palmerston Folly and opening up this important part of Shoreham’s history to residents and visitors alike. They have given enormously of their time without reward and on a shoestring and what really depressed me was to see the latest mindless vandalism on the site with graffiti on the delicate brickwork and even some of the caponier bricks smashed. How can some people have so little respect for their heritage and their surroundings? It is soul destroying for the volunteers and they. Really could do with some more help so I you do have some time spare have a look at their website.

Good news that Adur and Worthing Councils has sere £170,000 from the Gvernment’s Coastal Communities Fund towards a £340,000 project to position coastal West Sussex as an active hub for water-based sports. The excellent conditions that attract hundreds of kite-surfers in particular to Lancing Beach Green is only the start of it so it would appear.