The Shoreham Harbour Regeneration Strategy was the key topic of discussion at the June meeting of the Sussex Property Alliance, held at the Amex Stadium in Brighton. Around 50 developers, builders, architects and other property professionals heard from James Appleton, Head of Planning, Regeneration & Wellbeing at Adur & Worthing Council and Tim Hague, Property Manager at Shoreham Port about the challenges and opportunities presented by the project.
James gave a comprehensive overview of Shoreham Harbour, explaining its importance to the local economy, the constraints of the road network and the types of development which it is hoped will result from the regeneration plan.
The geographical location of the harbour means that both Brighton & Hove and Adur & Worthing Councils have an interest in the harbour. This gives it an added strategic value and is reflected in the recent consultation which fed into the Draft Shoreham Harbour Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP). The plan covers issues ranging from flood defences, port capacity and wharf usage, to residential and infrastructure development and the impact on existing businesses and the development of new port-based businesses.
Tim Hague went on to fill in the detail around the business of the port itself. He explained the strategy behind the wish to consolidate shipping and wharf usage to the eastern arms as opposed to continuing to use the wharfs in both the east and west. This change would reduce the considerable cost of dredging associated with keeping the port open whilst concentrating on the port business which, in ship terms, is now seeing over 900 ship movements annually.
Tim explained the challenges faced by the port in making sure it could provide capacity for existing and new clients to continue to grow. There is a policy of consolidation being followed to assemble land to extend port use which includes persuading existing occupants to move to more suitable sites and to make sure the future needs of larger occupants such as Parker Steel can be accommodated. Tim reassured Alliance members that this would not mean that small businesses would be disadvantaged, but that it was more of a case of using the space at the port as efficiently as possible. Importantly, opportunities for local builders and developers should start to become available once the regeneration strategy is finalised and land is made available.
Chris Coopey, Partner at Carpenter Box Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers, compered the event and commented: “The speakers gave a very useful insight into the future of this important Sussex asset and the subsequent lively Q&A session provided more detail around such things as funding, road and rail connections and even school provision following any residential expansion in the Shoreham/Fishersgate area.”
The Sussex Property Alliance is sponsored by Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers Carpenter Box, who have a specialist property and construction team, commercial agents Michael Jones, JELF who provide specialist insurance to the sector and by Bennett Griffin solicitors who undertake commercial property work.