Although earlier heralded as being on the agenda for the Extraordinary Worthing Borough Council meeting on May 14th parking is no longer there. Effectively there is only one item – replacing the paving and improving the public realm in Montague Street and Warwick Street.
As the Worthing Town Centre and Masterplan highlighted the quality of the public realm in the town centre is a mixed experience. Montague Street provides a poor quality public realm experience for shoppers and visitors, and as the main retail high street, this is the impression many visitors will take away with them of the town.
Improvements to Montague Street and Warwick Street are in the Worthing County Local Committee list of priorities from West Sussex. Worthing Borough officers have recently discussed with the County Council about repaving Montague Street and depending on funding available Warwick Street public realm improvements as well.
Until a scheme is developed it is difficult to quantify the full cost and at this stage it is not certain the full extent of capital funding available from the County Council. £250,000 is available from an under spend in the County infrastructure fund. Officers believe a further £750,000 could be released to the County Council from S106 funds – money from developers as a condition of granting planning permission. The total cost of the scheme is estimated at upwards of £1 million pounds.
Worthing Borough Council has to approve release of S106 receipts over £100,000 in line with the budget approval process.
The recommendation put to Council reads:
“Council agrees, in principle, to release up to £750,000 eligible S106 funding to the County Council to progress the public realm enhancements works to Montague Street and possibly Warwick Street (depending on available funding) subject to a further report identifying the full cost and the level of WSCC capital funding available.”