We learned today that visionary developer Jane Wood has walked away from a proposed development in Shoreham. What a great shame. She had put forward a scheme for a seaside restaurant from Heatherwick Studio, the geniuses behind the East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton and our current favourite the garden bridge in London. After three years of negotiation and £60,000 of her own money, she has withdrawn after being unable to agree on the number of toilets! It appears small minded bureaucracy has won out, yet again. What myopia from Adur District Council. They should be pulling out all of the stops to attract this kind of vision and talent down to the south coast (look what it has done for Littlehampton). It should be innocent until proven guilty, that is planners should seek to permit unless there is compelling reasons to the contrary and not the other way around. The planning system can be completely suffocating of progress and talent at the best of times, and if this story in today’s Architect’s Journal is correct, Adur DC should be ashamed of themselves as new depths have been plumbed.
February 17, 2015