5:10pm Friday 4th January 2013
By Neil Vowles
DEVELOPERS are hoping ambitious plans to breathe new life into a mothballed seafront complex could be realised in time for the summer.
Sussex-based Strenson Investments are looking to transform the former Mermaid Café site in Brighton Road, Lancing, into a water sports centre and a 120-cover café.
The “seven-figure” makeover of the long-term derelict site will also see holiday chalets and a water sports equipment shop constructed.
Developers are aiming to make the property carbon neutral with the only external power source needed to power kitchen equipment.
The property’s owners rejected proposals from the community to transform the 7,500 ft site into an ice rink, bowling alley, a drug and rehabilitation centre, art gallery, yoga centre or cinema and argue the water sports centre is the most sustainable option for the site.
The firm hopes to take advantage of Lancing’s prominence as a leading kite-surfing location and provide a facility for water sport professionals and novices alike.
The site was purchased at auction for £500,000 less than a year ago.
Adur District Council had given the green light in 2005 to plans for a Thai restaurant at the site but despite £1 million investment, the restaurant never opened.
Alex Hole from the father and son firm said: “We really want a quick planning process so we can get it open for the summer.
“We want to reduce the risk for the people of Lancing so simply using the site for shops was not an option because in three to four years it could just be empty retail space.”
For more details on the plans visit lancingbeach.com.
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