A PLANNING application to transform a former pub into a new block of flats has been rejected on the grounds of overdevelopment and poor architectural design.

Developers from Eastcourt Estates, in Worthing, submitted a proposal to demolish the Wheatsheaf pub, in Richmond Road, Worthing, to convert it into a three-storey block comprising eight flats with a commercial ground floor.

Worthing Council planning committee held a meeting on Wednesday in Worthing Town Hall and refused the application because it does not offer enough affordable housing in the area.

The committee said it would have a negative impact on the conservation area and the proposed building had no outdoor space.

Developers submitted the application in late February. The council then consulted with residents who objected to the proposal.

Vice-chairman of the planning committee Councillor Alex Harman said: “We rejected the application due to overdevelopment.

“In planning applications we look for the high quality, and how it would best benefit residents.

“We are open to any new redevelopments for the old pub but it needs to meet our standards.

Conservative Councillor Edward Crouch, representing Marine ward, said the design was poor.

He said: “The design was not of the best standards for the area.

“The old pub has been closed for some time. It’s disappointing to see old pubs shut their doors.

“We are concerned of the large developments of the flats and it could cause over density.

“Also the design doesn’t fit with the area. Richmond Road has a mix of character.

“We are close to Ambrose Place which is one of the finest places in town and we have our famous library.

“It’s a poor and terrible design. I couldn’t tell which part of the building is the front or back.

“Basically, I would describe it as a building with an identity crisis.

“We want to have sensible developments.

“The design looked more like a computer design and it has no character.

“It’s a mismatch of parameters.

“And it wasn’t providing affordable housing.

“This is our other massive concern as this is one of the priorities in the town, and across the country too.”