PLANS to redevelop the site of a former retail store in a busy town centre have been revealed.

The site of former high street brand Debenhams in South Street, Worthing could be transformed into a retail and housing development by its new owners.

Business partners Paul Craig and Ralph Gilbert took possession of the building in September last year and are submitting their application in Spring.

The Argus: Plans have been unveiled for former Debenhams store in WorthingPlans have been unveiled for former Debenhams store in Worthing

They have unveiled plans to keep the ground floor as a retail space and to transform the upper levels into studio and penthouse flats.

Developers say the current plan is for the flats to be offered for rental rather than sale

The rooftop will feature a lounge and garden that will include communal working and social spaces like office pods and a garden kitchen.

Plans form part of the wider regeneration of Worthing town Centre.

Developer Paul Craig, of Craig Developments, said:

“We hope to be part of a re-launch of this part of town with this building acting as an anchor point for South Street.

“The future of the high street is bright, but it is going to be different. It will no longer be hundreds of square meters of shops but will hopefully become more of a community with people living and shopping locally.

“Adur and Worthing Councils have a very positive attitude towards regenerating Worthing and going forward with developments, which has given us the confidence to take the risk and buy this old building despite the huge amount of work that is needed to regenerate and rebuild it.”

The Debenhams building was originally built as Hubbard’s department store in the 1920s.

Cllr Nicola Waight, Executive Member for Regeneration, said hopes the development of the historic building will “bring new life” into the town centre.

She said: “While this development will have to go through the planning process, it is fantastic to see that coming out of the loss of this cornerstone department store is a plan from local businesses to revive the building and bring new life and opportunity into our town centre.”

Building work is predicted to start at the end of 2022 with a projected completion date of three years.

An open public consultation is to be launched in the coming week to allow people and businesses to provide input before the full planning application is submitted.

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.