Developers want to demolish a derelict place of worship and replace it with flats and commercial space.

PLK Investments Ltd has submitted plans to transform the site made up of Gospel Hall and adjoining 2 Bedford Road in Worthing.

If approved, the buildings would be demolished and a part four and part five-storey building comprising commercial and community units at ground floor and nine flats above would be built in their place.

Of the nine flats, five will be two-bedroom flats and four will be three-bedroom flats.

The commercial and community units could be used for offices, a café, shop, gym or medical centre, a place of worship, an art gallery, museum, public or exhibition hall or a library.

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Gospel Hall was built in the 19th century and has not been used for many years, planning documents state.

“The building has been vacant since at least 2009 and has fallen into a very poor state of repair. The exterior of the building was refurbished in 2018 after council action,” Lewis and Co Planning wrote.

The Argus: Gospel Hall and 2 Bedford RoadGospel Hall and 2 Bedford Road (Image: Lewis and Co Planning)

“However, no new occupier was found for the building, and it has remained vacant.”

2 Bedford Row is a non-listed, three-storey addition to the Regency terrace that forms the west side of Bedford Row.

The building was previously offices and in the late 1990s planning permission was granted for the use of the building as houses of multiple occupancy. 2 Bedford Row remains in HMO use.

Lewis and Co said the design of the proposed building is sensitive to the surrounding buildings.

“The design shows respect for the hierarchy of the buildings on the street and will allow the historic development of the street scene to be read clearly,” the design statement read.

“The proposal makes efficient use of brownfield land in a very sustainable location to the benefit of town centre vitality and local housing supply at a time of identified housing shortfall.

“The contemporary design sensitively enhances the conservation area street scene and setting of nearby listed buildings.

“Any perceived harm is outweighed by the public benefits in any reasonable assessment of planning balance.”