Goring Gap should be developed into a community of new homes, as was originally planned in 1930. It is NOT a conservation area. In 1930 Goring Gap formed part of the land surrounding Goring Hall, now a private hospital. Plans were agreed by Worthing Borough Council (formerly Worthing Corporation) to develop all of the land from the Littlehampton Road to the Seafront. The town agreed to purchase the Greensward as an open space for £15,000 and was given the Ilex Way and the Plantation in return for granting planning permission. This was all documented and is stored in the archives at Worthing library. The original agreed plan and town meeting notes are all still there. 

While 60% of the plan was fulfilled (places like Aldsworth Avenue) development stopped after the outbreak of WW2 while our forefathers fought to keep our country free from tyranny.  After the war finished the developer, having lost his sons and workers to the war, was unable to finish the remaining houses. Look at the poor souls now fighting tyranny in Ukraine and spare a thought for our forefathers. As a result of their sacrifice the land became the agricultural fields you see today.

What is now left is a ghost town, which is commonly referred to as the Goring Gap or cabbage patch, for all the wrong reasons. However, underneath Goring Gap are the foundations for hundreds of houses and more importantly, a main drain sewage system, laid by our brave forefathers. In fact, the land has covenants on it relating to the building of houses; as was planned and agreed before WW2. 

As a town we are outgrowing ourselves. To quote a local Historian. ‘The population of West Sussex in 1930 was about 270,000, at the time the Goring Hall estate plans were drawn up, it is now nearly 900,000 – we have become an overpopulated town by any reasonable measure’.

We are a town full of 4/5 bedroom houses occupied by one or two people; while young families are crowded into one/two-bedroom properties, typically flats with no outside space. We simply do not have enough council houses or starter homes for our town. A recent article in the Argus states there are 350 local people having to be housed by the council outside the borough because of a lack of local accommodation. At what cost?

A recent report by Moody’s, the leading credit ratings agency and covered in the Guardian Newspaper, has Worthing Borough Council listed as the 5th most at risk council in the UK. We have seen Birmingham Council recently become bankrupt. Our current Town Hall officials have demonstrated their inability to solve our housing crisis and manage property investments well; for example the debacle that is Teville Gate. 

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP, has been vitriolic in his attack on the main owners of Goring Gap, Persimmon Homes. In one of his verbal attacks, he invites the Directors of Persimmon up to Highdown to look down over the A259 to the sea. We have done this and the view is still magnificent. But what you can’t see are the number of happy families in a place they now call home. Politicians typically will do everything in their powers to protect their voters. Voters who only care about themselves; who do not care about our town’s future or the future of our children or the wishes and plans of our forefathers. 

We are a half-circle town, caused by the sea and will therefore always be limited in our ability to expand and meet our housing needs. Look at Horsham for example. You can draw a full circle of habitation around Horsham. We have 50% of their available land space. Then we have a natural barrier as well, the South Downs National Park. The only way we can expand is sideways. So unless WBC issue condoms and introduce a euthanasia program; and given our towns rising population and falling death rates you will arrive at the inevitable, at some point in time Goring Gap (all of it) will need to be developed. As was originally planned by our forefathers in 1930. Is it not best to try and negotiate with Persimmon the best number of affordable homes, starter homes, council houses, community centres etc now or simply wait for central government to grant Persimmon planning permission and take full control of any development? Once this happens, we as a town lose control; we lose the power to negotiate what’s best for our children.

If Goring Gap is developed, as our brave forefathers and our Town Leaders originally planned, there will be enough homes to provide 2000 children with beds and gardens to play in. As a town we are not simply not investing competently in our children’s future. Developing Goring Gap will be good for the community.

There are already plenty of green spaces for people to enjoy, we have our amazing beach and promenade, the Cissbury Ring and the South Downs. We have a large green gap already along our seafront, it’s called Greensward. This is used by thousands of people every year and was purchased for us by our forefathers. How many people physically use Goring Gap today? Other than dog walkers, doggers and ramblers, how many people actually enjoy using the space? If you are an environmentalist, you should know this, there are more birds and bees in peoples gardens than there are in farmers fields, fact. This is because of pesticides and fertilisers used to grow crops. Developing Goring Gap will be good for the environment. 

Goring and Ferring are already connected by the houses that run along the Ilex Way, as per the plan. All of Goring Gap was meant to be built on. Only the outbreak of WW2 stopped its completion and the two agricultural fields that remain today. If you listen to Sir Peter Bottomley he regrets the existing development between Goring and Ferring. A development which includes one of the best schools in the area, St Oscar Romero’s and a soon to be launched McCarthy Stone retirement Village.  St Peter Bottomley regrets these being built. He would rather have a field than an excellent school for our children or a retirement village for our gentlefolk. He has clearly lost pace with reality.

Goring Gap meets the National Planning Policy Framework

We need to build for our childrens future. We need to build for our pensioners future. We need to be forefathers now and give our future and passed generations somewhere to live. 

Scroll to Top