After several years of false starts, we're pleased to confirm that contracts have today been exchanged for the the sale of Skywaves House - Feba's home in Worthing for over 30 years.

The current 'Skywaves House' is based around an old residential property that has been extended several times and remodelled quite extensively. Whilst there are a handful of original features remaining, expert opinion is that the building today has little architectural integrity or historic value. The configuration of internal space and the general condition of the fabric of the building mean that a comprehensive renovation would be very expensive and is not considered a cost effective option. In its present state, the office does not represent an asset with any value for letting as offices as there are preferable alternatives nearby. Previous interested parties had tried submitting planning applications for redevelopment as private residential accommodation - pursuing different courses, but all were dead ends; the eventual purchaser is taking a rather different tack.

West elevation drawing

We're delighted to have been working with Worthing Homes and Turning Tides (formerly 'Worthing Churches Homeless Project'), who together will be developing the site to build a new facility providing much-needed short term accommodation for homeless people from across the Worthing area. We believe that the bold and creative plans drawn up by architects ECE Architecture look really attractive and sympathetic to the environment, and constitute an improvement on the rather run-down building we occupy at the moment.

The new building will provide 24/7 warden supported facilities for residents, with a range of services provided through the day. Employment will therefore be maintained on the site - a key requirement for the council. The discrete but convenient location of the plot also lends itself well to the development, providing for the needs of the intended residents as well as allaying the reservations of neighbours.

Sketch 'bird's eye' view

Sketch view from Broadwater bridge (looking NE)

The sale completion date is expected to be 31st July 2023, with demolition and redevelopment to begin thereafter. In the immediate short term, it is likely that the Feba team would then work remotely for a period whilst a new home is sought. Given the changes to patterns of work since COVID - with the increase in 'hybrid working', the precise requirements for office accommodation are less easy to determine than before. The current thinking is that Feba's new home would be within an arc that extends roughly from Brighton to Chichester and inland up to the Horsham / Haywards Heath area. Please do pray for Feba's leadership and Board as we explore options and determine the best course for the ministry and team; please also pray for the wider team as together they navigate their way through a period of uncertainty.

In order to be ready for the end of July, there is a certain amount of sorting to be done - establishing how to deal with various contents in Skywaves House. We're keen to ensure that items of significant financial or sentimental value (for example archive materials) are not lost, but - realistically - there will be a lot to be disposed of. Please therefore pray that the practical work required will be completed in good time, and that this project will not distract unduly from the day-to-day ministry of Feba. Please pray for wisdom, strength, grace and patience for all involved in this important task.

Let's give thanks once again for God's provision of Skywaves House that has served Feba so well over many years. We pray in faith that we would continue to know His leading and provision as we look to begin a new chapter.

Thank you for your interest and support for Feba's ministry.

If you'd like to see full planning details, please click here to visit the relevant page on Adur and Worthing Councils' website.

Architect's drawings and sketches: © ECE Architects

Article posted by Bob Chambers on 9th May 2023

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