Pagham Beach is designated by Arun DC as an Area of Special Character. There are areas in the Arun district which although not designated as a Conservation Area do have a special and distinctive character or historic significance where there should be adequate control over new development.
Pagham beach estate
The character of the Pagham Beach Estate derives from the distinctive scale and height of the residential buildings (single storey, majority with no accommodation in the roofs), the layout of the estate and the form and spacing of the buildings. Pagham Beach Estate was designated an Area of Special Character in October 1995.
The estate displays a mixed quality of design standard between the newer, permanent residential properties and the original holiday chalets and railway carriages. The historic background of the beach estate originates from these railway carriages. A high proportion of the carriages are still visible, many have been encased by later structures but still retain evidence of original features, such as windows.
Although there is a strong linear pattern to the estate, there is an informality and distinctive seaside character to the area imparted through the scale of development, the individual designs of buildings, the unmade roads and the surrounding Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). There is a strong feeling of openness.
The estate is an important feature viewed from the seaward side. The individual design of many of the buildings and the character of the dwellings is appreciated from this view point.
The estate is characterised by a wide range of individually designed properties, both old and new. No.3 West Front Road is a recent example of a new build using very innovative design but still utilising the distinguishing characteristics of Pagham Beach.
Regular plot sizes characterise the area whilst the, albeit, small gaps between the buildings, provide a sense of regularity. The buildings are almost all entirely detached and roof pitches rarely exceed 30 degrees.
There are many areas of open space on the estate, containing a variety of grasses, mature trees and smaller miniature trees as key features. ‘The Dell’ is characterised by an overgrown, natural environment, covered by mature and semi mature trees and shrubs. Pine trees and gorse suited to the exposed weather conditions dominate in this area. This woodland and other open spaces provides an attractive contrast to the built form of the surrounding estate. Roadside verges are also important natural features in the estate and contribute to its informal character.
Individual properties have boundary planting and attractive front garden planting which enhances the individuality of the estate.
The café and amusement arcade form focal points, situated at the core of the Beach Estate. The Yacht Club, an established part of the Beach Estate has a distinctive presence in the area.
In recent years, many of the new developments have lacked individual style; there has been a use of uniform materials with no care taken with roof tiles or brick colour, as examples. Colour washed render and stained boarding are typical traditional materials. The use of brown or red bricks has been less successful than the use of pale yellow stock bricks in new developments.
The use of non-traditional materials e.g. glass, stainless steel, zinc metal, cladding of appropriate colour etc. could be appropriate provided the design is innovative and is reflective of the coastal location.