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Views are sought on future of town

A PEOPLE’S vote on Bognor Regis regeneration is about to take place.

 

Town councillors are to issue a questionnaire seeking the comments of people in its six electoral wards about the key topic.

 

The survey is set to be delivered to 11,000 households in the next month. Replies will be sought by the end of February.

 

Their responses will be considered by town councillors at their March meeting before being presented to Arun District Council at its full meeting.

 

Arun is committed to creating the Pavilion Park, formerly known as the linear park, on the Hothamton car park and neighbouring Sunken Garden.

 

But Cllr Matt Stanley (LD, Marine) told his fellow town councillors on Monday the £3.5m scheme lacked public backing.

 

He said: “We should be seeking short, focused views on people’s opinion of the linear park or and whether the Sunken Garden should be retained.”

 

The survey will contain six questions asking residents to rate their views about regeneration in the town and the Pavilion Park idea.

 

Cllr Steve Goodheart (I, Hotham) said all the known regeneration projects should be displayed at a public exhibition.

 

“People would get the chance to look at what Arun is proposing and a look at what other developers are proposing,” he said.

 

The exhibition should focus on the future of both the Hothamton car park/Sunken Garden and Regis Centre sites. Both were essential to the town’s future.

 

He said four regeneration schemes are still being promoted – from Arun, the Sir Richard Hotham Project, 4BR and Re-Invigorate.

 

Town councillors also used Monday’s meeting to demand that residents’ views about regeneration in Bognor Regis should come first.

 

They have agreed to write an open letter to Arun District Council and the town’s MP, among others, to ensure the views expressed at an electors’ meeting are taken into account.

 

The decision was backed by all ten councillors present at Monday’s meeting of the town council.

 

“Our community has shown numerous times how they feel about this concept and tonight we have to deliver on those views.

 

“Every time the community have shown they are not supportive of the concept of the linear park. There have been Facebook polls, public meetings and by-elections,” he said.

 

“Every possible opportunity the public have had to say about the linear park, they have turned it down.

 

“If Arun had any confidence in its plans, they would have a detailed public consultation before their planning application is published.”

 

Inviting public comments about the application would limit the views to those concerned with planning matters, he said.

 

Arun has given itself planning approval to install four information boards about the park around the site.

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