MILLIONS of pounds are set to be spent by Butlin’s to take its Bognor Regis resort into the next three decades. The holiday company is planning to invest £30-35m on a bigger swimming pool for the popular site.
Resort director Jeremy Pardey said: “This is a huge investment for Bognor Regis which will secure the resort guest experience for the next 25 years.
“It shows great confidence by our parent company, Bourne Leisure, in the future of this resort. It’s a real boost for my team and for Bognor Regis.” Formal planning permission for the swimming pool will be sought by Butlin’s at the end of this month.
The company hopes Arun District Council will decide the plans next January. If they are approved, work will begin to prepare for the construction of the pool on a site to the east of the resort. This will lead to the demolition of 1,005 bedspaces in team and guest accommodation chalets. The new pool is expected to take nearly two years to build and should open in the summer of 2018.
It will be a third bigger than the resort’s existing pool. Some 1,000 bathers will be able to enjoy its facilities compared to the 700 capacity of the current site. A central feature of the new pool will be a rapid river which will take bathers’ breath away as it transports them on a watery journey of exhilaration. A tide pool and flumes will also be included to provide further watery enjoyment for all ages.
The first public view of the pool was given in a public consultation in Butlin’s conference centre on Tuesday. Mr Pardey said: “The swimming pool is important to the experience of our guests. Our surveys show their number two reason for visiting us is having a swimming pool by the sea.
“We’re not doing this because we think it’s the right thing to do. It’s because our guests tell us it is the right thing.
“Our existing pool is 29 years old and is coming to the end of its life. “We would rather invest in a new pool than refurbish the existing one because we don’t want to be without a pool while the work is going on.”
The pool building’s architecture will reflect the art deco style of the resort’s hotels and it has been designed as an internal version of a lido. The pool will be the same distance from houses in Sea Road as the current pool is from the seafront to limit the impact of noise for surrounding residents.
Mr Pardey said it had also been designed to ensure noise was kept to the minimum. Its opening hours of 8am-9pm most days will control its use as well. A 558-space decked car park will ensure no parking spaces are lost in the long term. Butlin’s also intends to replace its bedspaces in future plans but Mr Pardey stated it would always stay within the limit set in its lease with Arun.
More waiting cars will be taken off the roads as part of the changes for the new swimming pool at Butlin’s. A new internal road layout will involve creating an arrivals desk further within the site to allow for 80 more cars to queue within the resort. Jeremy Pardey, the resort’s director, said: “That should make a massive difference to the traffic flow in the resort and I feel it should definitely eradicate any issues on the roundabout.”