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Calls by residents over bandstand

RENEWED protests have been made about proposals to move the seafront bandstand in Bognor Regis.


Cllr Francis Oppler highlighted the issue after he was told by Arun District Council the matter removed official policy.


He said he believed the idea, contained in the council’s seafront strategy, was flawed.


“The Conservatives at Arun have ignored my concerns it won’t stand up to being moved. I believe they will put the new toilet block where the bandstand is at the moment.”


Nearly 30 comments on social media were posted in response to him.


Sam Halson wrote: “Leave it where it belongs.”


Philip Long commented: “If they want a bandstand in Waterloo Gardens, they should build a new one there. Moving it is bonkers.”


Nigel Brown said: “Leave it where it is. What is the benefit of moving it?”


Gill Yeates stated: “I’d be worried about moving such an old and fragile structure and, unless it’s going to be more actively used in its proposed location, it should be left where it is to be enjoyed by all.”


Marion Wells said: “We have to change this. We need to save the money it would cost and spend it on something worthwhile.”


They have come nearly six months after the Post highlighted the prospect of the move of the Grade II-listed bandstand on its front page.


Cllr Oppler’s Lib Dem colleague, Cllr Jeanette Warr, pictured above, was involved in the campaign with dozens of fellow residents along the seafront.


Esplanade Grande resident Linda Parkes said then: “I see no reason why the bandstand should be moved.


“It’s iconic and it’s been here for many years. It’s one of the last remaining beautiful things we have on our seafront. It’s a piece of Victorian heritage and it wouldn’t be replaced with anything better.”


The bandstand was installed on the seafront in 1948. It originally formed part of the Winter Garden building in Cheltenham before that was demolished in 1940-44. It is believed to be Edwardian.


Arun officer Denise Vine, the head of regeneration, told Cllr Oppler it was agreed by councillors last June to carry out feasibility work about moving the bandstand.


“This would include consideration of an appropriate alternative location, the cost estimates to remove and reinstate the structure and identifying funding to do so,” she stated.


But she added the work had yet to start because of other priorities.

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