News Posted in Local Developments.

Detailed regeneration plans for new park to be drawn up

DETAILED plans are being compiled for a new park in Bognor Regis.


Experts have been hired to put together the proposals for the Hothamton linear park. The open air green space comprises a key part of Arun District Council’s regeneration proposals for the 215-space Hothamton car park off Queensway.


Denise Vine, Arun’s group head of economy, said: “We are about to employ consultants to work with us to take forward the proposals for the linear park.


“They will be working up detailed design proposals for the park and work on a delivery approach for the redevelopment of that site. It will be the first thing (of the regeneration scheme) to come forward.”


The principle of the 3,000 sq m French-style boulevard to run from Waterloo Square to Queensway was agreed by Arun’s councillors four months ago.


Its features could include retail pavilions, a children’s play area and a senior gym.


Also envisaged for the site are two buildings. One would have a shop on the ground floor and eight floors of flats above. The other would have six floors of flats.


Mrs Vine said the hiring of the consultants formed part of the background work by the council’s officers to bring the £50m scheme to fruition. But she warned it would still take into the next decade to complete the potentially  transformational project.


“It’s going to take five years. That’s what I am working to. That’s what I think is realistic,” she told the Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee of Arun on Monday. “There is a huge amount of paperwork going on. People may not see anything going on on the ground but there is an awful lot of preparation. There are a lot of discussions taking place. We are doing this as quickly as we can.”


Examples she gave included meetings with Whitbread, which leases the Regis Centre site from Arun, about the intention to include an hotel in the initial scheme and with Arun Arts. The charity sub-leases the centre from Whitbread and is set to run the new, expanded 450-seat theatre put forward among the intended winter gardens main attraction.


Talks had also taken place with Bognor Regis Town Council about the town hall in which it leases rooms from Arun as well as the NHS over the town health centre.


Meetings would be held as well with supporters of other projects to see if they could become involved.


Cllr Paul Wells (LD, Hotham) said: “It’s clear a lot of discussions are going on behind the scenes. It would be good to have a timetable at our next meeting in October of what we are aiming for. For the residents of Bognor Regis, regeneration has become a bit of a standing joke.”


Sub-committee chairman Cllr Phil Hitchins said other ideas could be welcomed but warned the council would not scrap its plans: “We have a brilliant plan which is getting well known and has a lot of support. This is what happens in Bognor Regis. We do one thing and then it starts again and then again.”

Posted in Local Developments.