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Seafront play area scheme prompts resident’s worries

SEAFRONT resident Captain John Grindon has protested about plans for a new play area outside his Bognor Regis flat.

 

Cpt Grindon said the site proposed by Arun District Council for the children’s area was opposite his home of the past 34 years in Mountbatten Court.

 

“I am very upset by this. The last thing I want outside my flat is a load of screaming children on swings and roundabouts.

 

“I have never moaned in my life but I didn’t come to live here to have a children’s play area right outside my window.

 

“There are 75 flats in Mountbatten Court and most of the people who live in them are elderly,” he said.

 

“If the council must have a new play area, why not put it opposite the Regis Centre because no-one lives there?”

 

As reported, Arun launched a consultation on Tuesday until September 25 into its proposals for the play area on the western side of its popular Beach on the Beach sand pit.

 

The council’s aim is to meet the wishes of the 60 per cent of the respondents to a 2013 survey who wanted to see activities on the seafront for young children.

 

Its first stage in achieving this was to open Beach on the Beach in 2015 and its popularity led Arun to extend it last year.

 

Cpt Grindon, 79, said he was one of the few original residents who still lived in Mountbatten Court. He feared the play area’s presence would hinder his recovery from major  hospital treatment.

 

“I accept the idea of the play area is to attract more people into the town and to spend money in the shops. If I was a shopkeeper, I would welcome the plans. But I’m not and I don’t want the play area where the council are proposing it.”

 

Cpt Grindon called on Arun to follow the example of the organisers of the bank holiday funfair last weekend in moving the bigger rides away from the flats.

 

Cpt Grindon made his complaints at Bognor Regis Town Council’s latest drop-in surgery in the town centre last Saturday. They will be passed on by town and district councillor Stephen Reynolds.

 

Other issues raised by residents at the surgery included dangerous overgrown hedges, pavement cyclists and pavement parking. Some 30 people raised their concerns with three members of Bognor Regis Town Council – Cllrs Jeanette Warr, Tony Gardiner and Stephen Reynolds.

 

Cllr Reynolds said the two-hour session had proved worthwhile. He said: “The same things keep coming up – cycling along the London Road precinct, the lack of a segregated cycling area on the promenade and the need for a crossing between McDonald’s and Lidl on the A29.”

 

Town council projects officer Sheila Hodgson said: “This has probably been the most successful of the three drop-in surgeries we have held. Three people have come along with lists of issues they wanted to talk about – and that’s the first time that has happened.

 

“This is also the first time we’ve held the surgery at a weekend and we’ve had really positive feedback.”

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2 Comments

  1. This scheme is a sheer nonsense, and from me as a strong supporter of children’s play, that is saying something. I don’t agree with Mr Grindon, this is a seafront area and families use it. I walk along the Prom, you don’t hear screaming kids, you might hear laughter from time to time, chat etc. If the good Captain doesn’t want that, he should not have gone to live in Mountbatten Court, the Prom is not a graveyard. Yet.

    No it is the siting of a year-round fixed equipment play area on a seasonal site that is plain daft. People come to the Prom in numbers in the summer for one reason, the weather. And not in the winter for exactly the same reason. Indeed, the excellent sandy beach areas (a great facility) are closed and removed off-season. Arun will not propose closing this off season?

    There is also the serious issue of the neglected and dangerous Hothamton Play Area just along the way, targeted by Arun to go in its lamebrain regeneration scheme for flats and a ‘linear’ garden there. In the meantime, the walls are too low and the gates defective/missing to stop roaming dogs gaining access, it is well-used and it needs urgent attention. Put sign on the seafront to it and drop the idea for the prom playground. By all means extend the sandy beach areas, put e.g. portable equipment which can be stored.

  2. The major issue facing pedestrians in Bognor Regis,particularly in the town centre, the Promenade and Hotham Park are the many dangerous cyclists who ride through these areas at speed without a moment’s thought for the safety of pedestrians.
    This is an accident waiting to happen and the Council should be addressing this issue rather than upgrading the chidren’s play areas.

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