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Council’s new study for park

SIX TOWN councillors have been chosen for a task force to publicise regeneration plans for Bognor Regis.


The members were appointed at a special meeting of the town council on Tuesday in response to fears that residents’ concerns about the schemes were being ignored.


Cllrs Jan Cosgrove, Steve Goodheart, Jeanette Warr, Matt Stanley, Damien Enticott and Sandra Daniells will report back within a month with their views about how best to publicise the projects.


It will be up to the town council to decide if it wants to highlight the ideas for the Hothamton linear park – with open space, parking and flats – and the Regis Centre.


Cllr Matt Stanley (LD, Marine) was one of the councillors – with Cllr Damien Enticott (L, Hatherleigh) – who originally called for the town council to highlight the options on offer.


He said: “We are elected by our community and the community have been very clear leading up, and including this evening, they want something different.


“They don’t feel the plans that are in place are adequate. We should be listening on behalf of our residents and that’s what they appear to want.”


The town council’s extraordinary session lasted less than five minutes when it ratified the decisions taken just before at an hour-long special meeting of the policy and resources committee.


Some 20 residents attended the committee meeting to object to the plans for a Hothamton linear park put forward by Arun District Council for the car park and neighbouring Sunken Garden.


One of them, Val O’Neill, said: “I thank Cllr Stanley for putting forward what we think. This (scheme) is all about putting up extra flats.”


Another, former town mayor Roger Nash, said: “The linear park proposals are not regeneration. They are simply redevelopment.


“They are an effort by Arun to make a bit more money because, like a lot of councils, they need to do that.”


Arun should look at seafront sites such as the Royal Hotel and Waterloo Square, which need to be improved, he said.


Bognor Regis Civic Society deputy chairman Hugh Coster said: “It’s very important we all work together to impose our views on Arun, whatever the views we come to.”


Cllr Jan Cosgrove (L, Orchard) told the committee: “This is all about the people of this town having a voice.


“We need to get all the regeneration ideas that are still valid to the public as quickly as we can and as efficiently and cost effectively as we can in such a way so they can vote on them. We can take that view to Arun.”


Cllr Jeanette Warr (LD, Hotham) said: “I am very much against the linear park and that is the opinion of many people in the town. We are a seaside town and we need to have regeneration on the seafront.”


Cllr Steve Goodheart (I, Hotham) said: “It beggars belief that we are still here and still none the wiser about what Arun’s real plans are for both sites.”

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